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Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.25.35Tyne and Wear Metro has appointed a new Operations Director to lead on service delivery and performance.

Chris Carson joins DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which operates the Metro on behalf of Nexus, with more than 20 years’ experience in the rail industry.

The 44-year-old’s career history has seen him occupy management roles for both rail infrastructure and operating companies. His most recent role was Head of Business Change at Virgin Trains.

Chris said: “I’m really pleased to join the Metro team and am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to make a positive change. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m confident that together we can continue to provide the best possible service to our customers.”

As Operations Director, Chris is responsible for Metro’s day-to-day operations, train performance and long term service and delivery planning. A key focus within his new role going forward will be driving improvement in Metro train performance and ways to enhance employee and customer engagement.

He added: “I understand how important it is to communicate with customers when things don’t go to plan. It is our responsibility to engage with customers during times of disruption to make sure we give them alternative travel choices, preferably before they even leave home or work to travel with us.

“It’s also vitally important for us to continually strive to improve the service we deliver, both in terms of keeping customers informed and in train performance. These things are underpinned by good planning and organisation and this will be a main priority for me.”

Chris, who lives in Cleadon, South Tyneside, started his working life in the Army, which saw him stationed in Germany, Kenya and Northern Ireland. He left the Army at 21 and, after a brief period working in the shipyards on the Tyne, he took his first job in the rail industry as a signaller based at Monkwearmouth Signal Box.

Since then he has worked for a variety of firms including British Rail, Railtrack, Network Rail, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, East Coast Trains and, most recently, Virgin Trains.

His previous roles have seen him based across the country but his new position with DB Regio allows him to be based in his native North East putting his rail expertise to use on the fastest growing light rail operator outside London.

Chris said: “I felt it was the right time for a change and the role of Operations Director at Tyne and Wear Metro provided the ideal opportunity to make that step. I’m from the local area, I live in the local area, I’ve been working on the railways for over 23 years and I want to do the best I can with the experience I have so it seemed like a really good fit.”

Sharon Kelly, Managing Director of DB Regio Tyne and Wear, said: “Chris has a lot of experience within the rail industry making him a fantastic addition to the Metro team. He will play an important role in driving forward our improvement plans for service delivery and performance during the year ahead.”

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