Meet our Directors

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Our Directors

John Smith

John Smith

Managing Director

John Smith founded GB Railfreight in 1999 and is the company’s Managing Director. He has worked in the rail industry for 42 years. In 1977, John joined British Rail, managing rolling stock maintenance at various locations, including York, Longsight, Bounds Ground, Willesden and Wembley, before eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director at operator Anglia Railways. He decided to set up GB Railfreight in 1999 in order to undertake more open access work on our rail system. John graduated from Loughborough University in 1982 as a mechanical engineer. He is currently a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Karl Goulding-Davis

Karl Goulding-Davis

Finance Director

Karl Goulding-Davis joined GB Railfreight in 2002 having moved into the shipping industry from KPMG in 1994 when he took a management accountancy role at  Norwegian-owned company, Fred. Olsen Limited operating in various business operations including cruise ships, travel agents, oil rigs and freight forwarders.

In 1998 Karl joined Anglia Railways taking a treasury role and later moving into a senior financial role. Karl assisted in the in the start up of two new business within the group, GB Railfreight Ltd and Hull Trains Services Ltd.

In 2002 Karl took the role of Head of Finance at GB Railfreight Ltd. Karl secured funds for major investments in new and used locomotives and was appointed as Finance Director in 2014. He has been instrumental in overseeing the changes in ownership from GB Railways to First Group plc, then the acquisition by Eurotunnel in 2010, followed by the acquisition by EQT in 2016 and finally the acquisition in 2019 by the current shareholder Infracapital.

Lee Armstrong

Lee Armstrong

Commercial Director

Lee joined British Railways in 1986 as a trainee train driver, then on to driving freight and passenger train in and around London.

In 2001 he moved to EWS’s Doncaster office in the staff resources team. After a few years he became an Operations Manager in Scunthorpe, then onto the Regional Manager responsible for Saltley, Immingham and Rotherham.

In 2006 he moved into commercial as the Business Manager for EWS Construction, his customers being Mendip Rail, Tarmac, Days Aggregates, Brett’s and West London Waste.

Lee joined GBRf in 2013 enjoying several roles including the Programme Manager for ERTMS, GBRf lead on CP5 track access negotiations, negotiator and Implementation Manager for the Caledonian Sleepers, Business Manager Aggregates and Rail services.

He took a sabbatical in 2016 and travelled for a year, returning to the Commercial Director Role in 2017.

Bob Tiller

Bob Tiller

Engineering Director

Starting as an Apprentice on British Rail Western Region in 1976 Bob has over 42 years experience of locomotives and rolling stock. Has undertaken many roles in a variety of capacities including Depot Production Manager, Fleet Engineer, Fleet Project Manager, Head of Engineering. Projects have included the re-engineering of Locomotives classes 47, 73 and Full HST refurbishment with new power units, passenger and freight stock. Introduction of new class 66, new build wagons and recently brand new to UK on track machines. Bob has authored various published books on the industry and is involved within the wider circles of railway heritage.

Working with many leading industry companies and people Bob brings a wealth of experience to GB Railfreight.

Ian Langton

Ian Langton

Production Director

Ian is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of GBRf’s services, as well as the leadership of those carrying out this work. Ian joined GBRf in April 2012 and has over 27 years’ experience in the rail freight sector. Prior to joining GBRf he spent 22 years working with DB Schenker and its various predecessors, EWS, Transrail, and British Rail. In the final two years of this period he was Operations Manager at DB Schenker Netherlands.

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