BWB targets expansion as Network Rail design lead joins its team

Andy Passmore, left, BWB’s main board director for transport & infrastructure, with Jonathan Wright, the former Network Rail design lead who will head BWB’s new Rail Design Group.

BWB, the multi-disciplinary consultancy acquired last year by Spanish rolling stock giant CAF, has revealed plans to significantly expand its presence in the rail infrastructure market.

The company has set up its own Rail Design Group, which will be spearheaded by former Network Rail design lead, Jonathan Wright, who arrives at BWB from Network Rail’s own internal buildings and civil engineering design group and is expected to drive significant expansion of BWB’s capabilities as its existing rail operations develop into an end-to-end service provider.

His appointment coincides with CAF appointing BWB to assist with the management of gauging projects for the £1.4bn of new rolling stock the train manufacturer is introducing to the UK. At the same time, BWB has just received accreditation from the Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS), qualifying for 108 supply codes, which range from consultancy to design and software development.

Wright will report to Andy Passmore, BWB’s main board director for transport and infrastructure. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jonathan to the business,” said Passmore. “His appointment represents a significant milestone in the BWB/CAF joint strategy to expand involvement in the heavy and light rail sectors.

“BWB has been working in the industry for several years, providing civil and structural services on rail renewal projects and strategic rail freight interchanges, as well as involvement in tram systems, light rail research programme and the promotion of a new national rail freight route.

“With the recent announcement of £48bn for Network Rail’s Control Period 6 and nationally significant rail schemes such as HS2 progressing well, we think our investment in a BWB Rail Group comes at the right moment. The Government’s aspiration for market-led rail schemes and combined track/train franchises suggests it is a great time for a company like BWB to focus on the rail consultancy market.” 

A design engineer whose career includes spells with Faber Maunsell and AECOM, Wright has worked at Network Rail for the past nine years, most recently as Head of Design. “I’ve been hugely impressed by the energy, culture and work ethic of the team and leading the rail design group is a massive opportunity that has come at the right time for me,” Wright said. “CAF and BWB bring real pedigree to the table and I’m going to be cultivating my extensive rail industry experience to make sure we explore its full potential.”

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