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Network Rail said former Shell executive Mark Carne would succeed Sir David Higgins and will take over on April 1 next year, as chief executive.
The company said father-of-three Mr Carne would be on a basic annual salary of £675,000, £100,000 more than his predecessor.
Network Rail has faced constant criticism recently over train punctuality, with repeated warnings by rail regulators about its performance, particularly on long-distance routes.
The new Network Rail chief executive is Mark Carne, who will start on a basic annual salary of £675,000 - nearly £100,000 more than his predecessor Sir David Higgins, the company has announced.