Network Rail’s North West & Central (NW&C) region today confirmed its three route directors in a move to bring railway decision-making closer to passengers.

The three route directors are:

  • Phil James – North West route, covering Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria
  • Dave Penney – Central route, covering the West Midlands and Chilterns. Dave is currently MD of Chiltern Railways. He is set to join Network Rail early in 2020. Until then David Golding will be acting Central route director.
  • James Dean – West Coast Mainline South route, covering the main line south of Crewe to London Euston

This is a key milestone in Network Rail’s devolution journey. Splitting existing railway geography into more manageable route areas, which begin operating today, will enable greater local focus and attention to detail as the company re-focuses to put passengers first. 

Phil said: “This change enables us to align more closely with the customers and communities we serve, bringing greater commercial and operational focus in the North West.”

James said: “My vision is for us to be a high-performing business – one that puts passengers and communities at the forefront of all of our daily decisions and endeavours.”

David Golding said: “Our job is to provide a consistently reliable service, day in, day out, for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who rely on us across the West Midlands and Chiltern areas.”

Dave Penney said: “I look forward to joining Network Rail in the new year and bringing the same customer focus I currently apply at Chiltern to the new Central route.”

Tim Shoveller, managing director for NW&C, added: “Under this new structure we and our train company partners are ‘one team’ focused on one goal: reliably delivering the timetable, which is our key promise to the passengers and freight customers we serve.”

More details on the new routes in the North West & Central region can be found at

For more information on Network Rail’s new regional structure, visit