Chief Executive Officer
John Smith founded GB Railfreight in 1999 and is the company’s CEO. He has worked in the rail industry for 44 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 (MIMechE) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT).
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 start up of two new businesses within the group, GB Railfreight Limited and Hull Trains Services Ltd.
In 2002 Karl took the role of Head of Finance at GB Railfreight Limited. 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.
Liam began his career on the railways in Network Rail’s graduate management training programme before joining the Freight and National Passenger Operator (FNPO), where he held the positions of Customer Manager and Route Freight Manager.
In August 2014, he joined GBRf as Terminal Development Manager, where he was responsible for the maintenance of GBRf depots across the UK, including setting up new facilities.
Following a short spell as Head of Estates, Liam moved to the position of Business Manager (and latterly General Manager) in the Commercial Department in April 2016 where he was responsible for a team of Account Managers looking after GBRf’s client relationships and contractual arrangements with its Bulk customers.
Starting as an Apprentice on British Rail Western Region in 1976 Bob has over 42 years experience of locomotives and rolling stock. He 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 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.
Business Development Director
Tim has extensive experience in the rail sector. Over the last 20 years he has advised on the appointments of many of the most senior leaders in the UK rail industry, including the CEOs of the Rail Delivery Group, the Office of Rail and Road, Crossrail, HS2, and a range of passenger train operating companies, rolling stock companies and manufacturers. He also has experience in providing leadership and organisational consultancy not only in the rail industry but also in the infrastructure and the real estate market. In addition, he has served as board director and trustee of the charity Railway Children for over 10 years. He is a judge for the Rail Business Awards and a mentor and supporter of the Women in Rail programme.
Tim sets us on the course to develop our business even further and remain one of the fastest growing transport companies in the country.
David does not have the traditional rail background having served in the British Army for 23 years as an engineering officer that culminated in 2008 with a job that put him in charge of the military logistics supply chain and equipment support, maintenance and engineering organisation in Iraq during combat operations in Basra.
His career in the business world has included supply chain, operations and continuous improvement director roles with British Sugar and The Silver Spoon Company, both part of the AB Foods conglomerate, before his last appointment as the Group Corporate Services Director with the Go-Ahead Group.
David will help the business to continue to grow and play an increasingly important role in providing carbon-efficient logistic solutions.