The role of IRO Chair has transitioned from Alex Hynes, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, to Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Crossrail, Transport for London.
Alex, who is currently the Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance – a partnership between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland – joined the IRO Board in January 2013 and served two terms of three years, the most permitted by the IRO Members’ Agreement. Since taking over as Chair in November 2016, Alex has presided over a period of great growth in IRO including:
• Membership growing from 5,500 to 8,000.
• The commencement of the petition to the Privy Council to recognise IRO with a Royal Charter.
• The launch of several new levels of learning programme from level 3 Apprenticeships to a Masters programme.
• Increased engagement with members through higher attendance learning events and online forums.
Alex resigned at the IRO Board meeting on 26 February 2019 saying: “I have been proud to have led IRO through an important period of growth. The Board I leave behind is a true reflection of the diverse talent working in rail and I have no doubt they will continue in their dedication to guiding and supporting the profession of Operations to continued standards of excellence. I look forward to working in support of that.”
The incoming Chair, Howard Smith, himself a Fellow of the IRO, has served on the Board since September 2017. Howard said: “The Board and team of IRO would like to thank Alex for his time with IRO. With such an engaged, professional membership and knowledge network, I am confident that IRO is well positioned to meet the existing and emerging needs of the industry and look forward to leading continued growth during my period as Chair.”