Senior executives across the UK rail sector have paid tribute to long-time industry leader Adrian Shooter CBE

UK: Senior executives across the UK rail sector have paid tribute to long-time industry leader Adrian Shooter CBE, who died on December 13 at the age of 74. He had been increasingly affected by motor neurone disease in recent years.

Shooter joined British Rail in 1970 as an Engineering Management Trainee, and held a wide variety of roles in both engineering and management. He led the MBO team which won the Chiltern Railways franchise at privatisation, and served as Chairman & Managing Director of the business from 1994 to 2011. He was a non-executive board member of the Railway Safety & Standards Board, and Chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies.

Following his retirement from Chiltern, Shooter became the founder and Chairman of Vivarail Ltd, promoting the development of low-cost battery and diesel hybrid trainsets. He also served as Chairman of SLC Rail and a Vice-President of the pro-rail lobby group Railfuture.

His career of more than 50 years had been marked by the unveiling of a statue at London’s Marylebone station on August 30 and the naming of Chiltern Railways’ pioneering diesel multiple-unit 168 001, as ‘Adrian Shooter CBE’.

Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines’ said Shooter was ‘a big guy in every respect’, who would be ‘much missed’.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said he was ‘greatly saddened’ by the news. ‘Adrian showed many what leadership really meant and his vision and entrepreneurship stands in contrast to what many of us see today. He truly leaves a legacy of great projects which would simply never have happened without his drive and determination.’

Toby Rackliff from the West Midlands Rail Executive commented that Shooter was ‘a great railwayman, involved in everything from maintenance engineering to parcels traffic, heritage railways, open access operations and, more recently, the innovative Vivarail conversion of former London Underground trains’.

Acknowledging his ’enduring professional legacy’, Rail Partners said ‘many of our team and members knew and worked with Adrian, and their careers were enriched by his passionate advocacy for the role of the operator in delivering for the railway and its customers’.