Liz Parkes - Transport Operations & HSQE Specialist Full Width Image

Liz Parkes - Transport Operations & HSQE Specialist


I’m an enthusiastic, effective transport safety and operations professional, with a track record of developing and implementing health, safety, quality and environmental management systems to meet ISO9001 and 14001, and safety certification and authorisation requirements under the Railways & Other Guided Transport Systems Regulations, (ROGS).

Throughout my career, I’ve managed safety and operations at a senior level with organisations including Railtrack, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Edinburgh Trams, (Transdev), DB Regio Tyne & Wear Ltd. and North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

With North Yorkshire Moors Railway, I recently made the impossible possible by securing an exemption from ROGS to enable operation of heritage trains above 25mph for a filming project, as well as more routinely securing periodic safety re-certification as a non-mainline operator.

With DB Regio Tyne & Wear Ltd, I was responsible for periodic update and maintenance of safety and sustainability systems and safety certification.

With Edinburgh Trams, I obtained ISO9001 and 14001 certifications at depot handover to the future operator.


Railway Operations

As Head of Operations & Safety, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, from June 2015 to July 2021, I was responsible for all aspects of heritage railway operations and safety on NYMR’s and Network Rail’s infrastructure, track and station access contract management, development of departmental strategic policies and plans, budget, traincrew, signalling, station, control staff and volunteer management.

As Commercial & Production Manager with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, from May 1999 to October 2007, I was responsible for management of the safe and efficient operation of the Glasgow Subway and Renfrew/Yoker Ferry

This involved management of ferry, control, driving and station staff; transporting 13.5m passengers p.a. maximising ticket and advertising revenue at circa £12m p.a., and a departmental budget of £5m.

With Railtrack Scotland, as Area Production Manager North, May 1998 to May 1999, I was responsible for operations in the North of Scotland.  In this role, I managed staff at 40 signal boxes and performance initiatives including line speed and efficiency improvements.

I held various supervisory roles following completion of operations management training with British Rail, between 1984 and 1987.

Projects & Engineering

As Safety & Standards Manager, Transdev Scotland Ltd./ Edinburgh Trams Ltd, January 2008 to October 2012, I provided support to the project in preparation for the operational phase. In this role, I was responsible for occupational and operational health, safety, quality and environmental advice and support.

I completed several engineering projects while at Edinburgh Trams and DB Regio Tyne & Wear as part of studies towards a BEng between 2008 to 2015, and projects towards an LLM in Construction Law while at Railtrack. These included design improvements to emergency door releases on Metro trains, research on driver vigilance devices for trams and risk-based management of investment and construction in the rail industry.

Safety & Assurance

As Head of Operations & Safety, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, June 2015 to July 2021, my achievements included development and implementation of an environmental and sustainability system, securing periodic safety re-certification under ROGS, an extension to NYMR’s safety certificate to cover operation in North Norfolk, and an exemption from ROGS for operation above 25mph.

Working as a Safety & Sustainability Advisor on a freelance basis from September 2014 to date, I have provided pro bono advice to heritage rail operators on safety management systems.

As Head of Safety & Compliance, DB Regio Tyne & Wear Ltd. from November 2012 to September 2014, I led a small team responsible for occupational and operational health, safety, quality and environmental advice and support for the Tyne & Wear Metro.  This included update and maintenance of safety and sustainability management systems and plans, quantified and qualitative risk assessments, incident investigation and management, and safety reviews, including research on, and management of, the platform train interface risk.

As Safety & Standards Manager, Transdev Scotland Ltd/Edinburgh Trams Ltd, January 2008 to October 2012, I produced a risk profile, operational risk assessments and health, safety, quality and environmental systems which achieved ISO9001 and 14001 certifications.

As Safety & Standards Manager, Railtrack Scotland, April 1996 to May 1998, I was professional Head of Safety within Railtrack Scotland, I was responsible for monitoring client train operators’ safety cases and the activities of infrastructure contractors; production and dissemination of operational policies and procedures, emergency planning, incident investigation, risk assessment, claims handling and operation of the Zone’s Safety and Signalling Training Centre.

Earlier in my career, I was Safety Manager, then Safety Planning & Performance Manager, Railtrack Scotland, April 1994 – April 1996, Safety Officer, Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive, November 1989 to April 1994, and Health, Safety & Training Officer at Jordanhill College between 1988 and 1999. While working at Jordanhill College, I studied for my NEBOSH qualifications, and I’m a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health.

Training & Development

With Railtrack, I managed the Zone’s Safety & Signalling Training Centre, and was responsible for support staff training while working at Jordanhill College. I have a Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Workplace Environment, attained in 2017, and have developed assessment plans for train dispatch and track safety competencies for NYMR. I’m an active member of Borders College Board, which sets strategic direction for the College’s senior management team and have a particular interest in the STEM curriculum.

Communications & Change Management

I’ve written engineering change management procedures for NYMR, DB Regio Tyne & Wear Ltd and Edinburgh Trams, and carried out safety validation of organisational change throughout my railway career