Very busy and exciting week coming up!
On Wednesday I am meeting the senior management from Alstom and their apprentices who are on a 6 months exchange visit. I hope that soon our apprentices can experience a working exchange to understand the work techniques on modern trains and railway equipment.
Later that same day I am meeting Officers from Bury Council to discuss the progress we are making with construction of a new station at Burrs Country Park. I hope to be able to make a positive announcement soon on this exciting development.
Again on the same day I have an introductory meeting with one of our local authority partners, the Leader and Chief Executive of Rochdale Council to discuss regeneration initiatives at Heywood Station and expansion of the line out to Castleton.
On Thursday, I have another introductory meeting with, one of our local authority partners, the Leader and Chief Executive of Rossendale Council to discuss regeneration and tourism initiatives at Rawtenstall Station and the construction of a new canopy (following a public funding campaign).
Later that same day I am attending my first ELR Trust Board meeting where the Councillors and officers from our three local authority partners meet to discuss various regeneration projects across the railway and ongoing maintenance challenges to keep the infrastructure such as bridges etc in good order. I will be accompanied by Board Directors Richard Law and Alex Walker.
Just to explain, the role of the ELR Trust Board is to oversee the development of the infrastructure for the whole of the railway to help regenerate key target areas and boost tourism, but also to support the development of the ELR who, as train operator, runs trains on the tracks of the ELR. What is important to say is that all three councils are very committed to seeing the ELLRCo develop and be sustainable for the future.
On Friday, I will chair my first monthly ELLRCo Board meeting at which we discuss a range of financial and operational issues that Directors have asked to be on the agenda. Watch this space for updates from the meeting.
And finally, on Saturday I am hosting the first of two consultation meetings with heads of departments to set out my vision for the ELR and a number of proposed changes at Board and Operational Level. More information will be published soon as part of the consultation which runs until April.