Astell Joins WSP

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Nigel Astell, well known in the global rail transit community and to Railway Age/Parsons Next-Generation Train Control Conference attendees through his role in organizing this annual event (slated for October 17-18 in Baltimore this year), has left Parsons to join WSP as Senior Vice President – Intercity Rail and Strategy Practice Leader for National Transit and Rail

Astell’s new position “is closely tied to the Federal Railroad Administration Corridor Identification and Development Program, a comprehensive intercity passenger rail planning and development initiative that guides intercity passenger rail development across the U.S.,” WSP noted. “He is responsible for delivery of major projects, strategic client engagement and strategy development across all transit and rail markets. These include systems and signals, BRT (bus rapid transit), zero-emission initiatives, intercity passenger rail and other markets, which are seeing unprecedented federal and state-level investments resulting from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Astell, based in Washington, D.C., “coordinates closely with WSP’s global rail network as well,” the company said. “He has a wide-ranging background in business development, transportation planning, project delivery and performance improvement, having led complex projects, planning studies and operational reviews for some of the largest transportation agencies in the U.S.”

At Parsons, Astell was a vice president for transportation project management and business development. A graduate of Durham University in the U.K. with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and London University with a diploma in transport, he began his career in the U.K. as an operations manager with London Underground. He also led development of business cases for major rail and BRT projects in that country and has managed or supported multiple CBTC (communications-based train control) projects in the U.S. and UK. Astell contributed to planning studies and performance reviews, across all rail modes, in the U.S., Europe and Asia. 

“Nigel leads strategies that position WSP as the right partner for clients, including commuter railroads, intercity passenger rail operators and transit agencies, to advance critical and complex transportation projects that connect communities and strengthen local economies,” said WSP Senior Vice President and National Transit and Rail Market Leader Jannet Walker-Ford. “He’s a talented professional with a wealth of international knowledge.”

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