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Thameslink boss leaves Network Rail to programme manage Crossrail

Network Rail today announced that Andrew Mitchell, programme director for its £5.5bn congestion-busting Thameslink Programme, is leaving to join Crossrail as programme director for the £15.9bn scheme.

As Crossrail’s programme director Mitchell will be responsible for ensuring that programme partner Transcend and project delivery partner Bechtel deliver the scheme on time and on budget.

Mitchell will also deputise for chief executive Rob Holden when required and will serve as one of three executive directors on the Crossrail Board.

He will take over from Graham Plant, who has served as interim programme director and will remain with the project until Mitchell joins later in the year.

Mitchell said: “I am very excited to be joining Crossrail. It is a huge undertaking which will bring enormous benefits for London, the South East and the whole of the UK. When it opens in 2017 Crossrail will provide an additional 10 per cent to London’s rail-based public transport capacity. I am looking forward to working with the Crossrail team and its partners to deliver this world class railway.”

Holden added: “Crossrail is building momentum and Andrew Mitchell’s appointment is a further significant step forward for Crossrail following the start of construction at Canary Wharf last week. I am delighted he will lead the co-ordination of our partners in delivering Crossrail as we move into the critical construction and delivery phase of the project. I would also like to thank Graham Plant for his role to-date in successfully securing the appointment of Crossrail’s Programme Partner and Project Delivery Partner as well as the Design Framework Agreements.”

Mitchell leaves as Network Rail completes its planning and preparatory work for the Thameslink Programme and moves towards major construction at locations like Blackfriars, London Farringdon and around London Bridge.

Network Rail infrastructure investment director Simon Kirby commented: “I would like to wish Andy well in his new position and thank him for his contribution to Network Rail’s success in recent years.”

Mitchell will continue to lead Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme until a successor is appointed. Network Rail is currently discussing with Crossrail Limited the arrangements for a smooth transition.

Kirby concluded: “This announcement is good news for Network Rail’s long term relationships across London. I look forward to working with partners in the capital as we complete a massive investment programme over the next few years, including £2.3bn towards the delivery of Crossrail.”

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