Railtrack chief's car takes the strain

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The Independent Online

Gerald Corbett, the chief executive of Railtrack, has decided not to let the train take the strain.

Gerald Corbett, the chief executive of Railtrack, has decided not to let the train take the strain.

He is being chauffeur-driven to Birmingham today for a transport debate at the CBI's annual conference.

Many delegates have had to struggle to the conference centre on Virgin Trains, whose services have been crippled by Railtrack's maintenance blitz on the network and the bad weather. Some passengers experienced delays of up to three hours travelling to Birmingham from London on Sunday.

Archie Norman, the Conservative transport spokesman, also gave up on the train service and travelled from Leeds by car.

Mr Corbett has decided to follow Mr Norman's example because apparently it is "more convenient" to travel to Birmingham today by car rather than train. Virgin Trains said it intended to run a "slimmed down" service today.

Even so Mr Corbett could still arrive in time for the debate if it took the first service from Euston - the 6.38am train which is scheduled to arrive at 9.09am, half an hour before the debate begins.

"Technically, there is a chance he could make it," said a Virgin spokesperson.

Mr Corbett has obviously decided not to take the chance.

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