Railtrack chief offers to quit

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The Independent Online

Railtrack chief executive Gerald Corbett has offered to resign following the Hatfield crash, the company said today.

Railtrack chief executive Gerald Corbett has offered to resign following the Hatfield crash, the company said today.

The news came as it emerged that a broken rail may have caused Hatfield train crash in which four people died.

The Railtrack board will meet tonight. to consider whether to accept Mr Corbett's resignation.

Mr Corbett said: "I, personally, am distraught that another tragedy has occurred on our railways.

"The families of the bereaved are foremost in my mind. As a matter of course, as chief executive of Railtrack, I have, of course, tendered my resignation to the board."

Railtrack said it would "consider whether the facts have been sufficiently established to allow it to decide whether or not to accept Mr Corbettÿs resignation. A number of non-executive directors are returning from abroad."

Mr Corbett had previously enjoyed a reputation for being able to battle through tough situations, such as the aftermath of the Ladbroke Grove crash where he withstood a number of extremely hard interviews.

He became chief executive in September 1997 and introduced new measures such as collecting figures on delays and vandalism as well as replacing the most unreliable equipment.

However, bad performance figures and attacks on the standards of railway safety saw him become an unpopular figure in the media, with the newspapers often calling for his resignation.

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