Paul Poynton


Paul is a successful change manager with a long career in senior roles within Transport. He has managed significant improvements in the performance of large organisations in the fields of business, operations, reliability, customer service and safety. By guiding organisations in the changing of their behaviors, attitudes and systems he has driven the results set as challenging expectations by Chief Executives and Boards.

Paul has a thorough knowledge of the delivery of Major Infrastructure Projects and an detailed understanding of the criticality of managing the Project Interfaces and Stakeholders. He has wide, established networks across Rail and Transport.

Strengths & Skills

  • Change Management/General Management
  • Project Director/Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Interface Management
  • Strategy Development


Director at Poynton Consulting Pty Ltd


Senior Technical Manager, Infrastructure and Services, Power Supply Upgrade, TfNSW.
July 2016 – Present

This role leads the provision of specialist engineering services as well as influencing the leadership and strategic direction of this large-scale and complex infrastructure program, ensuring innovative and safe design of rail solutions for the successful delivery of these projects


Senior Manager, Reliability and Maintenance, for Infrastructure & Services (I&S), Transport for NSW

May 2014 – June 2016

Paul provided guidance to the Project Managers in TfNSW to meet asset standards in their construction projects and to avoid reliability and maintenance issues. The position interfaced directly with the contracts on Glenfield Leppington Rail Link, North Strathfield Rail Underpass, Epping to Thornleigh Third Track, Gosford Passing Loop, Transport Access Program, Power Supply Upgrade and Lidcombe to Granville Corridor Upgrade.

This role was also I&S interface with Sydney Trains Reliability. He also produced Technical Bulletins relevant to the construction works underway and the I&S “Good Practice Guide to Rail Infrastructure Construction”. This guidance was well received by project managers and contractors who had limited experience in rail construction.


September 2012 – April 2014

Providing Technical and Commercial Support to the Traction Supply Upgrade Program for Transport for NSW.


CEO, North Avalon Consulting Group

March 2012 – September 2012

He was engaged in providing expertise in asset management, operations, reliability, safety, culture change, engineering management and customer service.


Strategic Business Relationship Manager for the Chief Engineer, Electrical. RailCorp

January 2010 – March 2012

Paul was the Program Development Manager for the Traction Supply Upgrade Program. He also managed during this period a portfolio of projects sponsored by the Chief Engineer, Electrical


Program Development Manager for the Traction Supply Upgrade Program at RailCorp

July 2008 – December 2009

This program delivered around $900M upgrade to RailCorp’s traction power supply to support the planned introduction of the 626 new Waratah passenger cars.


CEO, North Avalon Consulting Group 2007-2008

May 2008 – June 2008

Undertook an Investigation for RailCorp that increased freight capacity on the Illawarra line.


March 2008 – April 2008

Carried out an investigation of the suitability and value of Platform Screen Doors for RailCorp comparing systems in place in the main overseas metro systems.


January 2008 – February 2008

Undertook the Wollongong Train Stabling Study for RailCorp which identified significant improvements in operational flexibility and reduced capital and operating costs.


November 2007 – December 2007

Undertook an Independent analysis for RailCorp of the feasibility of a $400M construction proposal for the Richmond line duplication.


August 2007 – September 2007

Carried out an analysis for TIDC of several proposals for Sydney Metro operations.


Director, Operations Service Strategy at RailCorp

September 2006 – June 2007

At the request of the CEO, Paul designed a customer focused organisational change for RailCorp that was implemented to capitalise on the changing culture in RailCorp.



Director, Cultural Change Program at RailCorp

February 2005 – September 2006

Paul was responsible for initiating and driving a major cultural change throughout RailCorp. This included implementing a sustainable Just Culture providing improved risk management and trust, and integrating organisational development to produce operational efficiencies. It resulted in improved cooperation, reduced risk and more reliable operation throughout RailCorp.


GGM Safety and Environment at RailCorp

May 2004 – January 2005

Paul managed Safety and Environment in RailCorp including the development of RailCorp’s integrated Safety Management System, risk management framework, and the gaining of RailCorp’s operating accreditation from the transport regulator. This was carried out in the aftermath of the Waterfall Inquiry and allowed the organisation to move forward with a renewed focus on safety.


Project Manager, Reliability at RailCorp

December 2003 – April 2004

Engaged by the CEO to be responsible for the development of the RailCorp Reliability Improvement Program. Paul developed a business approach that balanced reliability with safety of operation for improved customer service delivery. Under this program operational reliability improved significantly from 70% peak trains on time to 95%.


Manager Compliance at Rail Infrastructure Corporation

2002 – April 2003

Managed the Safety, Environment and Quality services for the Engineering Division of RIC following RSA’s transition to RIC.


General Manager, Safety & Standards at Rail Services Australia

1999 – 2001

Paul brought about a fundamental change in the safety behavior, culture and the performance of RSA. The role was created in a new contestable environment and followed a number of tragic fatalities in the NSW rail industry. The intervention was a major success and the organisation’s attitude to safety was completely transformed.


General Manager, Technical Services at Rail Services Australia

1997 – 1999

Managed the RSA’s Engineering Group during the company’s transition to a commercial entity where RSA was successful in winning contracts for engineering services across Australia and in SE Asia. The group included Civil, Track, Electrical, Signalling’ Quality and Environmental disciplines.


General Manager, Customer Services at CityRail

1996 – 1997

Led all 3000 CityRail Customer Service and Security Staff. Customer service improved to the extent that passenger journeys increased by 4% and ticket revenue increased commensurately.


General Manager, North West Region and General Manager, South Line at CityRail

1989 – 1996

Paul led a significant customer focused change in the new rail organisation. This was the birth of the CityRail organisation with a clear shift from a functional structure to one that galvanized the previous compartmentalized groups into highly accountable teams delivering a service built around customer needs. He successfully completed many major infrastructure investment programs in this role.

The role combined the engineering disciplines with operations and customer service.

Development Manager, Development Branch at State Rail Authority

1985 – 1988

Managed key projects that resulted in major successful strategic changes in the rail industry. These included a key role the” Booz, Allen Hamilton rail repositioning strategy” and the “PA study on rail” for the Premier. He managed the Metropolitan Strategy Study which was the first key strategic positioning strategy for NSW rail and set the direction for passenger services over the next decade,


Engineering Manager, Electrical Branch at State Rail Authority

1977 – 1984

Paul managed the maintenance and construction of the 1600 km electric traction overhead wiring system for the metropolitan rail network.


Qualifications & Affiliations

Australian Institute of Project Management

Master Project Director, Project management, 2005 – 2005



MBA, Business, 1982 – 1984



BE, Electrical Engineering, 1969 – 1974