Mark Wild expected to oversee completion of high speed route between London and Birmingham

Mark Wild has been appointed as the new chief executive of HS2 Ltd. The former Crossrail chief is now expected to oversee the completion of the truncated high-speed rail project.  


Source: HS2

Mark Wild’s starting date has yet to be announced

Wild’s appointment, with a start date yet to be confirmed, follows the departure of Mark Thurston, who led HS2 for six-and-a-half years up to the end of September, 2023. 

Wild said: “I look forward to leading HS2 as it progresses from major construction works to its rail systems phase and beyond to the first passenger services.”

He is currently the chief executive of the UK gas distribution company SGN and was previously the managing director of London Underground. He was also the former chief executive of the statutory authority Public Transport Victoria, which manages the public transport network of Victoria in Australia. 

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “Mark Wild brings a wealth of experience with him, including leading the successful delivery of Crossrail, and I have every confidence he will grip costs and robustly oversee this project to transform rail travel for generations.”

Jon Thompson, the executive chair at HS2 said: “Mark joins HS2 Ltd with unrivalled experience and a track record of successful delivery, giving confidence that he will drive this hugely complex programme to completion - providing more reliable and faster services for rail users, while boosting the economies of the West Midlands and London.”

Wild’s appointment was widely predicted earlier this month.

The confirmation of his role comes after the railway’s design director Kay Hughes announced she was stepping down last month.

The team she has been in charge of had moved onto working on phase 2 of the scheme but last autumn this was ditched by prime minister Rishi Sunak becasue of affordability issues.

Hughes’ focus on HS2 has been on urban design and the integration of new infrastructure.

She is the latest high-profile departure from the job in recent months which has also seen chief commercial officer Ruth Todd and communications director Aileen Thompson go at the end of last year.

Last month, a Balfour Beatty Vinci team was given approval to start building two viaducts which would bring the HS2 railway into Birmingham. The tunnel boring machines needed to start tunnelling work from Old Oak Common station to the mothballed Euston station are also expected to be delivered to the UK in the near future.