Portrait of Tim Shoveller, the new CEO of Freightliner UK and Europe, in front of a station sign on the platform at Birmingham New Street

Coup for Freightliner as parent company appoints Tim Shoveller

Portrait of Tim Shoveller, the new CEO of Freightliner UK and Europe, in front of a station sign on the platform at Birmingham New Streetimage Network Rail media centre

It is considered a surprise move for the rail freight industry. Genesee and Wyoming, the American headquartered parent company of Freightliner, will soon appoint Tim Shoveller as chief executive officer of its UK/Europe operations. The move comes as something of a star signing, stealing Tim Shoveller away from a career on the passenger side of the industry. Latterly, Shoveller has been on the board of Network Rail, the government overseen infrastructure agency for Great Britain, and deeply involved in negotiating with the unions over the current disputes. 

The experienced manager will take charge of European operations, which includes Freightliner, the general freight operator not shy to describe itself as the UK’s leading provider of rail freight rail, terminal and trucking services. The group also includes Pentalver, their UK-based container logistics provider.

In mainland Europe, Shoveller will take charge of operations at Freightliner Poland, which has rail freight interests in both Poland and Germany. He will also have oversight of Rotterdam Rail Feeding, a provider of shunting and rail feeder services in the Netherlands. Shoveller is expected to join the company in late summer 2023.

European fixtures are a lure

One – nil to rail freight. Tempting Tim Shoveller away from the board at Network Rail is decidedly up there with any of the top signings of the summer transfer window. It’s probably appropriate that he’ll be pulling on the famous gold and black of Freightliner in time for the new season. Of course, Shoveller wasn’t signed for his footballing abilities, and, given the state of industrial relations in the other side of the industry, it wouldn’t be prudent to compare him to any star striker.

Three quarter ground level view of a class 66 locomotive in Freightliner gold and black livery
Less passengers, more cargo. Tim Shoveller takes the helm at Freightliner. He’s not actually driving this train (Image Freightliner)

The new CEO of Freightliner will find life different in the highly competitive world of rail freight. Nevertheless, it was perhaps the lure of European fixtures that helped tempt the star manager away from the domestic infrastructure agency, and encourage him not to head back into the league of the passenger operations sector. It is, without doubt, a major catch for the company and the sector.

Passenger experience valuable to freight

Prior to his post at Network Rail, Shoveller was most recently the Managing Director of Stagecoach Rail, with responsibility for that group’s rail businesses. He has led the development of a working alliance between operators and the infrastructure agency to collaborate on a radical capacity enhancement, to leverage more room for peak hours services at South West Trains, where the service pattern is heavily skewed by commuter traffic in the London market. That experience could be valuable in the freight sector, where Britain’s crowded railway paths are always at a premium. 

In the interim, Becky Lumlock will continue to act as chief executive for Genesee and Wyoming UK and Europe operations. Lumlock was appointed from the UK-based operating partner and asset management company Brookfield Infrastructure. Jack Hellmann will also have a hand in running of the business. He acts as chairman of the company’s UK and Europe operations. Hellmann also just happens to be the Genesee and Wyoming global CEO.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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Coup for Freightliner as parent company appoints Tim Shoveller | RailFreight.com
Portrait of Tim Shoveller, the new CEO of Freightliner UK and Europe, in front of a station sign on the platform at Birmingham New Street

Coup for Freightliner as parent company appoints Tim Shoveller

Portrait of Tim Shoveller, the new CEO of Freightliner UK and Europe, in front of a station sign on the platform at Birmingham New Streetimage Network Rail media centre

It is considered a surprise move for the rail freight industry. Genesee and Wyoming, the American headquartered parent company of Freightliner, will soon appoint Tim Shoveller as chief executive officer of its UK/Europe operations. The move comes as something of a star signing, stealing Tim Shoveller away from a career on the passenger side of the industry. Latterly, Shoveller has been on the board of Network Rail, the government overseen infrastructure agency for Great Britain, and deeply involved in negotiating with the unions over the current disputes. 

The experienced manager will take charge of European operations, which includes Freightliner, the general freight operator not shy to describe itself as the UK’s leading provider of rail freight rail, terminal and trucking services. The group also includes Pentalver, their UK-based container logistics provider.

In mainland Europe, Shoveller will take charge of operations at Freightliner Poland, which has rail freight interests in both Poland and Germany. He will also have oversight of Rotterdam Rail Feeding, a provider of shunting and rail feeder services in the Netherlands. Shoveller is expected to join the company in late summer 2023.

European fixtures are a lure

One – nil to rail freight. Tempting Tim Shoveller away from the board at Network Rail is decidedly up there with any of the top signings of the summer transfer window. It’s probably appropriate that he’ll be pulling on the famous gold and black of Freightliner in time for the new season. Of course, Shoveller wasn’t signed for his footballing abilities, and, given the state of industrial relations in the other side of the industry, it wouldn’t be prudent to compare him to any star striker.

Three quarter ground level view of a class 66 locomotive in Freightliner gold and black livery
Less passengers, more cargo. Tim Shoveller takes the helm at Freightliner. He’s not actually driving this train (Image Freightliner)

The new CEO of Freightliner will find life different in the highly competitive world of rail freight. Nevertheless, it was perhaps the lure of European fixtures that helped tempt the star manager away from the domestic infrastructure agency, and encourage him not to head back into the league of the passenger operations sector. It is, without doubt, a major catch for the company and the sector.

Passenger experience valuable to freight

Prior to his post at Network Rail, Shoveller was most recently the Managing Director of Stagecoach Rail, with responsibility for that group’s rail businesses. He has led the development of a working alliance between operators and the infrastructure agency to collaborate on a radical capacity enhancement, to leverage more room for peak hours services at South West Trains, where the service pattern is heavily skewed by commuter traffic in the London market. That experience could be valuable in the freight sector, where Britain’s crowded railway paths are always at a premium. 

In the interim, Becky Lumlock will continue to act as chief executive for Genesee and Wyoming UK and Europe operations. Lumlock was appointed from the UK-based operating partner and asset management company Brookfield Infrastructure. Jack Hellmann will also have a hand in running of the business. He acts as chairman of the company’s UK and Europe operations. Hellmann also just happens to be the Genesee and Wyoming global CEO.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.