The man charged with overseeing a £1 billion investment into the West Midlands rail network has been appointed.
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, who studied physics at University of Birmingham, has been named the first managing director of new joint venture West Midlands Trains.
The operator will take over the West Midlands franchise from incumbent London Midland on December 10 after winning the race for the nine-year tender in August.
The franchise encompasses a range of services including the Cross City line between Redditch and Lichfield via Birmingham New Street which carries thousands of people across the city every day.
The network, which has been operated by London Midland since 2007, also serves routes out of London to the West Midlands and north from Birmingham to Stafford, Crewe and Liverpool.
The tender award came with a planned £1 billion investment into the franchise including £680 million on 107 new trains, £70 million on depots and £60 million on station improvements.
West Midlands Trains is a joint venture led by Dutch group Abellio with minority partners East Japan Railway Company and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.
Mr Chaudhry-van der Velde has been managing director since 2015 of the Merseyrail franchise in Liverpool and surrounding areas which Abellio runs in a joint venture with Serco.
Prior to joining Merseyrail, he spent three years as Abellio UK's deputy managing director during which time he played a critical role in securing the ScotRail franchise.
His other work experience includes roles with South West Trains, Southern and Thameslink, having joined the sector in 1989 as a British Rail general management trainee.
Mr Chaudhry-Van der Velde said: "It's a real honour to take on this role at such an exciting time for the West Midlands.
"The near £1 billion of investment going onto the network over the coming years will deliver significant improvements to our customers' journeys.
"Performance and customer satisfaction levels at Merseyrail were best in class during my time there and I'm looking forward to delivering similar improvements at West Midlands Trains."
A further announcement about the rest of the executive team for West Midlands Trains will be made before the franchise starts.
Patrick Verwer, the outgoing managing director of London Midland, will move on after six years at the helm of the business.
He made this decision before the announcement of the franchise award.