Following graduation from Manchester University, Ian joined British Railways two year Graduate Management Training program, embarking upon a career in railways.
In 1984 he was appointed as Inter City Manager for the West Coast Main Line (similar in length and complexity to Amtrak’s North East Corridor) as BR moved from commercial management to full business management including operations and maintenance.
Ian transferred to the Chairman’s new Policy Unit set up to address strategic issues, in this case how to make freight on Britain’s railways profitable following a year long coal miner’s strike. Coal had dominated rail freight in the Uk as elsewhere. For his sins, Ian was appointed as MD Railfreight Distribution to implement the reform strategy focussing on intermodal – Freightliners Ltd, closing down wagon load operations and introducing freight trains between Britain and the Continent through the Channel Tunnel from 1994.
British Rail was privatised in 1996 and following a brief spell with French Railways (SNCF) Ian was invited to join the Dockland Light Railway in London as CEO with the remit to franchise the operation of the railway and deliver a series of extensions. This eventually led to the DLR becoming the centrepiece of the 2012 Olympic Games, the first public transport Olympic Games.
A new transport group – Transport for London (TfL) was set up by the Mayor of London in 2001. Ian joined TfL as MD London Rail embarking on the assimilation of main line rail services into London’s transport system and using a combination of new build, and existing lines undertook the East London Line rail project and introduced the London Overground. This which was gradually extended to a circular route around London and is an enormous success. As a result the UK government finally had the confidence to give the go ahead to the large Crossrail project.
Ian was awarded a CBE on retirement in the Queen’s New Years Honours List in 2011for services to Railways and joined the Crossrail Board as a NED.