Alastair Morton

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Sir Alastair Morton (Robert Alastair Newton Morton) (11 January 1938 — 1 September 2004) was Chief Executive of Eurotunnel and Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority and an industrialist of considerable achievements and renown.

Morton was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and he read law at Worcester College, Oxford.

He was managing director of the British National Oil Corporation 1976-80; chief executive of Guinness Peat Group 1982-87 and chairman in 1987; co-chairman of Eurotunnel 1987-96 and group chief executive 1990-94; chairman of the British Treasury's private finance panel 1993-95 and chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority 1999-2001.

He was also chairman of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 1994-2004.

Morton was knighted in 1992. He died on 1 September 2004 aged 66. His memorial service at Southwark Cathedral was attended by hundreds of people who knew and respected him.


As managing director of the British National Oil Corporation (1976-80), he fought furiously to resist its privatisation.


In 1993 he chaired the United Kingdom Treasury's private finance panel, which sought private capital for transport projects.


Morton will be best remembered for his time at Eurotunnel, the railway tunnel opened in 1994 which runs underneath the English Channel and links France and Great Britain. He was appointed co-chairman in 1987.

The tunnel was a great engineering achievement, but it was also a testament to Morton's iron...
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