The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions confirmed that McAllister, will be heading up the team preparing a 'Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)' bid to take over Railtrack plc's role as operator of the railway network.
McAllister, 58, who has worked for more than 35 years at Ford, said: "I do not underestimate the challenge which developing this bid represents. My experience at Ford has shown that with the right management, investment and planning, companies can be transformed. That is the basis on which the CLG bid team under my leadership will be formulating its proposals."
Ian McAllister has been appointed to give strategic direction to the CLG team. He will continue to be employed by Ford Motor Company Limited, who have agreed that he will be available for this part-time role.