Balfour appoints new head of major projects on HS2 route

Balfour Beatty has promoted its project director at Old Oak Common station to oversee all major projects on the HS2 route.

Nigel Russell is currently in charge of the Old Oak Common station project for BBVS, a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra.

But in January, he will take up the role of HS2 major projects chief executive, replacing incumbent Michael Dyke, who is leaving Balfour Beatty to take up a new role in Saudi Arabia.

A statement from Balfour Beatty said: “Nigel will be responsible for Balfour Beatty’s HS2 interests and will lead the delivery of Balfour Beatty Vinci’s HS2 Area North contracts, including any future package of works along this route, as well as the HS2 Old Oak Common station project.

“Nigel will report directly into Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s group chief executive.”

Russell joined the firm in 1981 as a graduate engineer on the M25 motorway scheme and has led transport and rail projects including the M1/A1 Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO) contract, the London Underground public private partnership, the West Coast Mainline upgrade and the M25 Connect Plus DBFO.

He moved to the Old Oak Common station project in west London in 2019 after serving as project director on Crossrail’s Whitechapel Station build, which was delivered by Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and Vinci Construction (BBMV).

Dyke rejoined Balfour Beatty in 2020 to lead the firm’s HS2 interests, 18 years after finishing an eight-year spell at the firm as senior commercial manager for major projects.

The flagship HS2 rail scheme will end in Birmingham after prime minister Rishi Sunak announced in October that he was scrapping the route to Manchester.

Uncertainty remains about how the proposed route from Old Oak Common to Euston will be paid for and delivered.

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