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Executive team

Meet our team

Mark Hopwood – Managing Director

Mark is the Managing Director of Great Western Railway.

Starting his career at Reading station in 1989 he worked for British Rail, Railtrack and several train operators including Thames Trains, First North Western, c2c, Silverlink, Gatwick Express and WAGN.

Mark was appointed Managing Director at First Great Western in 2008. He steered the business through substantial changes like introduction of the new electric trains and the delivery of the December 2019 timetable which added frequency and reduced journey times on most GW routes.

He was asked to step across to sister business, South Western Railway, in 2020 to address serious performance, partnership and contractual issues and returned as Managing Director of GWR in January 2021 having addressed the key SWR issues.

Mark has worked in UK Rail for thirty two years and has experience at the front line and in more strategic roles. He has chaired the UK rail industry National Task Force and sits on the Rail Delivery Group Planning and Production Board.

He was awarded a CBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Fellow of Institute of Railway Operators. Mark holds other honorary posts within the heritage and mainline railway community.

Richard Rowland – Customer Service and Operations Director

Richard joined us in 2015, having held various roles in FirstGroup since 2005.

Richard leads the Driver, Guards and On-board Customer Host teams and also plays an important role in our partnership with Network Rail; making sure our customers' journeys are disrupted as little as possible when works on the line take place.

Ruth Busby – HR Director

Ruth has worked in a number of senior HR roles in the civil service and higher education.

She has extensive knowledge of diversity and inclusion, leading organisational change, employee relations, policy and employee reward.

Ruth’s key priorities at GWR will be to continue to put people at the heart of our cultural change within our transformation, maintaining relationships with the Trade Unions and shaping our strategy as we look ahead to the future.

Joe Graham – Business Assurance Director

Joe joined us in 2011 from the BBC, bringing with him over 20 years of business management and compliance experience.

He is responsible for our compliance, security, business planning, sustainability, corporate responsibility and environmental matters.

Joe also manages our relationship with the DfT and ORR as well as taking the lead on Corporate Responsibility including Environmental matters.

Duncan Rimmer – Finance Director

Duncan joined GWR in June 2019 and brings a wealth of cross-industry railway experience to the role.

Originally joining British Rail as a graduate in 1993, he has held various roles in FirstGroup, Chiltern Railways and Network Rail.

Amanda Burns – Sales & Marketing Director

Amanda returned to GWR in January 2023. She has over twenty years commercial experience in the travel and tourism industry, including Visit Jersey, Tourism Ireland, bmi British Midland, Star Alliance and BAA Airports.

Passionate about marketing challenger brands in a competitive environment, her focus is to shape, define and execute the commercial sales and marketing strategy. leading the team to focus on driving volume, optimising revenue performance and building customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Daryn McCombe – Train Service Delivery and Performance Director

Daryn joined us in 2015, having held various roles in Transport for London and London Underground.

Daryn leads the Control and Performance function and is the executive sponsor for GWR's delivery of the Heathrow Express operation.

Daryn’s key priority is continuous Train service Performance Improvement working jointly with Network Rail and other key stakeholders so our customer's journeys are disrupted as little as possible.

Simon Green – Engineering Director

Simon joined us in 2018 having undertaken a number of roles, both inside and outside the rail industry, latterly at GTR.

He is responsible for the supply and maintenance of the GWR fleet of trains, including the management of GWR’s maintenance depots and train service provision contracts.

Chris Maxwell – Director of Safety and Environment

Chris joined GWR in 2022 as Director of Safety and Environment, bringing over 20 years of experience gained in the pharmaceutical, defence and aviation industries. He is a chartered safety and health practitioner and holds a PhD in Chemistry from Oxford.

Chris and his team lead GWR’s safety and sustainability programs, ensuring we meet our legal commitments, safeguard our colleagues and customers, and continually improve our environmental performance and sustainability credentials.