Bill Ford to retire as Managing Director of Great Central Railway

Train on Great Central Railway

Over the past forty years the GCR team led for much of that time by Bill Ford have steered the Great Central Railway through some difficult and challenging times and the railway today is unrecognisable from the organisation which Bill inherited. It is a wonderful testament to all of our friends and supporters that the railway is, at last, in a position to progress both the project to install the Bridge over the Midland Mainline as well as a new National Railway Museum at the GCR’s Leicester North station.

Over the past two years discussion has focused on how to strengthen the Board of Directors to ensure that we have a greater level of experience at this critical time of expansion of the railway, and we have recently appointed four new non-executive directors and a new Chief Executive Officer to the Board.

For some time Bill has recognised the impact of running the railway has had on his health, and that as a youthful 78 year old a slight reduction in workload may be a good idea. Bill has therefore chosen to retire as Managing Director at the end of September 2016. The Board will continue to benefit from Bill’s skills and experience as Bill will oversee the many special projects which Bill wants to see completed as Director-Special Projects.

Speaking about his time at the GCR, Bill Ford said:

“I am proud to have been at the GCR for so many years during which time we have seen the GCR grow into one of the finest heritage railways in the UK. The re-erection of the bridge over the main line has been an ambition for over twenty years and I am delighted that it has finally been secured and the money raised on my watch. I am also very proud that the GCR has been awarded the largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant in Leicestershire’s history to build a new museum: the bridge and the museum will help to bring further success to the GCR”

Commenting on Bill’s new challenge, Michael Gregory, GCR President, said:

“There is no doubt in the minds of all the GCR staff and volunteers that without Bill’s energies and efforts the GCR would not be here today, let alone as strong, efficient and successful as it is. All at the GCR owe a huge debt to Bill. I look forward to working more closely with him to see these special projects which we have talked about for too longbecome successful additions to the GCR’s facilities.”