Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has been awarded a CBE amid ongoing rail chaos across the country.
Carne, who is due to step down from the role this year, has been honoured on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list despite train services in the north and south-east currently in meltdown following the introduction of a new timetable.
Network Rail has been blamed for the failure, which has seen a scaled-back emergency timetable introduced on Northern rail, thousands of cancellations on Thameslink services and the closure of a route in the Lake District, for allowing engineering works to overrun.
Network Rail chairman Peter Hendy said: “Clearly the timing of this award is difficult given current industry issues and their effects on passengers, but we should take a step back and look at Mark’s whole career, and particularly his record over the past four and a half years and recognises, as this award does, his tremendous contribution to our railway.
“Mark has successfully transitioned Network Rail into public ownership, delivering the largest investment programme in modern times, successfully devolving the organisation to be responsive to customers has made a 21st century digital railway a reality and his personal commitment to safety has made our railway the safest in Europe.
“His drive and passion have been inspirational as has his commitment to workforce diversity, dignity and equality. It is right he is honoured just before he retires from one of the biggest and most challenging jobs in UK industry and alongside everyone at Network Rail, I congratulate him.”
Network Rail programme manager Ian Stevens and project manager Scott Heath have also been honoured for services to suicide prevention and to the LGBT community respectively.
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