A former train driver was today elected leader of a railway workers' union after winning a ballot by just over 200 votes.
Mick Whelan, 50, regional organiser for Aslef, mainly covering the Midlands, received 3,683 votes, with the union's national organiser Simon Weller getting 3,458.
Mr Whelan, who joined the railway in his 20s after quitting his first job as a bank clerk, will succeed Keith Norman, who is retiring.
He said: "It is a privilege and an honour to become the leader of this proud union. I would like to record my thanks to all those members who voted for me and to the other candidates who acted throughout with dignity and decorum."