High Speed 2 has appointed Network Rail major director Jim Crawford as its programme director for phase one of the route between London and the West Midlands.
Mr Crawford was the lead director on Network Rail’s £6.5bn Thameslink upgrade.
He took over the Thameslink programme in 2009, overseeing the rebuilding of the London Blackfriars and Farringdon stations.
At HS2 he will complete the delivery team set up for the £21.4bn first phase, scheduled to start in 2017.
Mr Crawford will join later this year on a salary of £390,000. The company said no bonus will be paid.
He will follow former Network Rail chief executive David Higgins, who took over as HS2 chairman in March, and Network Rail’s managing director for infrastructure projects Simon Kirby, who will become HS2’s chief executive in September.
Mr Kirby said: “Jim Crawford‘s experience speaks for itself but I know just how capable he is from our time together at Network Rail working on the multi-billion-pound investment in Thameslink.
“I am very pleased that someone of Jim’s calibre is joining us. We have much to do between now and when we expect to have spades in the ground in 2017.”