Increasingly critical of the Government's privatisation proposals for British Rail, Mr Green, 51, said he was "delighted" to be putting a lifelong interest in history to good use.
Mr Green, Director of Scotrail since last April after spells in charge of InterCity and Network SouthEast is an Oxford history graduate and the son of a history teacher. He was among BR's most successful managers. But he made public his belief that the Government was trying to "run down" the railways. "Now that the railway has re-organised itself for privatisation, I believe the time is ripe for me to make this career move," he said.
At English Heritage, he succeeds Jennifer Page, 50, who is leaving on 1 March to become the chief executive of the Millennium Commission.Coincidentally, Ms Page is a non-executive director of Railtrack and a former director of the British Railways Board.
Jocelyn Stevens, chairman of English Heritage, said that Mr Green was the right person to build on the work carried out by Ms Page.
"I am delighted that Chris... who has done so much to revolutionise attitudes in the railways, is joining us at a time of great change and opportunity at English Heritage," he added.
Created a decade ago to protect and conserve the nation's historic monuments, buildings and gardens, English Heritage has the new objective, launched last year, of "making the heritage work harder". It is involved now in high-profile efforts to improve Stonehenge and to restore London's Albert Memorial.
English Heritage was embroiled in a damaging period of confrontation two years ago, over its plans to cut jobs and transfer the ownership of hundreds of buildings to private owners, local authorities and other bodies.
Modified proposals have since resulted in "local management agreements" for about 59 properties .
But the organisation remains under pressure from the Treasury to reduce the gap between its spending budget of £116.5m and its income of £16.4m.Reuse content