Heathrow Southern Railway Limited appoints new Chief Executive and two Board Directors as political and public interest in project grows

Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) – the independent venture set up to transform the rail network serving Britain’s busiest airport – is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Livock as its Chief Executive along with Crawford Burden and Russell Jackson as Non-Executive Directors.

Mark Livock, Chief Executive

Mark Livock succeeds Chris Stokes who has served as Chief Executive since 2019 and will continue to offer his experience and counsel to the HSRL Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Mark Livock’s extensive railway career hitherto embraces management of rail franchises and project delivery.  Many of his roles have involved building strong cross-industry relationships between the public and private sectors, working successfully with Ministers, senior civil servants and directors of train operating companies as well as suppliers including Network Rail.

Highlights have included serving as Principal Programme Client on behalf of the UK Department for Transport (DfT) for the Transpennine Route Upgrade between 2016 and 2019, as DfT Head of Programme Assurance in the Crossrail Joint Sponsor Team between 2008 and 2010 and as a franchise manager for both the DfT and the Strategic Rail Authority between 2004 and 2008.

Since 2020, Mark Livock has been a senior consultant with rail-focused public affairs and media relations company Cogitamus Limited, supporting client projects across England and Wales including providing strategic advice to Transport for the North.

Crawford Burden and Russell Jackson, Non-Executive Directors

Crawford Burden and Russell Jackson have been nominated to the HSRL Board by global infrastructure consulting firm AECOM which has been an investor in the company since 2017.

Crawford Burden is AECOM’s Managing Director of Global Aviation for Europe and India with over 20 years’ experience across the transportation sector working with market leading technical experts to win, plan, design, build and manage top-tier airport projects around the world.

Throughout his career, Crawford has advised owners, buyers and sellers of transport infrastructure on their potential investment and improvement strategies, understanding the value and importance of building strong and trusted relationships across stakeholders – and of collaboration – to ensuring better outcomes.

Russell Jackson is AECOM’s Global Transit Director.  He is a highly qualified civil engineer with experience in business management, major project design management and multi-disciplinary engineering of infrastructure projects.

A visiting Fellow at Bath University in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Russell Jackson also contributes lectures on Management and Leadership for the Birmingham University Centre for Railway Research and Education.

In addition, he is a Board member of SLC Rail Ltd – a UK SME enabling and delivering third party rail projects through a step change in capital cost and programme industry norms.


HSRL Chair, Baroness Jo Valentine, said:

“The recovery of civil aviation after the Covid-19 pandemic and the pressing need to reduce the impact of atmospheric emissions from both air travel and surface access to airports means creation of a southern rail link to Heathrow is back on the agenda.  Our engagement with politicians, public bodies, the aviation industry and other stakeholders confirms their desire to see greatly enhanced rail travel opportunities to and from Heathrow for airline passengers and aviation workers.  The new appointments HSRL has made to its leadership team build on the achievements of our previous office holders, showing that we are ready to get on with mobilising for the delivery of this privately-financed project and its significant public benefits.” 


For further information visit www.heathrowrail.com or contact Mark Walker on 01733 767244 or 07742 925753.

Notes for editors:

  1. The UK Department for Transport conducted a market sounding exercise with potential private sector promoters of a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow (SRLtH) during 2018. In June 2023, Transport Minister Baroness Vere told the House of Lords that the UK Government “remains committed to improving rail access to Heathrow airport and our ambition is that any Southern Access to Heathrow scheme is funded and delivered by the private sector.  Proposals need to be developed in a way that does not require government funding and secures significant benefits.  We continue to discuss options and engage with the promoters as they work to resolve these outstanding issues.”
  2. In August 2023, Mayor Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly he welcomes “the useful role that a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow could play in supporting a shift to sustainable modes, while transforming access to Heathrow Airport for passengers and staff from South London, Surrey and Hampshire. I am aware that a number of factors coming together in recent months have increased the prospects of a scheme moving forward.  The Greater London Authority and Transport for London maintain regular dialogue with a broad range of interested stakeholders as we look to resolve the issues which have obstructed progress to date, while ensuring that any scheme meets the needs of Londoners and does not impact the reliable operation of the railway network.”
  3. HSRL intends to create fast, easy and relaxing rail access to Heathrow Airport by building 8 miles of rail infrastructure from the west end of the existing Terminal 5 station, enabling trains to run from Woking, Guildford and Basingstoke to Heathrow Airport and on to Old Oak Common (for HS2) and London Paddington (for the Elizabeth Line).
  4. Heathrow Southern Railway will also enable electric trains to operate between Heathrow Airport and London’s Waterloo terminus via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Staines and other intermediate stations. Waterloo East and Clapham Junction will make Heathrow accessible from Kent and Sussex with just one change of train.
  5. The best rail journey times projected by HSRL are 16 minutes from Woking to Heathrow, 26 minutes from Guildford to Heathrow and 6 minutes from Staines upon Thames to Heathrow.
  6. HSRL forecasts that the new railway will remove 86 million car kilometres from the road network each year, will be used by 33,000 passengers per day and could be open by 2032.