Dr. Piers Connor

Principal Consultant of PRC Rail Consulting Ltd., 

Site author and webmaster

Curriculum Vitae:


PRC at IRO Oct 2015

A senior railway professional with wide ranging management expertise and front line experience in railway systems, operations and maintenance, planning, project development, design and rolling stock manufacturing in Europe, North America, South Africa and Asia. Piers has an MSc in Railway Systems Engineering from the University of Sheffield and Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Birmingham. Piers has professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and is a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Operators (IRO). He is a railway systems consultant and has worked as an operator, planner, project manager and facilitator, writer, lecturer and expert witness. He is Lead Tutor for two IRO Railway Systems modules and visiting lecturer for the University of Birmingham. 

Key Skills and Experience

  • Railway and metro systems engineering, planning, design and integration;
  • Train control and capacity, design and management;
  • Train operations;
  • Rolling stock operations and maintenance;
  • Railway systems interfacing;
  • Document preparation for bids, technical descriptions, evaluations;
  • Project assurance;
  • Railway system and project evaluation;
  • Expert witness capability.

July 2004 to present, PRC Rail Consulting, Managing Director

International railway system consultancy with capability for new line development, rail systems integration, interface management, project management, train operations planning, rolling stock maintenance, systems design and modelling, expert witness provision, training, project management, rolling stock production, organisational change, business development and due diligence.


  • Completed 36 metro project assurance reviews on the procurement of rolling stock, railway system modifications, production programmes, new infrastructure, timetabling systems, maintenance equipment and station planning for Transport for London;
  • Advisor to Tel Aviv metro design and procurement team.
  • Provision of training for NTA senior management teams both online and in Tel Aviv on metro system operations and maintenance with UITP;
  • Preparation of expert witness reports on claims for communications electrical, ventilation and fire protection equipment installations on Doha LRT system.
  • Advice on rolling stock maintenance management procurement for HSL privatisation, Helsinki, Finland;
  • Railway system upgrade technical advisor for train control, rolling stock and depot, Gautrain PPP, South Africa;
  • Operational and engineering advice for the Toronto RER expansion programme with FCP;
  • Provision of training for Israel Railway management with University of Birmingham, UK;
  • Engineering System Assurance Advisor for new Crossrail route in London with Aecom
  • Project operational and financial reviews for the California High Speed Rail system with FCP.
  • Investigation into research available for rail systems in low income countries, EoD, UK;
  • Train operations advice, with Driver, for Gautrain PPP (South Africa) system train service;
  • Lender's technical advisor - railway operations, Gautrain PPP Project, South Africa with Faber Maunsell.
  • Rolling stock accident investigation expert witness, Stockholm, Sweden;
  • Route Capacity study, with FCP, for High Speed 1 line, UK;
  • Rolling stock maintenance contract technical advice, for Transport for London;
  • Advisor, with Atkins, for development of rolling stock manufacturing facility;
  • Expert witness for engineering contractual dispute in Macau;
  • Expert witness for case involving electronic ATC failure and train collision in Washington DC;
  • Technical advisor to Al Rajhi International Group for Saudi Landbridge and Mecca-Medina Railways
  • Expert witness for Alstom Canada in court proceedings of Alstom vs City of Montreal over rolling stock procurement
  • Expert witness for case concerning rolling stock air conditioning procurement in Australia;
  • Provision of training for London Underground graduate trainee engineers with University of Birmingham
  • Technical advisor on London Rail Concession operations management bid for Govia
  • Review of Piccadilly Line services to Heathrow new Terminal 5 for BAA with Faber Maunsell
  • Development of High Speed Rail in the UK - Special study for Birmingham University/ICE
  • Provision of training for inspectors of UK Rail Accident Investigation Board
  • With Strategic Lines as Operations Advisor for Arriva Trains premier class study
  • With Strategic Lines as Technical Advisor for Metronet project study for the Victoria Line in London.
  • Development of Train Protection in the UK - Special study for Sheffield University/Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate.
  • Station Ventilation System Study - with Fifth Dimension Associates for London Underground cooling project

April 2003 to July 2004, Bombardier - International Railway Equipment Manufacturers

Director, Capital Projects Co-ordination, London Underground Projects, Derby, UK

Part of a new senior management team set up to run the company's £3bn London Underground manufacturing and maintenance projects. Responsible for all technical and system interfaces between the Bombardier contracts and other Metronet projects for infrastructure, stations, communications, power supplies, system performance and engineering standards.

Key Achievements

  • Set up new focus group on systems engineering to encourage the customer to integrate engineering contracts to reduce project delays
  • Responsible for the management of engineering and technical co-ordination with the Metronet Projects (BCV and SSL)
  • Responsible for sensitivity analyses of performance models to determine commercial and technical risks

August 2001 to April 2003, Bombardier, Derby, UK

Director, Engineering, London Underground Projects, Derby, UK

Following the takeover of Adtranz by Bombardier, appointed to lead the engineering team responsible for the management of engineering and technical resources to the London Underground Projects (BCV and SSL)

Key Achievements

  • Head of engineering for team which secured two new Public Private Partnership orders worth £3bn
  • Introduced new assessment focus into early proposals to secure preferred bidder status
  • Managed technical due diligence for contracts
  • Managed rolling stock and signalling proposals to ensure technical compliance.

July 2000 to August 2001, Bombardier (then Adtranz) - International Railway Suppliers

Director, Engineering, Total Rail Systems, Derby, UK

Appointed to this position in the UK following the decision to close the Adtranz TRS office in Singapore. Responsible for the provision of engineering and technical resources to the Total Rail Systems business unit of Adtranz worldwide, working from the UK base of the company.

Key Achievements

  • Managed engineering staff of 66 for light rail and metro projects in the US, UK, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia and Portugal.
  • Responsible for detailed studies of commercially based, cost effective technical solutions to improve profitability.
  • Developed review system for a wide range of railway systems and the different technical, financial and political circumstances in Europe, Asia and the Americas to allow focus on most profitable projects.

1997 to 2000, Adtranz - International Railway Equipment Manufacturers

Vice President, - Asia Pacific, Total Rail Systems, Singapore

Took up new position with Adtranz in Singapore responsible for systems engineering and business development in the Asia Pacific region.

Key Achievements

  • Technical, operational and financial reviews of projects in the Asia Pacific region to test viability of business proposals.
  • Introduced vetting process for different types of railway systems leading to bid or no-bid decisions for company.
  • Carried out engineering design reviews and cost assessments.
  • Travelled extensively, dealing with senior government and business officials in various countries in the region to develop contacts and increase company exposure.

1996 - 1997, Bechtel Civil Engineering - International Consultants and Project Managers, Hong Kong

Railway Operations and Maintenance Manager

Took up position for Hong Kong KCRC West Rail project as part of consultancy services for Bechtel. 

Key Achievements

  • Developed cost effective solutions for rail systems, operations and maintenance to meet contractual requirements
  • Defined system operational design requirements
  • Wrote Operations and Maintenance Plan.
  • Responsible for liaison between engineering and operations departments and for operational interfaces with external bodies such as the railway and government agencies.
  • Re-evaluated and verified civil, mechanical, electrical and control system designs.

1992 to 1996, Piers Connor Associates - Sole Trader Consultancy

Carried out various projects around the world as self-employed railway consultant as follows:

  • for Union Carriage & Wagon in South Africa as Senior Projects Manager setting up computerised project management and rolling stock design and production planning systems.
  • for Kennedy & Donkin as operations and maintenance advisor for Bangkok Metro project planning and tender assessment. Totally redesigned rolling stock depot to fit new site and the Siam elevated station complex to reduce size, complexity and cost of original design.
  • for Brush Traction carrying out on site maintenance staff and driver training and computerised documentation preparation for the Channel Tunnel locomotives.
  • for Kennedy & Donkin Group and British Rail as project manager appraising the traffic, revenue, operating, engineering and environmental costs of a route in the Network SouthEast area.

1990 to 1992, London Underground Ltd

Development Manager (Train Services)

Responsible for the planning, appraisal, implementation and financial control of major systems projects for the Underground and for the improvement of the safety, efficiency and quality of train services.

Key Achievements

  • Prepared and implemented new IT based financial management system for the £700m Central Line modernisation project to eliminate overspend whilst maintaining project scope.
  • Introduced economic appraisal of safety projects to increase cost effectiveness of capital spend and to prioritise projects.
  • Carried out strategic review of rolling stock contracts to introduce half-life modernisation for trains to improve customer image and increase revenue.
  • Introduced new computerised train service simulations to prove best options for improvements and correction of poor service performance.
  • Reduced investment and planning staff by 25% while capital spend increased by 30% using IT based solutions.

1986 to 1990, Channel Tunnel

Railway Operations Manager

Employed, first by Kennedy Henderson Ltd, then by Eurotunnel, to manage transformation for £10bn international railway from civil engineering project to operational business.

Key Achievements

  • Redesigned terminals to place maintenance facility in France and control facility in England to reduce UK land take and capital costs.
  • Reduced planned on-train staffing levels by 50% to increase profitability of operations.
  • Responsible for design of new computerised operating MIS plan.
  • Drafted first rules and regulations database for railway.

1982 to 1986, London Transport International - International consulting arm of London Transport

Resident Consultant

Employed as resident consultant on various overseas metro projects including New York, Los Angeles and Taipei.

Key Achievements

  • Project managed the design, testing and manufacture of inter-car safety barriers on the New York Subway to eliminate passenger deaths running at 2-3 per annum.
  • Set economic operational and maintenance standards to reduce capital and revenue costs of Los Angeles Metro.
  • Designed train services and rolling stock maintenance facilities of Taipei metro system to ensure match with traffic levels and infrastructure.

1963 to 1982, London Transport

Joined LT in 1963 as platform staff. Subsequently took promotion to train crew and later gained Operations Instructor's and Station Supervisor's certificates. Became rolling stock Maintenance Instructor 1975 and, in 1979, Chief Instructor. Became Training & Safety Manager, Acton Works 1981.

1962 to 1963, Canadian Pacific Railway

Junior office clerk dealing with rail, shipping and air finance and the mechanisation of the offices.

Education and Professional Status:

PhD in Railway Systems Engineering, University of Birmingham; MSc in Railway Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield. Chartered Member UK Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport; Member UK Institute of Railway Operators; Safety Engineer’s Training, Further Education Teachers Training, Various railway training courses for technology, supervision and management.

Published several books, articles and papers on rolling stock and railway systems.

Personal Details

Born: 1st October 1945, Godalming, Surrey, UK
Status - Married 
Nationality - British, 
Interests - Golf, Skiing, Equestrian Sports, History
Residence - Melton Mowbray, UK.
Phones: Office +44 (0)1664 810118, Mobile +44 (0)7720 805741
Email: piers.connor@railway-technical.com

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