Rob Holden appointed to firm running the channel tunnel rail link he built

Crossrail chief executive Rob Holden has been appointed chair of the new firm running the channel tunnel rail link, HS1.

Holden announced he was to step down from the role of Crossrail chief executive in January, and is known to be looking to secure a number of non-executive roles before his final departure on July 10.

Prior to Crossrail, Holden led the construction of the channel rail link itself as chief executive of London and Continental Railways. Crossrail is yet to announce his replacement, although the most recent chief executive of LCR, Mark Bayley, is thought to be in the running, along with Holden’s current number two, Andy Mitchell.

The government sold the concession to operate High Speed One in November last year to a consortium owned by two Canadian pension funds, Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Nicola Shaw has been appointed chief executive, and managing director Paul Chapman will leave the business.

Holden said: “I thank Paul for the terrific job he has done to transform High Speed 1 from one of Britain’s largest construction projects to a business that has already built up an enviable operational record with over 16 million passenger journeys per year. I am very pleased to be involved with the company again.”

The announcement follows a shake-up at LCR after the sale of HS1. Bayley left the organisation last month, to be replaced by the former development director, David Joy. Lorraine Baldry has been appointed chair, to replace Sir David Cooksey. The changes have been made to refocus the business around the development of its property holdings in Kings Cross and Stratford.