THE great rail timetable fiasco has claimed its first victim with the resignation of Charles Horton, chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). At the time of writing, he is the only senior rail official to have fallen on his sword after weeks of delays and cancellations which have thrown the lives of thousands of commuters into chaos.

On Monday, Mr Horton is scheduled to face MPs on the House of Commons Transport Committee for a grilling over the failed timetable, along with David Brown and Rob Warnes of Arriva Rail North, who run the similarly-crippled Northern franchise. Bosses from Network Rail will also attend.

Conspicuous by his absence from this line-up is Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who in his rare public pronouncements on the crisis has managed to attribute blame to everyone but himself or his department.

An inquiry into the disruption was confirmed this week by the independent Office of Rail and Road (ORR), with an interim report due to be published in September, while a compensation scheme was also announced.

In the mean-time, the delays and disruption go on. It would appear that little tangible has changed ten days after the north’s newspapers, including The Northern Echo, came together to demand action.

If Mr Horton can recognise his part in an industry-wide failure to get to grips with the timetabling process and resign his role, then others should as well.

Chris Grayling, over to you.