The Guardian newspaper reports today that FGW has appointed a new "over-arching" manager, Andrew Haines, while managing director Alison Forster focuses temporarily on the company's high-speed train services. I'm not sure what this means in terms of my forthcoming interview with a senior manager, but I will give the company a call on Monday and find out.
In the meantime, what do we know about Mr Haines? Here are five interesting things I found on the internet (I won't say "facts" as they are not double-sourced and I don't want to find myself being accused of "sexing-up" the blog):
- he's from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales (but we won't hold that against him, ha ha, only joking)
- he once had a holiday job in the lost luggage office at Victoria, and joined British Rail as a graduate in 1985 (a lifetime of trains!)
- according to one transport correspondent, he once shed four stone in as many months (clearly has some serious self-control)
- in an address to a the International Rail Operators Young Professionals in 2006, he reportedly told his audience that plans often fail because people look too much to the future and that instead, you should “Live in the world you are in” (sage advice indeed)
- finally, and best of all, Mr Haines agreed to sit down and listen to the concerns of commuters in an interview in 2004, when he was managing director of South West Trains (hurrah, there is hope for us!)
Andrew Haines is also himself a commuter. I like him already, now let's see what he can do.