West Somerset Railway

Director Profiles

Director: Mechanical Engineering



The Director Mechanical Engineering will be responsible to the PLC Board via the Chairman. He/she has the lead developmental and policy role on the Board for this activity. Working as one of the Directors within the new PLC structure, the individual concerned will take responsibility for supporting the Board, the General Manager, and the Chief Mechanical Engineer to develop the long-term vision for engineering functions across the West Somerset Railway. The person appointed will also work closely with the Director Owner Relationships to understand future their future rolling stock and commercial requirements such is to inform the development of the engineering strategy for the PLC.

This is a voluntary role undertaken initially in a hybrid management role and then subsequently in a non-executive capacity within the new corporate structure being designed and implemented across the PLC and is in addition to the corporate board responsibilities of a PLC Director.

  1. To lead the PLC policy work at Board level and with the management team on the development and sustainability of the mechanical engineering functions across the PLC.
  2. To work with the Chief Mechanical Engineer and others on the development of a comprehensive mechanical engineering strategy for the PLC. This will require detailed partnership work with other railway family organizations. To identify options requirements for facilities, skills and equipment and to provide the Board with options for delivery including phasing and funding proposals. This is also particularly key in regard to the emerging major projects being pursued by the PLC to improve the commercial, tourism and heritage preservation attractiveness of the railway.
  3. To examine the future role of the WSR PLC in relation to repair and restoration of rolling stock alongside the maintenance functions and to make recommendations to the Board in relation to future market environment, commercial viability, capacity and expertise/skills required.
  4. To participate in a proactive process with other Directors and the management team and establishing a formal succession plan activity for business critical and other roles around the mechanical engineering functions across the PLC.
  5. To work with the Director Owner Relationships and Chief Mechanical Engineer to develop a long-term understanding of the likely future requirements of external rolling stock owners and to prepare a commercial plan which maximizes the opportunities for the WSR to benefit from emerging opportunities including changes within the heritage preservation engineering market nationally.
  6. To understand and identify the opportunities for volunteers to develop their skills and aspirations within the mechanical engineering functions on the railway and to ensure that these are built in to the volunteer development plan.
  7. To establish effective links at Director or equivalent level with the HRA and other railways to facilitate the sharing and availability of scarce engineering expertise and knowledge.
  8. To work with the Chief Mechanical Engineer on the development of longer term cost effective solutions to all elements of the mechanical engineering function including materials, equipment, and facilities. To review and establish appropriate quality standards across the mechanical engineering functions in conjunction with the current PLC review of quality and safety.
  9. To work with the Chief Mechanical Engineer on the development of a realistic and affordable rolling stock strategy. To liaise with the Director Heritage and Preservation on the implications for the parallel acquisitions and disposables plan.
  10. To be the policy lead for advice to the Board on regulation and compliance in relation to mechanical engineering functions working closely with the Chief Mechanical Engineer particularly relation to rolling stock and engineering safety.
  11. To support the Chief Mechanical Engineer in the development and maintenance of common sets of standards for mechanical engineering management, including condition monitoring, inspection and assessment and to provide assurance to the Board that these are being applied. These include policies and procedures as appropriate covering not only mechanical engineering activities but also areas such as emission control, use of fuels and non-disposable materials, waste disposal [including hazardous materials], noise management, and abatement.

As a member of the Board, the Director Mechanical Engineering will be expected to fulfil the statutory duties of a PLC Director which include:

  1. To ensure that WSR PLC complies with its governing document, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  2. To ensure that WSR PLC pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  3. To ensure WSR PLC uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects: the company must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects or corporate plan, no matter how worthwhile those activities are.
  4. To contribute actively to the Board's role in giving firm strategic direction to WSR PLC, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets. To safeguard the good name and values of WSR PLC.
  5. To ensure the effective and efficient administration of WSR PLC.
  6. To ensure the financial stability of WSR PLC.
  7. To protect and manage the property of the company and to ensure the proper investment of the company's funds.
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