Robert J. Goundry, also known as Bob Goundry, was born in 1945. He joined British Railways as a Management Trainee in 1967 until 1969, initially going on to hold various local management posts between 1970 and 1979, after which he was appointed Divisional Passenger Manager, Liverpool Street, 1979, holding this post until 1982. Based in Liverpool, he was employed as Railfreight Manager, Chemicals etc. at British Railways Headquarters from 1982 to 1985.

He then worked as Provincial Manager Midland between 1985 and 1989. In 1989, he was appointed as Project Manager on the Organising for Quality initiative until 1993, when he became of Director of Regional Railways North West, serving in this capacity until 1997. After privatisation, he was the Director of Strategy and Company Secretary for Freightliner Group from 1997 until 2005.