We use functional cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping the Costain website reliable and secure and to analyse how our site is being used.
Will you accept our use of non-essential cookies?

Yes No Privacy Notice

CGI of busy city multimodal transport

Helen Goulding

Helen creates ideal transport solutions for customers, promotes connectivity, and drives modal shift. Her biggest professional achievement was bringing Nottingham Tram into passenger service and winning Operator of the Year twice. Despite challenges, she believes in investing in a high-quality integrated transport network that works for all members of society.

  • Service 1

Consultant, Integrated Transport and Light Rail

  • Service 1


  • Service 1

Programme management

About Helen

Helen became a part of Costain in January 2022, where she assumed a role that requires her to work closely with customers and other industry experts to create ideal transport solutions that align with their objectives. Her responsibilities include shaping, creating, and delivering solutions, be it a light rail system or any other mode of transportation.

Helen on her role

I joined Costain in January 2022. My role involves working with customers and other sector experts to develop the best integrated, multi-modal transport solutions to achieve the customer’s desired outcomes. If that involves a light rail solution, then I will also be involved in shaping, creating and delivering the solution.


What led Helen to her career

It was completely random – I was living in Manchester when the Metrolink opened, and I joined as a revenue protection officer. Five promotions and three networks later, I was the General Manager at Nottingham Tram!


What's the most common misunderstanding of Helen's role?

There is sometimes a misperception that I will push a light rail solution whether it is the right answer or not. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I am ‘mode agnostic’ and not pro or anti any particular mode – delivering the right solution is what matters.


How Helen's role contributes to improving people's lives

By considering the interface between light rail and other modes, Costain can offer comprehensive and truly integrated transport solutions, which make travelling by public transport a more attractive option for users. Driving modal shift is crucial if we are to achieve the government’s target of net zero by 2050. Improving connectivity also helps to reduce inequality of access to skills, training and jobs.

Through my involvement with UK Tram and ongoing engagement with the wider industry, I keep track (excuse the pun!) of the latest trends and advise my customers on the potential for new technologies to help to reduce both cost and carbon.


Helen on the biggest challenge for light rail professionals

Securing central government investment for public transport/mass transit schemes. The current definition of ‘value-for-money’ for transport schemes is too narrow and the wider social, economic and environmental value of clean, efficient and reliable transport for cities and regions is overlooked.


Helen on how she thinks these challenges can be overcome

It will be difficult, but it’s not impossible. We need to reframe the debate away from ‘subsidising’ public transport, towards investing in a high-quality integrated transport network that works for all members of society, opening up opportunities without reliance upon using a car. There are good examples out there – Transport for London and NEXUS are leading the way, with Transport for Greater Manchester and Transport for West Midlands both making great strides forward. I think the next five to ten years will be very exciting, particularly as increased devolution to city and regional authorities moves investment decisions to those representing local communities.  


What's Helen's biggest professional achievement and why

Bringing Nottingham Tram into passenger service and then winning Operator of the Year twice. Not only was the Build and Commissioning Phase challenging, with difficult timescales and commercial issues (it was a Design Build Finance Operate Maintain contract under a Private Finance Initiative), but once we opened, I needed to change the mindset and focus of the organisation from a project approach to a high performing customer-centric, operations and maintenance culture. All while studying for my MBA! 


What Helen wants to professionally achieve in the next five years

I love working for Costain and genuinely believe in our desire to improve people’s lives. I just want to continue to contribute to this mission however I can.  


Three things you might not know about Helen

  1. She was an extra in a Marmite advert when she was a kid (and yes, she does love it!) 

  2. She can’t draw (it’s embarrassing when she tries). 

  3. She likes rollercoasters but not spinning fairground rides. 

Connect with Helen on LinkedIn or alternatively send her an email.

Our experts are your experts

Contact and social