Ken W. Burrage was born in 1939 and joined British Rail: Southern Region as an Engineering student in 1956. In 1965, he became Assistant Divisional Signal Engineer on the South Western, holding this position until 1971 when he was promoted to Divisional Signal Engineer, South Western. He worked as Assistant Engineer Signals, British Rail: Southern Region from 1974 to 1977, after which he moved to the Western Region as Signal Engineer. He was then appointed as Chief Signal & Telecommunications Engineer for British Rail: London Midland Region in 1981. He also served as Deputy Director Signal & Telecommunications Engineering, British Railways Board from 1988, and moved on to be Director Signal & Telecommunications Engineering, British Railways Board in 1989. He then worked as Director Engineering Standards, British Railways Board between 1992 and 1994.
At privatisation he became Controller Safety & Standards, Railtrack in 1994, before moving to Westinghouse Signalling in 1995 to become the Director & Deputy Managing Director, serving int his capacity until 1999. He then became the Chief Executive of Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) between 1999 and 2006. In 2006 he moved onto the IRSE Licensing Scheme for Professional Engineers until 2015.