Born in 1936, David C. Blake joined the British Transport Commission as an Engineering Apprentice at Stratford Locomotive Works in 1953. He went on to undertake various engineering roles before becoming the Chief Mechanical & Electrical Engineer for British Rail: Southern Region. He undertook a workshop review between 1981 to 1982 and also conducted a review of British Rail Engineering Limited in 1982 to 1987. He was appointed as Director of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering for British Railways Board in 1987, serving in that capacity until 1990, when he worked as Director of Kings Cross Development. Between 1991 and 1996, he worked as the Managing Director of the Vendor Unit for the British Railways Board.