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Bechtel rail head Tom McCarthy dies

Managing director of Bechtel’s global rail business Tom McCarthy has died aged 54.

McCarthy worked for Bechtel for 30 years and spent a number of years on high profile rail projects in the UK.

He had a track record of helping Railtrack (as was), out of a mess when he was seconded to work on the network’s national recovery plan after the Hatfield crash in 2000. He then took over the West Coast Main Line upgrade in 2002 with the project running four years late and with a budget up from the original £2bn to an estimated £13bn. The Californian oversaw successful completion of the project in late 2008 to a reduced price of around £9bn.

Since then he worked on the London Underground upgrade as part of the Tube Lines consortium and London’s £14.5bn Crossrail scheme.

Bechtel chairman Riley Bechtel told staff the news on Tuesday. “It is with deep sadness that I inform you that our friend and colleague, Tom McCarthy, managing director of Civil’s rail business line, passed away suddenly on 11 December,” he said. “Tom’s exemplary Bechtel career spanned nearly 30 years and countless achievements.

“For the many people who worked with Tom and learned so much from him, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the unequivocal sincerity, commitment, and positive contributions that Tom brought to our organisation. I know he will be missed by many people at Bechtel.”

A funeral service is taking place in the US today and a memorial service will be held in the New Year. He leaves behind wife Terri and their daughter Megan.

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