Trenitalia c2c today announces that current Managing Director Julian Drury will retire in September after 40 years in the rail industry, and that Ben Ackroyd will be appointed as his replacement.

Ben Ackroyd 1
Pictured: Ben Ackroyd

Julian first joined the rail industry in 1980 as a British Rail graduate traffic management trainee. He has been Managing Director at c2c since 2008, and was previously MD at Gatwick Express.

Under Julian’s leadership, c2c has become firmly established as one of the UK’s most punctual train operators, setting the national records for punctuality over both a 4-week period and a full year. c2c also became the first train operator to introduce automatic compensation for delayed customers and a Smartcard system. Since Julian joined c2c, passenger numbers have grown by 50%, and the company has won a string of awards including the best train operator title at both the 2015 National Rail Awards and 2017 National Transport Awards.

Julian said: “I joined the rail industry to work in public service and I’ve never lost that very strong sense of service in everything I’ve done. I really have been privileged and thrilled to be a part of making c2c the country’s most punctual and reliable railway and it has allowed me to work with many of the very best people I have ever known. But 40 years is a significant career and in September the time really will be right to make this change. I have huge respect and affection for all my colleagues at Trenitalia and I am totally committed to helping them and all of us to play our part over the coming months in restoring the nation’s services.”    

Ben Ackroyd joins c2c from Northern, the largest train operator outside London, where he is currently Engineering Director. Ben previously worked for c2c between 2011 and 2015 as Engineering Director, after which he was Director of Midland Metro light rail system. Ben is a chartered engineer and started his railway career at train leasing company Angel Trains.

Ben, who will rejoin c2c in August to have a handover period with Julian, said: “I wish Julian all the very best as he embarks on a new chapter in his life when he retires in September. Julian draws huge admiration through an esteemed career in the rail industry. c2c is in Julian’s blood and he has led with pride and passion throughout his 12 years at the helm, so it’s a real honour to be following on from him. 

“I’m delighted to be re-joining a great team at c2c. It’s a challenging and unsettling period of time for our customers and colleagues alike, so I look forward to continue bringing the best out in the team as we help our customers return safely back to work, re-connect and adjust to new normals. Together I want us to play our vital role in helping the local economy bounce back in south Essex and east London.”

Ernesto Sicilia, Chairman and Managing Director of Trenitalia UK Ltd, said: “Julian has been a huge force for many years at c2c and is personally responsible for making dramatic improvements to the service we provide to our customers. It has been a pleasure working with him and I would like to publicly pass him my personal and Trenitalia’s appreciation for his fundamental role in supporting our entry in the UK railway market. With his ability and professionalism I know he will be hugely missed by colleagues at c2c, in the wider rail industry, and across the local community.

“Looking to the future, these are challenging times for the industry and Ben is an excellent appointment. He will help us to maintain our high standards and focus on customer service and I know that with his experience and dedication he will be a great leader for everyone at Trenitalia c2c.”