Meet The Team


David Diesbergen

David is Managing Director and founder of D2 Rail. Following a successful project management and engineering career spanning almost three decades, working with some of the UK leading infrastructure names including Network Rail, Carillion, Murphy and Barhale, David decided to form D2 Rail in 2011. The business was created to fill a gap in the marketplace, supporting clients throughout the lifecycle of their construction projects, helping them to achieve their goals of delivering their projects on time and to budget. An innovator by nature, David is always happy to meet challenges head on, using and developing visionary solutions.

David, through investment has grown the business capabilities significantly and has secured preferred partner status with many rail industry clients. At D2 Rail, David has full responsibility for all company operations and directs the business strategy.

When not working, David enjoys getting involved with motorsport and is always happy with a spanner in his hand.


Simon Blair
Operations Director – Infrastructure
Simon is a successful Senior Planning Manager with extensive experience that has been gained on a number of complex railway projects both in the UK and Overseas. Simon is a highly motivated and conscientious team player with the ability to communicate at all levels confidently and efficiently. Both proactive and articulate, Simon possesses a high level of attention to detail and professionalism with excellent people management skills.

Simon has proven ability to successfully manage multidisciplinary teams from different organisations and has a detailed knowledge of all railway disciplines and how they interface through design, construction and commissioning as well as an extensive knowledge of construction techniques to assist the production of robust construction strategies, to influence design and reduce installation cost and programme duration.

Simon’s project CV is considerable and includes leading the Planning and Project Controls functions for both the Northern Hub Alliance and Nexus Renewals Framework.


Mike Heywood
Managing Director – Rail

Mike is a highly motivated and committed senior leader with almost three decades of experience in rail. For the last 20 years Mike has been directly involved with the development and delivery of complex multi discipline high value infrastructure projects. He has a proven track record in leading large project teams in the safe, efficient, and timely delivery of these projects.

Mike is an industry expert in Alliancing, having spent the last 10 years directly involved in procuring, forming, and leading alliance teams. He has undertaken the role of Alliance Director on both the £350m Northern Hub Alliance (which successfully delivered the Ordsall Chord project) and on the £3bn Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance. Mike’s earlier career successes include, leading the delivery teams responsible for the national roll-out of the Fixed Telecom and GSM-R Radio networks, and installation of the Train Protection Warning System across the North-West of England.

Mike has a clear understanding of what Leadership is, and always looks to embed this within his Senior Leadership Teams. Fundamental to this is inspiring a shared vision and goals, embedding a common culture and values, enabling his teams to act, encouraging the heart, and constantly challenging the norm. Top priority for Mike is always the Health, Safety, and Wellbeing of his teams. To that end he always plays an active role in his projects Safety Leadership Teams, has successfully embedded Behavioural Based Safety initiatives and is always looking to identify and implement industry leading best practice in these areas.


John Johnson
Operations Director – Rail

John is a highly motivated senior leader with over twelve years of experience in rail, with the majority of his career spent leading complex, multi-discipline enhancement projects and programmes.

With a proven track record in leading teams to safe and successfully delivery. John has the ability to provide strong inclusive leadership on programmes that have complex stakeholder interfaces. Examples include: Integration Director on £3B Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance, Project Director on Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance Project W2B £800m, Programme Manager on North West Electrification Phase 3 Preston to Blackpool Programme £400m. John’s earlier career also involved leading teams within Network Rail Building and Civils and also delivery specific work packages on fixed telecom and GSM-R Radio Networks.

Since 2015, John has worked within collaborative or alliance contracts at a senior management level, having spent the last two years working as part of the Alliance Management team on TRU West Alliance as Integration Director. During this time, John gained valuable experience in the development of an organisation from inception and the operation of alliances with an array of different suppliers. Having worked for Network Rail for twelve years, with the last eight years on programmes that form the foundation of the Great North Rail Project/Northern Powerhouse. John is motivated by the opportunity to continue to work on large scale capital investment programmes that deliver transformational benefits for clients, key stakeholders, customers, and communities.

John recently joined D2 Rail as Operation Director-Rail and is excited to be part of D2 Rail’s vision to transform the way major project & programmes are delivered.


Sarah Barnes
Programme Information Manager

Sarah is a highly proficient Programme Information Manager, having built up a wealth of experience over the past 10 years within the rail and construction industries. Prior to joining D2 Rail, Sarah worked for WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff for five years, successfully managing a large team of Document Controllers and BIM Specialists.

Sarah has worked in pivotal roles on projects such as Northern Hub, North West Electrification, HS2, East West Rail and Manchester Metrolink. Sarah is an extremely detail oriented person who possesses the ability to multi-task, whilst prioritising work in order to achieve demanding deadlines. She possesses strong leadership skills which, coupled with her communication skills, enable her to focus her ability to create positive relationships with both internal and external teams.

Sarah has developed a vast amount of experience in Information Management including setting up EDMS and Information Control processes and also possesses the skills to liaise with multiple project stakeholders simultaneously including consultants, contractors and client teams.


Steve Cooper
Utilities Manager

Steve is an accomplished utilities professional with an excellent technical, commercial and project management background gained from the utility sector. Steve has had proven success in the management and co-ordination of utility diversions for both public and private sector clients and has over 25 years’ experience working on major infrastructure projects and providing professional services to the construction industry.

Capable of working on own his initiative or as part of a team to achieve the required goals and objectives, Steve is accustomed to working to meet tight deadlines.

An impressive CV includes utilities programmes for Network Rail on the Northern Hub Programme including the Ordsall Chord, Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road Railway Stations, and also the Manchester Airport Railway Station improvements. Steve’s other key projects include the Growth Deal Programme for Transport for Greater Manchester, Ring 3 Light Rail project in Denmark and HS2 Phase 1 Enabling Works Contract North.


Andy Pepworth
Capacity Planning Manager

Andy leads our capacity planning and performance analysis work. He is a talented operational planning expert with over 20-years rail experience, having worked on large multi-disciplinary projects in the UK and Overseas. Andy has worked on all sides of the business, operator, infrastructure provider and authority as well as previously running his own small consultancy business, all within the areas of timetabling, modelling, performance and operations.

Andy worked in the area of national timetable planning, which then led him to become a key figure at Network Rail in developing performance modelling for the rail industry. He has worked on major projects such as Northern Hub, Transpennine Route Upgrade and Thameslink in the UK, as well as the Dubai Metro and Tram in the United Arab Emirates. A background ranging from technical modelling and timetabling, through to strategic reviews and project management, means that Andy has sat in most seats in capacity planning.

Andy is experienced in managing multiple projects to tight deadlines, has an eye for detail and is a team player. He is keen on establishing a clear strategy and deliverables, which has been demonstrated on many large and small projects alike.


Matt Sykes
Software Development Manager

Matt leads our Digital Technology and Visualisations team. He joined the team with over 10 years experience in software development and systems engineering in the construction industry, where he developed and maintained one of the top construction estimating systems in UK.

Matt has worked in a number of areas of Digital Technology ranging from IT infrastructure overhauls, networking, software development, and system integration with clients.

Matt is experienced in cloud based software solutions and high availability IT infrastructure. He knows the importance of talking needs through with clients to get exactly what they need from a solution. Working closely with the rest of the Digital Technology and Visualisation team, Matt is always looking to expand D2 Rails’ digital service offering and value.


Mark Beecroft-Stretton
Head of Planning

Mark comes from an electro-mechanical engineering background and has gone on to become a goal-orientated and resourceful Senior Project Controls and Programme Management Professional with 23 years’ experience. This covers the delivery of complex Overground & Underground Rail, Power Generation, Transmission & DNO, Defence, MOD & Civil Nuclear and Civil Infrastructure Projects, utilising best-practice application of PRINCE2 and APM Project Management methodologies.

Mark’s diverse experience across a number of market sectors arms him to better assist our clients to avoid the, often seen, potholes and pitfalls witnessed and learned from early indications and trends encountered in other fields – benefitting them with hard earned learning from experience (LfE).

When not working Mark enjoys clay pigeon shooting and supporting County Championship and International Men’s and Women’s Cricket.


Troy Lancaster
Head of Programme Management

Troy is a highly qualified Chartered Project Management Professional with over 15 years of programme and project management experience in client, delivery and consultancy organisations. Troy has led a diverse set of complex multi-disciplinary renewal and enhancement projects and programmes from concept to delivery both in the railway and within the military. Examples include: the Enhanced Spend renewals programme which was Highly commended for ‘Driving Efficiencies’ at the Network Rail Partnership awards in 2014; the £60m Market Harborough Line Speed & Station Improvement project which won the National Rail awards in 2020; and the £3bn Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme where Troy was the Project Lead accountable for delivering the Transpire Alliance’s first £370m sub-programme of works.

Prior to joining D2, Troy was the Technical Director for Programme and Project Management at Amey Consulting where he revolutionised their approach to project management. This culminated in Amey Consulting becoming Corporately Accredited with the Association for Project Management (APM) with the highest marks possible which has only been achieved once before in the 50 years it has been running. Prior to this Troy worked in Amey Rail, Network Rail and the British Army as a Captain in the Royal Engineers where he served all over the world including Afghanistan.

Troy is passionate about programme and project management and always seeking to learn and continuously improvement. In 2019, Troy was awarded his fellowship with the APM, won the Department Prize at Warwick University for his MSc in programme and project management; and was the winner of the APM Award for the best post-graduate master’s dissertation of the year.