Central Trains marketing chief

Central Trains has revived its marketing director position after three years and appointed David Watkins to the post.

He joins from bus company Travel-West Midlands, a sister division of Birmingham-based Central Trains. Both are owned by the National Express Group.

Watkins’ appointment follows the return of Nick Brown to the managing director’s position at Central Trains. Brown left the train operator in 1998 to run the National Express bus division and then took an interim managing director role at ScotRail, before returning in July.

A spokesman says that the company was unlikely to review its advertising arrangements. It reappointed RBH to the &£1m account in October last year.

Central Trains holds its rail operator franchise until 2004 and is negotiating a two-year extension based on increased investment in capacity. It was bailed out of financial difficulties with a &£500m subsidy by the Strategic Rail Authority in March, when the company, struggling after the Hatfield disaster, threatened to cut up to 15 per cent of its services or raise rail fares.

National Express operates 11 train franchises, including WAGN and Midland Mainline. It is also part of the consortium that operates the Eurostar Channel Tunnel rail link.

During Brown’s first tenure Clive Tilley had the role as marketing director. He moved to become commercial director of London Lines.

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