Going, going, gong: Five minutes with King's birthday honours recipient Matthew Lodge

The director of Rail Infrastructure South at the Department for Transport has received an OBE for services to the rail industry. CSW meets him
Image by 4e69656c73 7642 from Pixabay

By Civil Service World

23 Aug 2023


What does being recognised in the Birthday Honours List mean to you? 

It’s not something you ever expect, and I was pretty chuffed and surprised to receive it. My grandad worked in the Ashford Railway Works from when he left school at 14 to when he retired at 65. So I’m dedicating my OBE to him!

What does your role involve?

My colleagues in the rail infrastructure group and I act as the government client for major infrastructure programmes delivered by Network Rail and others. This involves agreeing on the scope and budget, monitoring delivery,  challenging costs, assessing risk, flagging concerns, keeping Ministers informed and generally keeping a close eye on what is happening.

How did you end up in that role?

I’ve been in transport all my career and at DfT for nearly 18 years. I’ve done a variety of really interesting roles – mostly within rail. I joined the Crossrail team in 2012, and moved across to manage the Thameslink Programme. Then, six years ago, my boss emigrated to Australia, and I got the job she vacated!

Apart from receiving this Honour, what has been your proudest moment at work?

I’ve been really lucky in my career, as I have had quite a few career highlights , but being at the official opening of the Elizabeth line last year when the late Queen unexpectedly arrived to open the railway named in her honour was pretty special.

What does it take to do your job well?

Remembering that the railway is ultimately about moving passengers and freight around to help society function. The infrastructure is just a means to an end. But it is also important to build strong and effective working relationships with your delivery partners that allow for challenge, but also 
provides support.

Tell us one thing we might not know about your job...

When you say what you do, everyone has an opinion as to how the railways should be run!

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