London and Continental Railways head will take over as chief executive on 1 April

Rob Holden has been confirmed as the chief executive of Crossrail. The current head of London and Continental Railways will take over Europe's biggest construction project on 1 April. Holden made his name building the successful High Speed 1 line linking the Channel Tunnel to London St Pancras.

When Holden takes over, current executive chairman and Hong Kong Airport supremo, Douglas Oakervee, will become non-executive chairman until Terry Morgan, currently Tube Lines chief, takes over later in the year.

Douglas Oakervee said: “Rob Holden's appointment is good news for Crossrail and a further significant step for the project.”

Rob Holden said he was looking forward to working on the “massive” project: “When it opens in 2017 Crossrail will provide an additional 10% to London's rail-based public transport capacity. I am very excited to be joining the project. I am looking forward to working firstly with Doug and then Terry and all the Crossrail team in delivering this world-class railway.”

Crossrail also announced further appointments to the project's senior executive team. Valerie Todd has joined Crossrail from TfL as talent and resources director, Lesley Calladine joins from Serco and takes up her position of health and safety director on 23 February, David Allen will join Crossrail from Laing O'Rourke on 2 March as finance director.