Portrait of Chris Swan, head of rail at Tarmac and chair of the Rail Freight Group

Tarmac head of rail completes fifty days as chair of Rail Freight Group

Image: RFG

One of rail freight’s most active supporters, representing one of the sector’s biggest customers, has completed his first seven weeks in post as the chair of the industry representative body, the Rail Freight Group. Chris Swan, Head of Rail at Tarmac, is now fifty days into his elected position as chair for the coming year. With a long career in rail logistics, Chris is a leading expert in the sector and a well-respected voice in furthering the case for rail. In his substantive role at Tarmac, he has grown the specialist aggregates company and its relationship with the rail freight industry to new heights and frequently represents the industry’s interests.

A frequent contributor to RailFreight.com, Chris Swan, the head of rail at Tarmac, is a widely welcomed new chair at the Rail Freight Group. He has taken up the post as part of a wide-ranging elective shake-up at the London headquartered body, which speaks for the interests of the sector in the UK. The RFG has appointed several new board members alongside Chris Swan, representing a wide range of collaborators in the industry.

Uncertainty in the wider economy

Already well-known in the industry, Chris Swan is unlikely to require a profile lift from his new position.“Realising the opportunities for rail freight is something I’m hugely passionate about”, he said. “I’m very much looking forward to working with Maggie [Simpson, chief executive] and the great RFG team to continue promoting the many benefits of our sector to industry and the country at large.”

Portrait of Marie Hill in her DB Cargo hard hat
Marie Hill of DB Cargo UK has also joined the RFG board (DBCUK)

Highlighting the advantages of rail freight against a backdrop of uncertainty in the wider economy is part of Swan’s self-imposed remit at Tarmac and the RFG. “As well as a climate emergency, we must work together to advocate for the shift to rail and highlight the pivotal role that rail freight can play at the forefront of sustainable transport delivery”, he said.

Continuing to lobby governments

Joining Chris Swan on the board is his new vice chair, Geoff Lippitt, who combines that position with his duties as PD Port’s Chief Commercial Officer. “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed after joining the Board back in 2020”, he said. “The industry is still working through the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We now also face a new realm of difficulties due to the cost of living crisis and rising inflation. More so than ever before, sustainability has become a central focus in our lives, both personally and professionally, and businesses are actively pursuing cleaner and greener ways to operate.”

The new board is on a mission to amplify the RFG promotion of the rail freight sector, particularly whilst continuing to lobby the UK and devolved governments for improvements to the national network. “I look forward to working alongside our members to drive this agenda forward,” Geoff Lippitt added.

RFG has also elected three new Board members. They are Marie Hill, the Chief Transformation and Digitalisation Officer at operators DB Cargo UK; Mark Hooper, who is the UK Business Development Manager for port operators DP World in Southampton; and Richard Hastings, the Head of Logistics for Nestlé UK & Ireland.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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