Ivor William Warburton was born in 1946 and joined British Rail: London Midland Region as a Management Trainee. He went on to become Assistant Area Manager at Corby, Area Manager at Luton and Divisional Passenger Manager for Bristol. He then became Overseas Tourist Manager before being appointed as Regional Passenger Manager, York. He moved to become Director Operations at British Railways Headquarters before taking up the position of General Manager of British Rail: London Midland Region, serving in this capacity between 1990 and 1992. He was made Managing Director, InterCity West Coast in 1993, staying in this role until 1996. In 1997 he was appointed as Director, Virgin Rail Group until 1999.