John Alexander has been appointed as the new Operations Director of the Tyne and Wear Metro, bringing with him 30 years of experience in the rail industry, including the last ten years as manager of Northern Rail’s Heaton Depot in Newcastle. He now takes over responsibility for managing day to day services on the network, starting off with the aged fleet of Metrocars before the new Stadler built trains start to be introduced from 2023.
John began his career as an apprentice engineer aged 16 in 1991 at a train depot in Gateshead for British Rail and went on to have a full-time career in the rail industry initially in engineering roles before moving into leadership roles at Northern Rail.
John said: ““I’m absolutely delighted to become the new operations director for the Tyne and Wear Metro. This is the fresh challenge that I was looking for. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to test myself working for such an iconic mass transport network. I’ve got a fantastic new team who are extremely knowledgeable and have a great deal of pride in the services that they deliver every day. I want to bring a disciplined approach to the role, and also let people develop so that I can get the best out of them. The most critical resource is the people that we have working for us. I am making a move from rail engineering into the operations side of things. That is the challenge I was looking for and the skills are transferrable given that the two disciplines are so closely connected. I am really proud to take this on with the Tyne and Wear Metro. I can remember I was five years old when the Metro first opened and since then it has become embedded in the communities that it serves. The challenge is to make Metro great again. There is a realisation that we can make it better for the customers and I want to be a part of that. It is an exciting time to join Nexus, with new trains and a new depot on the way over the next few years, and I see myself being part of this new chapter for many years to come.”