A TOP railway civil servant from Huddersfield is to stand trial, accused of assaulting a train steward.
Michael Mitchell, 57, from Almondbury, the director-general of railways at the Government's Transport Department in London, is accused of attacking GNER steward Peter Etherington.
The alleged attack came on a northbound service near Peterborough last June 14.
Mitchell appeared before Peterborough magistrates yesterday for the first time to answer a summons.
He entered formal not guilty pleas by letter to the two charges at a hearing on January 9.
Yesterday Mitchell spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during a 10-minute pre-trial hearing.
Mitchell, who was appointed by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling in February last year, will stand trial on July 6 at Peterborough Magistrates' Court.
He faces charges of assault by beating and of offensive behaviour on a train.
The trial is expected to last a day.