The boss of Network Rail will receive a royal honour despite the widespread ongoing disruption for train passengers.
Outgoing chief executive Mark Carne will receive a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the rail industry.
The Department for Transport has admitted that the timing of the award following severe timetabling issues is "unfortunate", but added that recent issues should not detract from his overall service.
Many have been unhappy with the decision, with one union boss likening the honour to "rewarding the captain of the Titanic for jumping ship".
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: "Frustrated passengers will see no honour in that at all."
Many operators have largely blamed Network Rail for the travel chaos following a huge train timetable overhaul last month.
Thameslink and Northern Railway passengers have suffered the most, enduring endless delays and cancellations.
Travel bosses have been accused of passing the buck, with no one taking responsibility for nothing short of a nightmare for commuters.
Mr Carne's Network Rail colleague Sir Peter Hendy apologised earlier this week for the ongoing troubles and said they were "working really hard" to resolve them.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that government-owned Network Rail was “very late” to finalise new timetables and to finish infrastructure upgrades in time on Northern routes.
Mr Carne will receive his CBE in a list that also sees Liverpool football great Kenny Dalglish knighted and Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson made a dame.
Around 1,350 people will be receive MBEs, CBEs, OBEs, and knighthoods.