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Hopwood to lead South Western Railway

Hopwood to lead South Western Railway

Mark Hopwood has been appointed to the position of managing director with South Western Railway.

With over 30 years’ experience of managing rail businesses and delivering improvements for passengers, Hopwood is confident that his plans can make a noticeable difference for passengers on South Western Railway.

He said: “It’s my mission to drive through change and make a positive impact for South Western Railway passengers.

“Frankly, our service has not been good enough in recent months and years.

“I also know that the recent strikes have had a very significant impact on our passengers and staff, and I am determined to find a resolution.”


“We will focus on changes that can make an immediate difference to the number of trains running on time.”

Last week, after a series of strikes lasting nearly a month, the RMT union pledged to continue to fight over the role of guards while “condemning the company and the government for blocking a solution”.

In addition to Hopwood joining the business, SWR has brought together performance, operations and customer experience functions under the chief operating officer, Mike Houghton.

Houghton was key to turning around performance in his last job at Melbourne Trains in Australia, and will help SWR focus on running more trains on time.

Hopwood added: “We can’t achieve all this alone. 

“Many of the problems we face are caused by the infrastructure, so I have agreed with Network Rail at the very highest levels that we will work hard together to address these issues.

“My previous experience tells me that a strong, collaborative relationship is key.

“I know that passengers don’t want to hear parts of the industry blaming each other for issues they just want to see fixed.

“So my approach is that it might not be our fault, but it is still our problem.”