Member News

Porterbrook appoints its first Chief Operating Officer

29 October 2021 | Porterbrook

Porterbrook, the rolling stock owner and asset manager, today announced the appointment of Ben Ackroyd (pictured right) as the company’s first Chief Operating Officer.

This Board level role will see Ben take strategic responsibility for all operational aspects of the business. Porterbrook owns a quarter of Britain's passenger trains, is expanding its railfreight portfolio and has recently taken over the 135 acre test-track and innovation centre at Long Marston in Warwickshire.

Ben will join Porterbrook in Spring 2022 from Trenitalia C2C Limited, where he is currently Managing Director. He brings a wealth of train operating and service delivery experience to his new position as COO, acquired over 20 years in engineering and general management roles across the industry.

Mary Grant, Porterbrook CEO, said: “I am delighted that Ben has agreed to join us. The Williams Shapps Plan for Rail and the creation of Great British Railways provide a unique opportunity for Porterbrook to build on its reputation for collaboration, innovation and customer focus. Ben's first-hand experience of senior operational roles will ensure that we continue supporting our passenger, freight and infrastructure customers; whilst swiftly responding to their emerging needs." 

Ben Ackroyd, COO designate, said: “I am very excited to be joining Porterbrook at a key time for our industry. All of us need to evolve to embrace the opportunities that will be created by the formation of GBR. I look forward to working with Mary and her Executive Team to ensure that Porterbrook remains absolutely focused on supporting our customers and the operating railway."

Notes to Editors

Media Contacts

Porterbrook Leasing
Rupert Brennan Brown, Director of Stakeholder Engagement Rupert@porterbrook.co.uk or +44 (0)7973 950 923

Financial or corporate PR enquiries can also be directed to:

Portland Communications

Simon Evans, Partner - Simon.Evans@Portland-Communications.com 

Richard Brooks, Consultant - Richard.Brooks@Portland-Communications.com or +44 (0)7740 858477

About Porterbrook
• Porterbrook owns almost a quarter of the national passenger rail fleet and currently has around 4,000 vehicles on lease or on order. To date we have invested £3bn in new passenger and freight vehicles and are actively looking to invest a further £1bn in UK rail over the coming years
• Engineering excellence is central to our role as a leading railway asset owner and manager. Porterbrook is a delivery partner, supporting improved industry performance and reliability across operations. Our 30 to 35-year whole life asset management approach optimises value to passengers & taxpayers and aims to minimise environmental impact
• We have an established reputation for delivering new technologies, such as battery, hybrid and hydrogen powered trains. These innovations support the government’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050 ambitions, improve air quality, reduce emissions, and enhance network resilience
• In 2020 we introduced HydroFLEX, the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train, in partnership with the University of Birmingham. This innovative train will be showcased at Glasgow in November during COP26
• In collaboration with our industry partners, we project manage the delivery of regular upgrades to our rolling stock fleets. Each year we invest over £150m in our existing assets, supporting nearly 100 UK-based companies and supporting c.7,000 jobs
• Porterbrook employs over 180 people, of which three quarters are engineers and project managers. In addition, 32% of Porterbrook’s workforce is female including a number of our executive team which compares favourably to the UK rail industry average of 16%
• In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of Utilities Trust of Australia (“UTA”), The Infrastructure Fund (“TIF”) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund (“RBS”) 

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