A Radlett man who spearheaded Britain’s first high-speed railway has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Rob Holden, chief executive of London and Continental Railways, was awarded the honour for his contribution to the industry.

He played a leading role in the Channel Tunnel rail link project (known as High Speed 1 or HS1) and the restoration of St Pancras International station.

Mr Holden said: “The success of St Pancras International, Eurostar and the whole High Speed 1 rail project is testament to the vision and dedication of all who work and have worked on the project.

“HS1 is a welcome success story for London and the country as much as it is a milestone for railway.”

The high speed rail network and work on St Pancras International took nine years to complete and is the first major new railway in the UK for more than one hundred years.

Starting as the finance director of the company in 1996, Mr Holden moved on to become operating officer and finally became chief executive in 1999.

He qualified as a chartered accountant in Manchester before moving to the Vickers Shipbuilding Group in Barrow-in-Furness, where he worked for 13 years. During this time Mr Holden was involved in the privatisation of British Shipbuilders.

m A Borehamwood mother who co-founded a national anti-violence charity was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Lyn Costello, of Catterick Way, co-founded Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA) nearly 16 years ago to support and campaign for murder victims’ families and friends.