Graeme has been involved with the Trust for almost twenty years, ten years of which have involved the hands-on operation of Tornado. Despite being the youngest Trustee, a title held for around 15 years, Graeme brought a lot of experience to The Trust Steam Locomotive Trust, useful both before completion of our A1 and once Tornado was running.
Born in Hitchin, an important LNER town in the days of steam, Graeme grew up in Hertfordshire. Graeme’s enthusiasm for railways was fostered by his father who grew up with the Nine Elms’ turntable at the end of his road. After following steam across the country in his formative years, Graeme’s interest was rekindled when he joined (the soon to be privatised) Railtrack as a signalman in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1995.
In 1998 he joined the business development section of Railtrack working on projects such as the Leeds 1st rebuilding, upgrades to the East Coast Main Line and routes in and around Yorkshire and across the Pennines. The introduction of the new Virgin Voyager fleet across the UK led to further responsibility and the role of Deputy General Manager for the Route Modernisation that went with the new trains for Cross Country. With successful delivery and two National Rail Awards won Graeme then moved to Richard Branson’s Virgin leading the day to day operation and planning functions for both Cross Country and West Coast.
At the same time Graeme had become more hands on with steam, volunteering at the NYMR and joining the National Railway Museum’s main line support crew. In 2002 Graeme passed out as a main line fireman with West Coast Railways, working to all four corners of the UK, including running A4s on the East Coast, taking City of Truro to Plymouth and firing a Stanier Duchess from Crewe to Carlisle and back on the same day. Anyone who has seen Graeme on the footplate will have noticed the big smile and usually the black face! He was the footplate for Tornado’s historic 100mph dash down the East Coast Main Line.
In the main industry Graeme’s career developed and he has since held the position of Regional Director Western at the Strategic Rail Authority and Managing Director of Arriva Trains Wales. More recently he has been Chief Executive of rail tour promoter Steam Dreams and is now developing his own consultancy business that includes PWC, Deutsche Bank, the BBC and Serco amongst its clients.
Recently Graeme stepped back as Operations Director but he remains a Trustee and aims to take a full role in current and future A1SLT projects including the P2 and V4 as well as the new train and expanded base in Darlington. However, he has agreed to serve on the SVR (Holdings) PLC Board as Commercial Director, as well as being Vice Chairman of The Gresley Society Trust, which he felt was not compatible with leading the operation of a main line locomotive full-time. Graeme’s service as Operations Director during Tornado’s first 10 years in traffic has been invaluable and we are delighted that he will continue as a Trustee, especially inputting to our long-term development plans.
James took a very different route to get here. After a long spell as an Energy Insurance broker for a global broking company, James started his own design and digital media agency evolve. In 2007 James was approached by The Trust to redesign and build this website. After the work was completed James enjoyed the loco so much he has stayed on to manage the website, upgrades and content management system on behalf of The Trust.
Rob is a former board member of the Trust who was responsible for the production of the Trust’s Project Plan. He is a Chartered Engineer, a European Engineer and a Director at Scientific Generics, a technology and product development company based in Cambridge. He has also been an active footplate volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway for over 30 years, and is related to railway preservation pioneer, the late Tom Rolt.
Graham is responsible for engineering quality, tied in closely with the certification process for the locomotive with the Trust’s NoBo (Delta Rail). As a professional railway engineer, currently working for Railway Approvals (EWS’s certification body) as a vehicle acceptance engineer responsible, for example, for the approval of new class 66 locomotives entering the UK, Graham is well-placed to meet the particular challenge of certificating a brand new steam locomotive for UK main line use.
Graham is responsible for the day to day maintenance and editing of the A1 website, managing The Trust Facebook page and editing ‘The Communication Cord’ and ‘The Tornado Telegraph’, ensuring that The Trust’s primary points of contact for covenantors and the public are kept up to date. He also edits the P2 website and Facebook page and the P2 bulletin ‘The Mikado Messsenger’. Graham started working with steam on the fledgling K&ESR before getting involved with the de Glehn compound when it was based on the Nene Valley Railway. A career in the wine trade was followed by a shift back to his real interest in life and he is now general manager at Accucraft, a firm producing small scale live steam engines for garden railways. He is also an occasional member of Tornado’s support crew to ensure he doesn’t spend his whole life at a computer! When not immersed in steam he tries to spend as much time on horseback as possible.
Mark’s role in the Trust is to manage the Marketing Database to ensure that Covenantors’ email addresses and details are accurately recorded and maintained, particularly for sending out email communications such as The Tornado Telegraph. He also helps out on the merchandising team when Tornado is in the North-East. He was born in Darlington in 1965, unfortunately just a little too late to remember steam and graduated with a degree in Chemistry from York University in 1986, before working at ICI on Teesside as a laboratory chemist. A career in the chemical industry spanned 2 decades, including a 4-year stint in Saudi Arabia supervising loading and discharging of oil and chemical tankers. Returning to the UK he spent seven years as Laboratory Manager at Petroplus, North Tees, before leaving to run his own business selling nuts and bolts on the internet, some of which now adorn Tornado’s cab. He and his partner Lisa have a daughter, Charlotte, who is also a big Tornado fan.
Paul retired from a successful career in brewing in 2009. He now has time to return to his first calling in journalism as Editor of The Tornado Telegraph, a monthly newsletter distributed by email to both A1 Trust Covenators and supporters. In his gap year after school Paul worked for the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. He later became Photo. Manager of Varsity, the award-winning Cambridge University newspaper, but in the end chose the security of the brewing industry. Paul continues to foster both these interests as a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers.
Charles convenes the Trust’s team of half a dozen Work’s Guides. Members of the team attend the Works’ regular openings on the second Saturday of every month, and other one-off occasions, to tell people about the history of the A1s and the work of the Trust in bringing that history to life. Charles has a background in administration within the public and third sectors.
Chris has taken over this role for 2014 onwards and is responsible for arranging the presentations and events that the Trust gives to interested professional bodies, clubs and societies.
Chris is married with two children and three step children, a lifelong railway enthusiast, an A1 covenantor since mid 90’s, and a support crew member since 2008. He is also a founding member of the P2 Locomotive Company. He worked as a manager in BT, then BR and is now retired. Chris is a shareholder in the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, the Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway, the Bluebell Railway and is a shareholder & director of 35006 Locomotive Co. Ltd