A new man has been given the challenge of getting the Tyne and Wear Metro running on time.
New Operations Director Chris Carson bring more than 20 years’ experience in the rail industry to operator DB Regio.
The 44-year-old’s career history has seen him occupy management roles for both rail infrastructure and operating companies. His most recent role was Head of Business Change at Virgin Trains.
"I’m really pleased to join the Metro team and am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to make a positive change," he said.
"Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m confident that together we can continue to provide the best possible service to our customers.”
Chris will be responsible for Metro’s day-to-day operations, train performance and long term service and delivery planning. A key focus will be driving improvement in performance and improving engagement with staff and customers.
"I understand how important it is to communicate with customers when things don’t go to plan," he said.
"It is our responsibility to engage with customers during times of disruption to make sure we give them alternative travel choices, preferably before they even leave home or work to travel with us.
"It’s also vitally important for us to continually strive to improve the service we deliver, both in terms of keeping customers informed and in train performance. These things are underpinned by good planning and organisation and this will be a main priority for me.”
Chris, who lives in Cleadon, started his working life in the Army, which saw him stationed in Germany, Kenya and Northern Ireland. He left the Army at 21 and, after a brief period working in the shipyards on the Tyne, he took his first job in the rail industry as a signaller based at Monkwearmouth Signal Box.
Since then he has worked for a variety of firms including British Rail, Railtrack, Network Rail, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, East Coast Trains and, most recently, Virgin Trains.
"I felt it was the right time for a change and the role of Operations Director at Tyne and Wear Metro provided the ideal opportunity to make that step," he said.
"I’m from the local area, I live in the local area, I’ve been working on the railways for over 23 years and I want to do the best I can with the experience I have so it seemed like a really good fit."