Born in 1946, Graham Eccles' railway career began as a Junior at Sherburn-in-Elmet in 1962. He then took on various posts as a booking office clerk around York and worked at the York Control Office during the mid-1960s to 1970 before becoming Timing and Diagramming at York Headquarters in 1970. From 1979 he was a Supervisor in Knottingley, before moving onto be Area Operations Manager at Colchester. He was then appointed as Chief Controller, Divisional Manager's office, Liverpool Street and then was an Area Manager before moving to become the Divisional Operating Manager for South Central. After taking a job as Regional Operations Manager, Anglia, he was made General Manager for both British Rail: Southern and Anglia Regions and then Managing Director of Network SouthCentral during privatisation. He then became Operations Director of South West Trains in 1996, before being appointed as Chief Operating Officer Rail with Stagecoach from 2001.