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HS2: Mark Wild named new CEO of Britain’s high-speed rail project: Mark Wild
HS2: Mark Wild named new CEO of Britain’s high-speed rail project: Mark Wild

HS2: Mark Wild named new CEO of Britain’s high-speed rail project

  • New Chief Executive will join HS2 Ltd to drive next stage of Britain’s biggest infrastructure programme
  • Mark Wild OBE arrives with an exceptional track record of complex infrastructure delivery, including successful completion of Crossrail
  • He will oversee preparations for the start of the working railway in 2029-2033 while helping to deliver value for taxpayers

Mark Wild OBE has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd to lead the completion of the high-speed railway and help realise its transformational benefits.

As one of the most respected figures in the infrastructure industry, Mark brings almost four decades-worth of experience to the role. This includes an outstanding record in the successful delivery of complex railway systems – the alignment of tracks, train, power, signalling and communications – most notably as the CEO of Crossrail.

Mark will join HS2 Ltd at a pivotal moment in the programme’s delivery, with civil engineering works along the route from London to the West Midlands reaching their peak and focus shifting to building the infrastructure to operate the railway.

This new appointment forms part of a series of reforms across the project aimed at bearing down on costs and safely delivering the scheme on time, in line with recent scope changes announced by the Government. 

Mark was selected following a rigorous recruitment process overseen by the HS2 Ltd board and led by Sir Jon Thompson, Executive Chair, with backing from Mark Harper, the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mark Harper said:

"HS2 between Euston and the West Midlands will provide faster connections for millions of passengers, grow the economy, regenerate communities and create tens of thousands of high skilled jobs across the country.

"Mark Wild brings a wealth of experience with him, including leading the successful delivery of Crossrail, and I have every confidence he will grip costs and robustly oversee this project to transform rail travel for generations.”

Sir Jon Thompson said:

“Mark joins HS2 Ltd with unrivalled experience and a track record of successful delivery, giving confidence that he will drive this hugely complex programme to completion - providing more reliable and faster services for rail users, while boosting the economies of the West Midlands and London. It is a mark of the scale and ambition of HS2 that we can attract a leader of his calibre.”

Mark’s precise start date is yet to be confirmed. His arrival follows the departure of Mark Thurston who led HS2 Ltd for six-and-a-half years up to the end of September, 2023. Sir Jon will continue in his current position as Executive Chair until Mark’s arrival, when he resumes his previous role as HS2 Ltd Chair.

Mark’s extensive experience includes key roles in the transport and utilities industries, most recently as CEO of SGN, the gas distribution network covering Scotland and the south east of England.

He was previously CEO of Crossrail for almost four years, leading the project from a crucial juncture in its construction through to successful opening. The scale of Crossrail is eclipsed only by HS2 as the largest wholly new railway in the UK. Now known as the Elizabeth Line, Crossrail has been a staggering success since its launch, clocking up more than 300 million passenger journeys since opening in May 2022.

Prior to Crossrail, Mark was Managing Director of the London Underground and was previously Chief Executive of Public Transport Victoria, the integrated transport authority based in Melbourne, Australia.

Mark Wild OBE said:

"I look forward to leading HS2 as it progresses from major construction works to its rail systems phase and beyond to the first passenger services. The scale and ambition of HS2 is phenomenal and will deliver wide-reaching benefits for the UK through more jobs, economic growth and better journeys.”

Once complete, HS2 will provide significantly faster and more reliable journeys between London and the West Midlands, with trains running to destinations further north via existing lines. It will double rail capacity between Britain’s two biggest cities and provide relief to the most congested southern section of the West Coast Main Line – creating more space for local and freight services.

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