Rail depot maintenance firm MTMS has appointed Matt Forst to the post of managing director to lead its ambitious growth plans and preparations for the Great British Railways era.
Matt, who has worked his way up through the ranks after joining as a maintenance technician, takes over the MD role from Malcolm Prentice, who has become MTMS’s group chairman.
MTMS, based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, currently services and maintains rolling stock and rail depot specialist equipment and carries out routine infrastructure tasks at more than one third of rail depots across the UK, serving such familiar names in mainline rail as First MTR South-Western Railway, Govia ThamesLink Railway, Hitachi Rail Europe, Arriva and Siemens.
Over the past 12 months it has invested heavily in new IT and telecommunications systems, tripled its workforce to 30 and picked up a host of new accreditations, including Constructionline Gold and Cyber Essentials, as well as moved to a new purpose-built headquarters.
It is now seeking to recruit more engineers in order to become the market leader in depot maintenance for train operators, ahead of the implementation of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, which will see Network Rail replaced by Great British Railways and the replacement of franchises with Passenger Service Contracts.
The changes, which will come into effect next year, will see the industry move towards a more customer-centric approach and will herald vast changes in the way the industry is operated.
Matt’s appointment is key to MTMS’s preparations for this because he brings skills and experience from other industry sectors, having started out as an electrical apprentice in Burton before becoming a site management technician working in a wide range of organisations, from schools to distilleries, and working on a variety of systems, from high voltage cables to pneumatics.
During that time, he has built up particular expertise in process and control and was headhunted by Malcolm Prentice in 2015 as the MTMS venture was taking shape.
Matt said: “I am proud and honoured to have been appointed managing director of MTMS ahead of what is set to be an important time for the company and the rail industry as a whole.
“We work with some of the biggest names in the industry and we take really seriously our responsibility to ensure that trains are smart, clean, reliable and give the customer everything the expect of a 21st Century product.
“We have worked extremely hard over the past to put the building blocks in place at MTMS to ensure that have everything we need to continue to provide this level of service in order so that we can position ourselves as the market leader.”
Malcolm said: “As the original maintenance manager at MTMS and its operations director throughout 2020, Matt has been a pivotal figure in the development of the business.
“In the post-pandemic world and ahead of significant changes to the industry, railways need to be prepared to do things differently and in a more customer-centric way.
“This means there is a refreshing openness to thinking from outside the railways and Matt brings fresh insights and different perspectives to the industry that will enable MTMS to bring this quality to supporting train operators.”
Last year MTMS was awarded the Silver Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and is shortly set to become a patron member of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on MTMS visit https://www.mtms.co.uk/
Lead photo: From left, Malcolm Prentice, chairman of rail depot maintenance firm MTMS, Elaine Clark, chief executive of the Rail Forum Midlands, and Matt Forst, managing director of MTMS.