Karen Boswell was appointed Managing Director of Hitachi Rail’s UK business in June 2015, and has led the organisation during a period of very high growth as it has transformed to become a leading provider of rolling stock manufacturing, service and maintenance and digital railway technologies. Hitachi Rail employs over 2,000 people in the UK, across a network of high quality train maintenance centres, a rail manufacturing facility in the North East of England and head office support locations.
Karen leads the UK business in the delivery of a number of key current rail projects, including the £5.7bn Inter City Express Programme, new electric commuter trains for Scotland’s Central Belt, innovative ‘bi-mode’ trains for the West of England, Transpennine Express and Hull Trains franchises and new traffic management systems for Thameslink in London.
With group operations in the UK, Japan, Italy and the USA and over 11,000 employees, Hitachi Rail is a globally integrated railway business which, for the 12 months ended March 2017, had revenues of ¥500bn (£3.3bn). In addition to her UK MD role, in 2017 Karen was appointed Chief Administration Officer for Hitachi Rail group, leading strategy, IT, communications, brand and marketing, legal and HSE. In April 2018 Karen was appointed as a Corporate Officer of Hitachi Ltd.
Karen is a Board Member of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. She is a former President of the Railway Study Association (2015-17). Her achievements have been recognised with numerous professional and business awards. Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours List for her contribution and services to the UK railway industry.