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Virgin appoints bid director to lead new franchise team

Press Release   •   Apr 27, 2006 23:00 BST

Virgin Trains has appointed David Lowrie as Bid Director, Virgin Rail Group to lead its new franchise bid team, initially in the bidding process for the re-mapped and re-tendered Cross Country franchise.

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Mr Lowrie comes to his new post with seven years’ rail industry experience, principally as Finance Director of the Wales and West, Cardiff Railway Company, Wales and Borders and Wessex franchises. As a key member of the management team which improved the operating and financial performance of these businesses, he worked closely with future members of the Virgin Trains senior team.

Mr Lowrie qualified with City of London-based KPMG and spent the early part of his career with Powell Duffryn plc and Colgate Palmolive before joining Prism Rail plc as Group Financial Controller in 1997.

In 1999 he became Finance Director of Wales and West Passenger Trains, Cardiff Railway Company and At-Seat Catering Ltd. and helped lead these businesses to the top of the national performance league tables. He renegotiated their franchise terms and created the Wales and Borders and Wessex franchises through a series of reorganisations and acquisitions, working with Chris Gibb and Charles Belcher, later appointed Managing Directors, Virgin CrossCountry and Virgin West Coast respectively.

Mr Lowrie then re-financed Milk Link, the UK’s third largest integrated dairy business before returning to the rail industry as Bid Director, Virgin Trains. Married with two sons, he lives in the Cotswolds.

Virgin Trains Group Finance Director Linda Bell said: ”We are very excited by David’s arrival and the opportunity to bid for the new Cross Country franchise. We look forward to working with him and wish him every success in his new role.”

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