Chris Green (railway manager)

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Chris Green (born 7 September 1943) is a British railway manager. He has a reputation for the adoption of business-led management of passenger services both in the British Rail and privatised eras, and has been described as "the best chairman BR never had".[1][2][3]

Born in Winchester and educated at St Paul's School, Hammersmith and Oriel College, Oxford (where he read History), he began his career in 1965 as a trainee manager with British Rail in the West Midlands, becoming area manager at Hull in 1973.

In 1984 he became manager of ScotRail, building its new identity.[4]

In January 1986 he became BR Sector Director, London & South East. In April he announced that Marylebone station in central London would be reprieved from closure, and in June he launched Network SouthEast to unify London suburban rail services.[5][6]

At the beginning of 1992 he was appointed managing director, InterCity with a remit to create a new integrated and profitable business sector (from that April) which he did with a particular emphasis on customer service.[7]

As he had an interest in the built heritage[8] it should not have been a complete surprise that in 1995 he should take a new direction as chief executive of English Heritage; however, he resigned from this post after 14 months having breached rules on the proper conduct of public business described in an auditor's report as relatively minor matters and not amounting to fraud.[9] He then became a director of consultants Gibb Rail and an advisor to the House of Commons transport select committee. In 1995 he had also been appointed a board member of Eurotunnel.

In 1999 he was invited back into active rail industry management as chief executive of Virgin Trains on a five-year contract with a twofold mission – to deliver a markedly improved service on the existing network and ensure the £1.8bn worth of new Class 390 Pendolino, Class 220 Voyager and Class 221 SuperVoyager trains would be delivered on time.[1][10][11] He also served as non-executive chairman of Virgin Rail Group Holdings, 2004-5.

From 2005 to 2010 he was a non-executive director of Network Rail.[12][13]

Green has also served as a non-executive director of Connex Rail; chairman of The Railway Forum, 2005–2006; an advisory board member of Cranfield University; and a trustee of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 2012 he has been a Vice President of Railfuture, having been appointed at the same time as his peer Adrian Shooter.

Green lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.


  1. ^ a b Thornton, Philip (17 February 1999). "The Player: Chris Green, Chief Executive of Virgin Rail: Right man to tackle 'mission impossible'". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  2. ^ Harper, Keith (14 April 2001). "The railwayman's lament". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Pigott, Nick (March 2003). "The best chairman BR never had?". The Railway Magazine 149 (1223): 16–23. 
  4. ^ Stewart, Valerie; Chadwick, Vivian (1987). Changing Trains: messages for management from the ScotRail challenge. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8870-3. 
  5. ^ "Network SouthEast". Jane's Railway Year 6: 4–11. 
  6. ^ Thomas, David St John; Whitehouse, Patrick (1990). BR in the Eighties. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-9854-7. 
  7. ^ Vincent, Mike; Green, Chris (ed.) (1994). The InterCity Story. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-86093-524-8. 
  8. ^ Green, Chris (1993–5). "Managing with history". Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society 31: 306–13. 
  9. ^ Wolmar, Christian (18 December 1996). "Heritage chief broke the rules". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  10. ^ Balmforth, John (2007). Virgin Trains: a decade of progress. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-3224-8. 
  11. ^ Green, Chris (2001). Phoenix from the ashes: re-discovering the business-led railway. London: Institute of Logistics & Transport. 
  12. ^ "Non-Executive Directors". Network Rail. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Chris Green". Retrieved 7 June 2009.