Ian K. Braybrook was born in 1954 and studied French and German at the University of Oxford. In 1976 he joined British Rail as a Management Trainee. He worked as a Summer Traffic Assistant at Newton Abbot and a Traincrew Supervisor at Oxford. He served as Area Manager at Slough and Traffic Manager at Hayes. In 1984 he was appointed as Planning Assistant for the European Rail Traffic Organisation in 1984, after which he moved to work in freight sales at Newcastle in 1985. He then moved to British Railways Headquarters as Metals & Automotives Manager in 1986, serving in this capacity until 1988 when he worked in trainload freight business organisation planning. Between 1993 and 1995 he served as Director for Freight Restructuring for Trainload Freight North East and Loadhaul Ltd. He then served as the Managing Director of English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) from 1996 to 2000.