HS2 Announces COO As High-Speed Rail Plans Step Up A Gear

Important appointments have been made to High Speed Two (HS2) Limited’s list of staff this week, with its chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) being revealed.

On Monday 23rd July, the government reported that Richard Robinson from AECOM will take the role of COO, providing support to the project’s chief executive Mark Thurston.

In his former role, Mr Robinson was chief executive of civil infrastructure in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa and was in charge of 8,000 people.

He stated: “Working on Europe’s largest infrastructure programme is an exciting prospect and I look forward to playing my part in a project that will leave a significant legacy here in the UK.”

In addition to this appointment, Michael Bradley will take the role of the CFO, leaving his job at Defence Equipment and Support, where he has been acting chief executive officer since 2017.

He will control the finances of the project, which is thought to be costing £56 billion – 71 per cent more than what was initially budgeted (£32.7 billion).

However, according to HS2 Ltd, for every £1 that is invested in the initiative, it will result in £2.50 worth of benefits to the country’s economy, the Guardian reported.

Indeed, the government believes Britain has already witnessed advantages as a result of the high-speed railway, which is set to open in 2026.

More than 6,000 jobs have been created, while some cities that will be connected by HS2 have already seen investment ploughed into them with more hotels, homes and offices being built there.

As 345 miles of track are being built between eight out of ten of the major cities in the UK, several bearing replacements are likely to be needed on the existing lines.