Already a long-standing member, Eddie has represented Direct Rail Services, an influential supporter of the group, for many years, and his personal interest and passion for community rail is said to have helped the partnership explore many new ideas and opportunities.
Eddie’s career with the railway spans over 30 years, having started out as a guard on passenger and freight trains. He then became a train driver, a job he said he “loved dearly” for over 20 years. Recently, his role within Direct Rail Services has evolved from projects planner to business development manager, and Community Rail Cumbria said his “incredible array of experience, business acumen, and desire to help people” were ideal attributes to enable the partnership to continue to grow and flourish.
Eddie said: “I’m a passionate Cumbrian who loves the whole of our glorious county, from its industrial heritage to the cutting edge as UK leader in all things nuclear. Cumbrians and visitors alike deserve a modern, reliable railway to be proud of, and a railway that brings friends and communities together. I’ll be building on the fantastic work already achieved by our wonderful community rail team and am really looking forward to being part of the CRP’s future.”
Dawn McGough, community rail manager at Community Rail Cumbria, said: “We are really excited by this appointment, and the community rail team is looking forward to working with Eddie to drive new projects and community involvement along the line from Carlisle to Barrow. Our former chair, Laurence Hilland, greatly influenced the current success of the partnership and is a hard act to follow, but we believe Eddie is the right person for the job. His extensive knowledge of both the railway industry and our communities puts him in an excellent position to lead the partnership forward.”
Tim Owen, chair of the Furness Line and Lakes Line Community Rail Partnerships, said: “I am delighted that Eddie is taking on the role of steering the Cumbrian Coast Line CRP through the next phase of its important work. Community rail and its network of partners can make so much difference to the success of a line such as the Cumbrian Coast, and Eddie has all the necessary experience and enthusiasm to maximise the line’s potential. I very much look forward to working with Eddie in the future.”
Carolyn Watson, Northern’s director of stakeholder and community engagement, added: “We’re proud supporters of community rail and the Cumbrian Coast Line CRP, and our congratulations go to Eddie on his appointment. He’s been an integral member of the partnership to date, helping it build broader community links, and as chair, Eddie will no doubt help it go from strength to strength. We look forward to continuing to work with him and the team.”