East Coast Digital Programme’s Toufic Machnouk appointed to Network Rail’s Eastern region executive team to lead rail industry’s digital transformation

Toufic Machnouk has been appointed to Network Rail’s Eastern executive team as Director, Industry Partnership Digital.

Toufic was previously programme director for the flagship East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), responsible for establishing the first major intercity digital programme on the UK rail network.

ECDP has successfully created a new industry and commercial partnership model that has brought operators, government and suppliers together. This partnership lays the foundation for creating the ‘next generation railway’ by utilising digital train control technology to create a safer, more capable, higher performing and better skilled railway which will also be greener and more efficient and productive. The partnership also established a new industry change framework for major investments by integrating sponsorship, delivery and change under a unified accountability.

The new Director, Industry Partnership Digital role brings together Network Rail’s existing national digital enabling portfolio with ECDP to form an integrated industry partnership operating model, which will best support important industry milestones in the coming years. Through this new model, Eastern region will lead on the network strategy, working with other Network Rail regions and business functions, as well as with government and industry partners. The aim will be to establish new national capabilities, viable strategies and support regions and routes with their plans for the introduction of digital train control technology.

Toufic said: “This is a great opportunity to expand the learning and capabilities that we have developed on the East Coast route and build a credible and viable approach for the rail network that works for other regions and routes.

“We have an opportunity to create a lasting positive legacy for the benefit of passengers, freight users and stakeholders and I look forward to working with our partners and colleagues on bringing this to life.”

This approach will also support deeper devolution by enabling regions to lead on industry level national strategies where they are best placed to do so, allowing new capabilities to be developed from real experiences and learnings.

Toufic joined Network Rail as a graduate, starting his career in maintenance and operations. He has delivered major engineering and change projects and established strategic plans in complex environments. He delivered the operational migration of GWR’s first new multi-traction train maintenance facility, as well as several complex engineering projects for Crossrail.

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