Introducing Chris Marchant, Programme Director at SilverRail
Written by Isabella Hales
At SilverRail, we’re not just about trains and tech - we’re all about our people. We’re a key player in the rail industry, not only leading the way in transforming the way people move but also placing a strong emphasis on the happiness and the growth of our employees. In a field where innovation is paramount, we stand out not just for our advancements but also for our commitments to building a vibrant and inclusive company culture. We are dedicated to empowering and championing our workforce, employees are not merely contributors but integral members of a tight-knit community.
We're delighted to introduce the outstanding individuals that make up the SilverRail team. Each team member contributes unique skills, dedication, and perspectives, playing a crucial role in the overall success of our organisation. Today, we'll focus on Chris Marchant, the Programme Director at SilverRail, who has been with us for four years and brings great experience to the role.
What do you do at SilverRail?
I am the Programme Director at SilverRail, working predominantly with our UK ToC partners. My role has a strong customer focus and I constantly strive to ensure that our customers and partners meet and exceed their goals. I primarily focus on project development and implementation with an emphasis on providing new innovative solutions which support our fundamental goal to make rail easy. I work across the full system lifecycle, including system upgrades and enhancements as well as managing SilverRail’s payment processing and fraud.
What is the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
As a Programme Manager at Thales I worked in a consortium on the UK Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft - the overall programme objective was to upgrade a fleet of brand new Airbus A330 aircraft for the RAF, with capabilities for air-to-air refuelling, troop transportation and medical evacuation. My role focused on the Military Avionics and Defensive Aids Suite and provided a fascinating insight to the depth and complexity of aircraft modification and certification.
What are you most excited about in your role?
I enjoy thinking of new solutions to challenges and like working in a dynamic and fast paced environment. My role allows me to delve into technical detail and understand the intricacies of the challenges we are solving, whilst also maintaining the overall vision of our long term goals and objectives. I enjoy the constant innovation from within SilverRail and working across all sectors of our business: product, engineering, support, finance and commercial. The single thing that brings most enjoyment to my role is that I get to work with a fantastic team at SilverRail.
What is your rail background?
I have worked within the Rail sector for 15 years, originally working at S&B as Senior Programme Manager delivering a smart ticketing upgrade to the Glasgow subway.
I then moved to Cubic, initially to lead the development and deployment of contactless bank card acceptance across TfL’s Oyster network, and then became the Programme Portfolio Manager for the TfL Revenue Collection Contract with responsibility for all development and system integration across TfL’s ticketing systems.
Where do you see the future of rail?
Having worked closely with TfL to drive the success of TfL contactless payment acceptance across London’s Oyster network, and witnessed first-hand its rapid public take up (which far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations), I would love to see the same ease of travel be achieved nationally. TfL have achieved some remarkable goals such as being able to travel without the need to purchase tickets in advance, and to always have the confidence that the cheapest fare will be charged.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to play golf and feel very privileged to belong to one of Surrey’s most beautiful golf clubs where I regularly play in competitions. When it’s too dark to play golf, I always like to have a project running at home, whether it is technology, computing, construction, motoring, gardening etc, I enjoy turning my hand to most things.
Do you have any interesting facts about yourself?
I didn’t experience Interrailing as a student, so this year my wife and I spent two and a half weeks travelling by rail around Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. We had an absolutely wonderful experience, seeing so much more of these countries than you would do if you were to fly between cities. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone!