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Stephen Barber, President

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Stephen Barber was inaugurated as President of the Permanent Way Institution (PWI) at the Institution’s AGM on 6th July 2018.  He is Head of Permanent Way Engineering for Transport for London, having been with the company since 2010. 

Stephen is a career railwayman, joining British Rail from school in 1974.  An early career spent working on a variety of civil engineering projects and in track design, track maintenance, and track renewal jobs in Scotland, the Bristol area, and Northwest England culminated in a move to BR’s London Headquarters where, from 1990, he worked on board policy and business strategy, particularly related to freight operations and regional railways.  

Stephen’s eventful working life has included direction of privatisation of BR’s infrastructure engineering activities; direction of Safety and Engineering at contractor First Engineering (later Babcock Rail), where he strengthened company and industry work management and engineering assurance activities in response to events at Hatfield in 2000; and from 2004 leading the FirstSwietelsky engineering team which commissioned, tested, and moved into production Network Rail’s second generation of high output track renewal equipment.  His current role at Transport for London continues to provide a stimulating flow of technical and managerial challenges. 

Stephen is a Fellow of the PWI, and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.  He is committed to the development of the PWI, and particularly to its role in harnessing railway systems engineering knowledge from industry and the academic world, and spreading that understanding widely through the Institution’s membership. 

E-mail: president@thepwi.org