David Wharton-Street was born in 1944. He became a Management Trainee in British Rail: Western Region from 1965 to 1967 when he posted to be Area Supervisor at Worcester, until 1968. He then joined the Traffic Analysis and Costing Department at Divisional Headquarters in Reading during 1968 and then moved to be Station Master at Cheltenham in the same year, leaving that role in 1969. From 1969 to 1970 he worked as Assistant Area Manager at Gloucester, before becoming Area Passenger Manager at Westbury and Station Manager in Bath between 1970 and 1971. He moved to Oxford in 1971, where he worked as Area Terminals Manager until 1972, when he was appointed Area Manager for the Chilterns until 1973. He then undertook a secondment to British Transport Hotels in 1973 and moved on to be Regional Train Catering Manager/Royal Train Manager based at Euston on British Rail: London Midland Region from 1974 to 1979. He then moved north to the Newcastle Division to serve as Divisional Passenger Manager from 1979 to 1983, and then worked as Passenger Sales Manager for British Rail: Eastern Region at York between 1983 and 1984, in that year he became Passenger Local Services Manager in British Rail: Eastern Region, and also became Provincial Services Manager in British Rail: Eastern Region, serving this capacity from 1984 to 1990. He worked as Acting Director of Regional Railways North East from 1990 until 1991. In 1991 he undertook various roles developing Organising for Quality at Regional Railways Headquarters and for the British Railways Board, until 1993 when he joined the British Railways Board's Safety Department at Euston House. From 1994 to 1995 he was seconded to Railtrack’s Safety & Standards Department.