Michael Holden has extensive experience in managing railways and railway projects within the UK and Europe. He started his early career with British Rail as a Traffic Student in 1978, progressing through a variety of local management roles in different regions to become Divisional Operations Manager for the South West Division of Network South East. In 1994 he joined the newly created Railtrack as Production Manager for the South West Zone, subsequently becoming Zone Director for East Anglia and finally Regional Director Southern, transferring to Network Rail in 2002.
In 2003 he was appointed Managing Director of Connex South Eastern, one of the UK’s largest and most complex train companies, and immediately found himself negotiating the transition from that franchise into a period of state ownership. He created South Eastern Trains and ran it successfully for a lengthy period until it was re-franchised in April 2006. During this time significant improvements were made in operational and financial performance, as well as in customer satisfaction, and new fleets of trains were successfully introduced into service in difficult circumstances.
In 2006 he set up his own railway management consultancy service, Coledale Consulting, and has continued to run this. He specialises in providing strategic advice to clients on commercial and operational matters, and leading bid teams for franchise and concession competitions. His work has taken him to Scandinavia, Spain and Ireland as well as in the UK.
Michael is a non-executive director of East Coast Main Line Company, the current operator of the Inter City East Coast franchise, and is also a non-executive director of the holding company, Directly Operated Railways.
Michael is married with three children and lives in Woking, Surrey. He is a trustee of Railway Children, the voice for streetchildren worldwide. He is also Chairman of Railway Children Trading Ltd and Railway Children Ball Ltd. In what is left of his spare time he is a qualified judge/starter for the Amateur Swimming Association, Technical Organiser for Woking Swimming Club, and Treasurer of Pinewood Gymnastics Club. He is currently Chairman of Woking 41 Club.
Michael holds a degree in Business Studies from Portsmouth and is a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Operators.
Michael’s BTPA membership came to an end on 30 June 2013.