June 2nd 2005
Chris Green, the chief executive of Virgin Trains and railway industry veteran of 40 years, is to join the board of Network Rail.
Directors of the track and signalling company will ratify his appointment as a non-executive director and an announcement is expected as we go to press. Chris, who will be replaced by his deputy Tony Collins, retires from Virgin Trains in September, but industry sources said this might be advanced to allow him to start at Network Rail earlier.
Chris Greenís appointment will take the state-backed companyís non-executive directors to nine. He will join the likes of Ian McAllister, Network Railís non-executive chairman; Mike Firth, the former head of corporate banking at HSBC; and Rob den Besten, the former chief executive of Netherlands Railways.
Network Rail and Virgin Trains refused to comment. But industry sources said that Network Rail wanted some UK train operating company experience on its board, to match its new responsibilities, which include setting timetables.
Chris joined Virgin Rail in 1999. He was given the job of negotiating with Network Rail and its predecessor, Railtrack, over the problematic upgrade of the West Coast mainline and the introduction of Britainís first regular tilting-train service. Chris, who started as a British Rail trainee in 1965, became managing director of InterCity in 1992.
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