TRANSPORT SECRETARY Chris Grayling has launched a rail review dubbed ‘the most significant since privatisation’.

The review will be led by independent chair Keith Williams, former British Airways Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, supported by an external panel. The review is to develop an evidence base using the Department for Transport’s Strategic Vision for Rail and lessons from recent developments such as the establishment of LNER as East Coast operator and the Glaister inquiry into the May 2018 timetable change. Mr Williams will direct its work through a new, dedicated team within government. He will be supported by an Expert Challenge Panel comprising:

■ Western Route Supervisory Board Chair and former Irish Rail CEO Dick Fearn;

■ Former Transport Minister and Glasgow South MP Tom Harris;

■ Wales Route Supervisory Board Chair and Non-Executive of the Development Bank of Wales Margaret Llewellyn;

■ Chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Roger Marsh;

■ Transport for London board member and the former Chair of Scope Dr Alice Maynard; and

■ DfT non-executive board member and East Coast Partnership Chair Tony Poulter.

The review’s final report will be a government White Paper, which will be published in autumn 2019, setting out the Government’s intention for reforms of the rail sector, ahead of the reforms themselves beginning in 2020.

More on the Williams review in ‘Informed Sources’ –

New look: 16 October was the first public outing for Virgin Trains’ reliveried Class 221 Super Voyager No 221101 101 Squadron. The 09.30 Central Rivers depot to Chester empty stock working (in which No 221101 was in company with No 221108) is seen at Wichnor Junction, south of Burton-on-Trent. John Whitehouse