It’s fair to say that when High Speed 2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston took up his position in March 2017 there was a lot of work to be done. The company had undergone frequent senior management changes and the project was under increasing governmental scrutiny over its costs and schedule. That he looked at ease when MR interviewed him remotely is a sign that HS2 is now in a very different place, with much more confidence internally and politically that it will achieve its targets and strategic objectives.
‘In my former role as Managing Director for Europe at CH2M I knew HS2 well, and when I saw the scale of the job, I thought “Wow: this is too good an opportunity to pass up”’ says Mark. There’s a nice circularity to Mark doing what may be his last full-time senior role in charge of HS2 (he wants to be in post when the first trains are running) as he started his lengthy career as an apprentice on London Underground: ‘Finishing a career building a railway has a nice synergy about it’ he adds.