David Brown named as successor

Chris Burchell

Arriva has announced that Chris Burchell, managing director of the group’s UK rail division, will leave his role in October to join energy supplier SSE where he will take on the role of managing director of distribution.

He will be succeeded on an interim basis by David Brown, the former managing director of Northern Rail. In recent months he has acted as Arriva’s group communications director since the Northern franchise passed into state control.

Burchell joined Arriva in August 2014 from Go-Ahead Group where he was latterly managing director of train operator Southern. Prior to that move, he was operations director of Thames Trains between 2002 and 2006.

He was appointed chairman of the railway industry’s cross-industry National Task Force in 2010 and has been chair of the Rail Delivery Group since 2017.

Commenting on Burchell’s departure, an Arriva spokesperson said: “During the past six years, Chris has been instrumental in successfully leading the UK Trains division having secured some important contract wins, including the London Overground contract, and presided over significant increases in passenger satisfaction scores and strong punctuality performance, including at Grand Central, Chiltern and CrossCountry.

“Chris has always been passionate about the rail industry and, in his capacity as chair of the Rail Delivery Group, has pushed for rail reform to ensure the railway works better for everyone.

“We thank Chris for his six years of dedicated service to Arriva and wish him the best of luck in his new role.”

His successor, David Brown, has 25 years’ experience in the sector and will take on Burchell’s role on an interim basis.

Arriva says Brown has held prominent leadership roles in the industry, including as chief executive at Transport for the North, chief executive at Merseytravel, and more recently as MD Northern Rail and then as Arriva’s group communications director.

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