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The Non-Executive Directors

Andy_cooperAndrew Cooper

Andrew graduated from Cambridge University and joined British Rail in 1980. After taking up operational roles, in 1986 he joined the InterCity sector team on Great Western and then as Business Planning Manager at Headquarters. He helped guide InterCity through privatisation and since 1991 has held the most senior posts at Anglia Railway, Gatwick Express, Great Western, Central Trains and CrossCountry.

As a departure from the ‘main line’, he was Managing Director of Metronet BCV for the first two years of the ill-fated London Underground PPP before teaming up with Arriva in 2005 to lead the successful bid for CrossCountry, which he subsequently mobilised and has led as Managing Director since 2007.

Andrew is also a Director of Grand Central and a Fellow and non-Executive Director of the Permanent Way Institution. He is Chairman of the System Safety Risk Group.

I am hoping that my experiences in the rail industry and work with rail engineers over a long period equip me to help guide the PWI, giving it a strong role in the industry in the years ahead.



John_DuttonJohn Dutton

John graduated from Trent University in 1983 and after a short period of work with Local Authority, he joined the Rail Division in Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners in 1989 to work on the Channel Tunnel Railway Link. In 1992 John joined the London Underground Track Replacement Project where he worked for a period of five years after which John moved into Business Operations within Gibb as the Deputy MD of Gibb Rail. 

In 2001 John, along with Andy Collinson set up a Railway Consultancy Business, CDL, and grew this to an international business, with work across the globe. In 2011 CDL was acquired by GHD, and John became the UK Director and moved business through a period of business acquisitions. In 2016 John joined Steer, as a Director in their UK Advisory Business. Since 2001, John has worked as the Interim Head of Surface Access for Heathrow as well as on other major projects including Crossrail and the Wales and Borders Grant Agreement.

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Fellow of the PWI, ICE, CIHT, IoD and the APM as well as being a Chartered Director, I enjoy developing strategies and then working hard to deliver the required outcomes through clearly defined and developed steps to ensure successful outcomes.

As a Non-Executive Director of the PWI, I am hoping to utilise my broad business-based experience within the railway sector to provide guidance, support and challenge to the Board and Executive as the PWI continues on its journey of growth and development.



Michelle Nolan McSweeney

Michelle started her railway career as a British Rail Youth Training Scheme trainee in August 1986, and has remained in the rail industry ever since.  Her significant experience within the sector, including as Head of Corporate Assurance and Accident Investigation, Head of Training Strategy, and as the Programme Director for Putting Passengers First in the Wales & Western Region, has resulted in a number of opportunities to share her enthusiasm for all things ‘people’ related. She has been the Chair of the Transport & Logistics Panel for the Institute for Apprenticeships, and supported a number of training and education boards in colleges and universities related to rail engineering programmes.

I have joined the PWI as a Non-Executive Director as I believe my safety and training related experience, along with my PhD research in human factors, will help the institution continue to develop and grow. I was the lead for developing the rail engineering apprenticeship standards across 6 different levels, including working with the PWI on these, and I feel I will bring the necessary people development skills, guidance and challenge to the PWI Board to make sure they continue to help professionalise individual and corporate members.

andy_tappernAndy Tappern

Andy joined British Rail as a Finance Management Trainee in 1986 and undertook a number of roles whilst studying for his accounting qualifications which he successfully completed in 1990. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In 1993 Andy became Project Accountant for the Heathrow Express project an exciting role supporting the delivery of this key project. This role developed his enthusiasm for major projects and he has since worked with many delivery teams in Railtrack and Network Rail to provide finance leadership on direction on the Major Signalling projects, Thameslink Programme and currently Great Western Electrification and Crossrail (Network Rail works).

I have joined the PWI to use my projects finance knowledge and experience so as to help the institute continue to develop and grow. I will provide technical finance guidance and challenge to the PWI Board to make sure they deliver value for money to the individual and corporate members. I will use my Network Rail knowledge and contacts to make sure the PWI is kept informed of the latest issues and developments in the rail industry. I look forward to working with all in the PWI.