The Times today carries a report that Heidi Mottram, the Managing Director of Northern Rail, will be leaving the company to take charge of Northumberland Water.
Heidi has done a fantastic job at Northern and will be greatly missed. Taking charge of a franchise widely held to be a basket case – one of the least glamourous in the whole country and saddled with the worst trains – her personal vision and enthusiasm has injected the company with regional pride and a reputation for innovation.
FOWS had the pleasure of meeting Heidi at a number of community rail events (indeed her commitment to placing the railway at the heart of the wider community is one of her most celebrated achievements). Heidi’s openness and down-to-earth attitude have won many admirers within and outside of Northern Rail.
Heidi’s success at Northern had prompted rumours that she could be “head-hunted” by one of the main-line rail franchises, but her move outside the rail industry will be a surprise to many.
We wish Heidi well in her next venture and hope Northern Rail can find a replacement who can live up to her example.