Track, structures, asset management
Mark Phillips gained his degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University. He joined British Rail’s Southern Region as a civil engineering graduate trainee in 1974, and obtained early site experience on sea wall construction near Folkestone and on several small bridge reconstructions.
Thereafter, his various roles in a career spanning 36 years took him to all parts of the national railway network, London Underground and, finally, to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, where he was Head of Track & Civil Engineering.
His favourite role was as Area Civil Engineer for the Southwest of England, a post he held for 10 years. As such, he was responsible for the maintenance of all civil engineering infrastructure which included the track and all the bridges, tunnels, viaducts, retaining walls, earthworks, sea defences, stations and train maintenance depots. A particular challenge was managing, consulting and negotiating with a large direct workforce during the transition into privatisation whilst fulfilling normal operations.
After privatisation, having joined Amey Rail, Mark became part of the team bidding for additional infrastructure maintenance area contracts, which took him into the development of mathematical modelling of the relationship between maintenance costs and asset age.
Later, working for the Tube Lines consortium, his experience in asset management developed further, analysing and optimising whole-life-cycle costs for all assets, including lifts, escalators, electrical and telecommunication systems, signalling and structures as well as track.