David Franks has joined Keolis as managing director for New Franchises.
Mr Franks will be based in Keolis UK’s London office and will report directly to Alistair Gordon, Keolis UK chief executive.
Keolis UK, majority owned by SNCF, has prequalified for the InterCity West Coast Franchise, for which bidding is set to commence in early 2012.
David was recently CEO of the Stockholm Metro in Sweden and served as managing director of the Trains Division at National Express.
He started as a junior railman, aged 16, at Salisbury station and worked his way up gaining valuable experience around the London Travel Centres. Later he passed the Rules and Regulations classes and was student of the year.
After a spell in line traffic management and a three year stint as Area Operations Manager at Gloucester he was promoted to a divisional directorship at Network South East.
After privatisation and a failed MBO at London Tilbury and Southend (now c2c) he became divisional operations manager for Thames Trains. He has worked as managing director of First North Western and then Southern.
At the National Express Group he was initially divisional director north looking after ScotRail, Central Trains, MML and Maintrain.
Then came the NEG Trains Division managing directorship. A coarse fishing enthusiast, David Franks is a big supporter of RailSport Games and regularly attends the RailStaff Awards.
Says Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, “David’s appointment underlines our commitment to the future of the UK rail industry. His proven track record of success adds real weight to our industry expertise and opens up exciting new opportunities for us in franchise operations.”
As the current chair of the Institution of Rail Operators (IRO) and ex-chair of the industry’s National Performance Task Force, David brings with him extensive industry operations and management experience.
Says David, “Keolis has considerable ambition for UK rail, making this a very exciting move for me. I enjoy the challenges of railway operations and relish the opportunity of building excellence in teams. I look forward to the new opportunities that this role will bring.”