Railtrack has brought in one of the most respected civil engineers in the industry in an attempt to build bridges with disillusioned contractors.
Mike Casebourne resigned his post as chief executive of the Institution of Civil Engineers to become Railtrack's director of maintenance delivery. He will have a brief to improve the way the programme is carried out.

Casebourne said Railtrack, which went into administration last month, was keen to change. He said: "Railtrack has not been everyone's favourite client. But there is a real intention to change that. We want to create an atmosphere of trust between contractors and client and face up to the problems together. It's a massive job – but obviously I'm just one of the team."

Casebourne has a great deal of experience of working in the rail industry. Before joining the ICE in 1999 he ran rail maintenance company GTRM. He has also held senior positions at Wimpey, Costain and the former Trafalgar House.

Casebourne, 56, acknowledged that, given the uncertainty over Railtrack, the job would not be easy. He said: "It is a huge challenge. The rail network is a national asset and regardless of how it is to be paid for, it has got to be developed to meet the needs of the travelling public.

"It does entail making sure the private sector and railways can work together, and I think I can do that."

Casebourne takes up his position in 10 days.

He will report to engineering director Richard Middleton.