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]

Early life[edit]

Born in Winchester and educated at St Paul's School, Hammersmith and Oriel College, Oxford (where he read History).

Railway career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Green began his career in 1965 as a trainee manager with British Rail in the West Midlands, becoming area manager at Hull in 1973.

Senior management[edit]

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 of the InterCity sector, with a remit to create a new integrated and profitable business (from that April) which he achieved with a particular emphasis on customer service.[7]

Heritage rail[edit]

As he had an interest in the built heritage[8] it should not have been a complete surprise that in 1995 he took 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 Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons. In 1995 he was appointed a board member of Eurotunnel.

Return to the mainline rail industry[edit]

In 1999 he was invited back into active rail industry management as chief executive of Virgin Rail Group 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][12][13] He also served as non-executive chairman of Virgin Rail Group Holdings in 2004/05.[14]

From 2005 to 2010 he was a non-executive director of Network Rail.[15][16][17]

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.[14]

Since 2012 he has been a Vice President of Railfuture, having been appointed at the same time as his peer Adrian Shooter.[14]


He has co-authored two books; one about Network SouthEast[18] and one about InterCity.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Green lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.[citation needed]


  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 (1994). Green, Chris, ed. The InterCity Story. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-86093-524-8.
  8. ^ Green, Chris (May 1993). "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. ^ "Chris Green is back in the fray" Rail Express issue 35 April 1999 page 7
  13. ^ "Former InterCity chief Chris Green returns as Virgin Trains supremo" The Railway Magazine] issue 1176 April 1999 page 6
  14. ^ a b c Chris Green Railfuture
  15. ^ "Disillusioned Green quits Virgin for NR" Rail Magazine issue 514 25 May 2015, page 15.
  16. ^ "Non-Executive Directors". Network Rail. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  17. ^ "Chris Green". Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  18. ^ Green, Chris; Vincent, Mike (May 2014). The Network SouthEast Story. Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0860936534.
  19. ^ Green, Chris; Vincent, Mike (July 2013). The InterCity Story 1964-2012. Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0860936527.
Business positions
Preceded by
Chief Executive of Virgin Rail Group
1999 - September 2004
Succeeded by
Tony Collins
Preceded by
Chief Executive of English Heritage
1996 - 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Managing Director of InterCity
1992 - 1995
Succeeded by