No new contract deal sees rail boss leave

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A TOP boss at state-owned rail operator East Coast will stand down at the end of the year, after failing to negotiate a new contract with the Government.

Elaine Holt will leave her £180,000-a-year role as charwoman of Directly Operated Railways (DOR), and its subsidiary East Coast Main Line Company, in December.

She said the business “was in much better shape than when we started”.

However, Ms Holt said she was regretful she would not be around to finish the job at the company, which links the North East to London.

“I shall be sorry to leave both DOR and East Coast.

“We’ve achieved a huge amount in the past two years and we’re just starting to see the benefits of the company turnaround.”

It is believed the Department for Transport had wanted her to continue, but her contract was expiring and terms could not be agreed on a new one.

Ms Holt took up the role at DOR in July 2009.

It was set up to oversee passenger rail services when private companies pulled out.

Within months of taking her post, she had to deal with National Express handing back the East Coast service.

That came less than three years after predecessor GNER pulled out of running the same route because it could no longer afford the franchise.

Interim chairmen have been appointed to DOR and East Coast from December.