Long train run­ning

Howard Collins the Syd­ney Trains CEO has ded­i­cated his life to mak­ing pub­lic trans­port an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

Business First - - CONTENTS -

Howard Collins has a long and dis­tin­guished ca­reer in the pub­lic trans­port industry. He spent 35 years with Lon­don Trans­port and can see the par­al­lels be­tween Lon­don and Syd­ney, as he sets about chang­ing the for­tunes of Syd­ney Trains, much like he did with England’s Lon­don Un­der­ground sys­tem.

“What I saw over that 35-year pe­riod in Lon­don, I feel we are al­most reliving the same ex­pe­ri­ence here in Syd­ney,” Collins says. “In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Lon­don Trans­port was a run­down or­gan­i­sa­tion do­ing every­thing from mak­ing meat pies to stair­cases as well as run­ning buses and trains. It had 60,000 em­ploy­ees and was very much an op­er­a­tional busi­ness rather than cus­tomer fo­cused. But in the time I was there, we went from 2.5 mil­lion users on the Tube ev­ery day to al­most 4.25 mil­lion and the trans­for­ma­tion from a grotty a air to some­thing peo­ple are proud to use is fan­tas­tic.

“I came to Syd­ney prob­a­bly at a time when the old rail sys­tem was thought to be a pretty run­down a air and we’re now see­ing the trans­for­ma­tion of the place.”

Collins says there is a great amount of fo­cused in­vest­ment be­ing poured into Syd­ney Trains be­cause peo­ple re­alise, as they did in Lon­don, that pub­lic trans­port is re­ally the only way for­ward for grow­ing global ci­ties.

“Lon­don changed from be­ing a 9 to 5 sort of place to be­ing a 24 hour global city. It is one of the best ci­ties in the world and through bet­ter trans­port, Syd­ney will build on its rep­u­ta­tion as well.”

Collins is in a great po­si­tion to turn Syd­ney Trains around. He has worked in ev­ery job imag­in­able on the rail net­work from sweep­ing plat­forms to driv­ing trains and sell­ing tick­ets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.