Finance director steps up at Railtrack

FD Steven Marshall immediately stepped in as chief executive and faces a baptism of fire as doubt hangs over the present shape of the rail company.

Last month the Hatfield crash shook the UK a year after the Paddington rail disaster.

Corbett is believed to have resigned following a meeting with Tony Blair in Downing Street yesterday.

Forty-three year old Marshall, a former FD of Thorn, came on board Railtrack last year, after previously working with Corbett at Grand Metropolitan as FD of the international drinks division.

Last month Corbett, himself a former FD of Grand Metropolitan, was hauled before the Commons Transport Select Committee to explain the Hatfield crash.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) also called for Railtrack to be stripped of its safety and accident investigation role at the Cullen rail safety inquiry last month.

Corbett had been attacked consistently for knowing more about finance than engineering – although he secured an easy ride for Railtrack finances from regulator Tom Winsor, who last month published his five-year plan to 2006 with company’s revenue up for the next five years to £14.9bn with £4.7bn government grant.

New FD Marshall earlier this year also came in for severe criticism for taking a salary of £137,000, including a £37,000 bonus, after last year’s Paddington crash.

A CIMA fellow and member of the 100 Group of Finance Directors, Marshall replaced predecessor 48-year-old chartered accountant Norman Broadhurst last year as FD of Railtrack.

Last month rail regulator proposals to improve Railtrack’s performance record were slated by analysis carried out for Accountancy Age by John Stittle, senior accountancy lecturer at Anglia University, as ‘simply introducing another batch of accounting problems and some weak regulatory controls’.

  • Sebastian Bull is set to take over from Steven Marshall as FD at Railtrack. He was formerly corporate finance director of the troubled rail infrastructure provider.

Railtrack under fire

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