Head of Trans Pennine Route Upgrade

About Northern:


Northern Trains plays a vital role in the north of England by connecting millions of people to work, leisure, education and more every week. Last year, Northern customers took over 100 million journeys, making it one of the UK’s largest rail operators. The Northern network stretches right across the UK, from Carlisle to Lincoln, from Chester to Newcastle. Over 6,000 people work for Northern, providing over 18,000 rail services every week.


About the role:


We are looking to recruit a Head of TransPennine Route Upgrade to report to Northern’s Strategic Development Director. In this role you will lead and co-ordinate all Northern’s business activities and interfaces with the development and delivery of the £5bn route upgrade project.

You will work as part of a joint industry programme team promoting a “one railway” joined up industry approach to deliver the programme outputs and best serve the needs of passengers and freight users.


You will act as Northern’s principal point of contact for all programme related activity and provide the strategic oversight of the programme and its outputs.  You will ensure that all programme impacts to the Northern business are fully understood and mitigated where possible.   Working cross functionally, leading the engagement with the wider Northern business so that teams across Northern understand the upgrade programme and can play their part in the successful realisation of the programme outcomes.


Successful delivery of this programme will be achieved through industry partnership and you will be responsible for developing stakeholder partnerships in a collaborative manner that supports Northern in the delivery of an exceptional service for our customers throughout the programme.


Key Responsibilities


• Lead Northern’s input into the TRU Programme, including Digital Railway


• Working with Strategic Development Director to develop and agree the strategic approach in relations to timetables and service delivery outputs and associated planning activity


• Deliver commitments in relation to TRU Programme as defined in the RfP and contractually as part of the Programme Agreement


• Lead and develop business change programme to ensure the business is equipped to deal with the changes linked to implementation of ETCS


• Align all work streams to ensure any benefits to Northern are realised


• Working across organisational boundaries ensuring interdependencies between all elements of the programme are visible and effectively managed


• Lead the development of all formal industry consultation responses associated with the TRU Programme


• Lead the Northern team responding to the RfP as issued by DfT.  Establish a programme plan to ensure the business meets critical deadlines


• Minimise the disruption of TRU on the customer

• Seek to reduce industry costs by looking for efficiencies within the Programme


• Lead the interface with external stakeholders in relation to all TRU activity


• Develop and implement a robust communications strategy for TRU to ensure business wide visibility of the programme


• Lead the engagement with internal stakeholders to ensure input into programme as and when necessary


• Ensure continued engagement with Programme Team through industry governance processes, ensuring any all proposals are compatible with Northern’s proposals and business objectives


• Provide regular programme updates through the reporting structure and to Director Group


• Ensure reporting requirements to DfT and RNP are met


• Lead the development of the internal and external communications plan in relation to TRU.  Work with internal departments to ensure key business messaging is cascaded effectively and in a timely manner


About you:


To be successful in the role you will have


• Educated to degree level or equivalent


• Good knowledge of Prince 2 and managing successful programmes


• Senior Management Experience in UK Rail sector


• Understanding of the wider interdependencies of engineering aspects of the operational railway


• Understanding of the implications of strategic access planning to the operation of the rail network


• Extensive programme management experience acquired through professional training


• A proven track record of success in planning evaluating and delivering transformation programmes with several interdependent projects


• Clear understanding of programme management techniques, such as risk assessment, status reports, schedule forecasting, budgeting


• Experience as a senior manager working cross functionally/cross organisationally with people at executive and management levels



In return, you’ll discover brilliant opportunities to grow and progress within Northern. Not to mention amazing perks and benefits like free or discounted travel, employee assistance, generous policies, regular pay reviews and a great pension. We look forward to receiving your application.