Neil Howard has been a railwayman for forty years. His career started in 1976 as a volunteer loco cleaner at a steam museum railway in UK, and he joined British Rail on leaving school in 1978. He held multiple positions in train engineering, metro and Intercity operations, international traffic to Netherlands and Germany, steam tourist trains, and spent two years on secondment to London Underground.
In 1991 he was promoted to become British Rails youngest ever Senior Officer and in 1992 had the honour of acting as Royal Train Officer when Her Majesty and the Royal Family travelled by special train. From 1995 to 1998 he worked with Hungarian State railways to develop the former Communist Government train as a high end tourist train linking Budapest with Vienna, Prague, and the Tatra Mountains.
In 1999 Neil conceptualised and directed the Kosovo – Train for Life project, delivering 800 tons of humanitarian aid and three much-needed locomotives from UK to KFOR. It operated across nine railway administrations and remains the furthest journey a British train has ever run from UK on its own wheels. In 2012 he was Project Director for a steam hauled train commemorating the British Military Train (the “Berliner”) from Hannover to Berlin, which conveyed three Major-Generals and the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony as well as 600 British veterans from BAOR and the Berlin Garrison.
He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, married for 30 years, and lives in London.
Foto by Major John Poyntz