Alex Hynes appointed Director General for rail services

Alex Hynes has been appointed as Director General for rail services

The Department for Transport (DfT) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Hynes as Director General, Rail Services.

Alex will play a crucial role as the government drives forward with its plans to reform the railways so they deliver better outcomes for passengers by uniting the oversight of track and train while leveraging private sector innovation and expertise under Great British Railways (GBR).

Alex, who will begin a 2-year secondment from Network Rail in April 2024, has led Scotland’s Railway, overseeing Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail, since 2017. Prior to that role, following an extensive career in the industry, he served as Managing Director of Northern when it was in the private sector, delivering their best ever customer satisfaction scores and record levels of employee engagement.

With a draft Rail Reform Bill published, Pay As You Go being expanded, simpler fares trialled and rail freight growth target confirmed, DfT is continuing to adapt its structures to support the delivery of rail services for customers and continue progressing our rail reform plan while ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.

As Alex joins DfT, Interim Director General Anit Chandarana will return to Network Rail as planned following the conclusion of his secondment.

DfT Permanent Secretary, Bernadette Kelly, said:

"Bringing a wealth of experience to this role, Alex is uniquely equipped to lead our plan to help deliver better outcomes for passengers in the years ahead, working in close partnership with industry.

"I would like to thank Anit for his contribution during his time at DfT, where he has been a hugely collaborative colleague and we look forward to continuing to work with him on his return to Network Rail."

Incoming Director General, Rail Services, Alex Hynes, said:

"Our railways play a vital role connecting people right across the country. I look forward to working closely with DfT colleagues to help industry deliver the services that passengers rightly expect, while laying the track for a simpler, more effective rail system."

The Rail Infrastructure and Services Group will bring together most of the existing Passenger Services directorate and Rail Infrastructure Group – helping reflect wider plans to bring the oversight of track and train together under GBR, and coming as part of a wider reorganisation in DfT to ensure agility and focus on the challenges facing transport today. 

A new Major Rail Projects Group will bring together the existing High Speed Rail Group and Northern Powerhouse Rail, while rail strategy, policy and reform will join with wider public transport work (including buses and devolution) in a new Public Transport and Local Group. Elsewhere, work on roads, motoring and road freight – as well as road transport decarbonisation and active travel – will be brought together in a new Road Transport Group.

From: Department for Transport