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Sea Containers creates separate passenger rail, ferry divisions

Sea Containers Ltd. recently divided its transport division into separate ferries and rail components. The split is necessary because the company plans to bid on new passenger-rail franchises in the United Kingdom and other countries, and ferry business is facing increased competition and higher fuel costs, and requires more senior management focus, Sea Containers officials said in a prepared statement.

The company promoted Senior Vice President David Benson to chief executive of the ferries division, and Christopher Garnett to SVP and chief executive of the rail division. Garnett also will serve as chairman of the Great North Eastern Railway Ltd. (GNER), which is operated by Sea Containers. Benson and Garnett will report to Group Chief Executive James Sherwood, who also serves as president of Sea Containers and chairman of GNER Holdings Inc.

Garnett previously served as regional manager-eastern division of Sealink, when the firm was owned by Sea Containers, and commercial director of Eurotunnel. He helped obtain the GNER franchise — which is up for renewal next year — and has managed the railroad during the past nine years. GNER is a pre-qualified bidder for a new Integrated Kent franchise in the U.K. and intends to bid on a new Greater Western franchise in 2006.

"Garnett is one of the most respected and skilled rail executives in the U.K. and we are enormously pleased he will assume this more senior role in the company," said Sherwood.

GNER provides passenger rail service between England and Scotland. The ferries division will manage operations in Britain and France, as well as ferries between Scandinavia and Germany, Estonia and Russia, and New York and New Jersey.

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More News from 10/12/2004