Trelawny Neilson Butters, known as Neil Butters, was born in 1948 and became a Clerical Officer Class 4 with British Railways at Kensington Olympia in 1966. He then held five more holiday jobs as Railman/Clerical Officer at Kensington Olympia, Paddington, Birmingham Camp Hill between 1966 and 1970. He completed an external Batchelor of Arts as a student from the University of London in Psychology, Law & Economics. He has also completed a Diploma in Personnel Management from Aston University.
He became a Traffic Management Trainee on West of England Division of British Rail: Western Region from 1970 to 1972, before becoming the Assistant Area Manager at Swindon between 1972 to 1973. From 1973 he worked in various roles on the implementation of Total Operations Processing System (TOPS) for British Railways Board until 1975. He then moved back to the Western Region working in Management Services at Reading until 1977, where he was involved with TOPS on the Western Region in Bristol and Paddington, leaving that role in 1979. He then became a Personnel Research Officer for the British Railways Board, before becoming a Management Development & Training Officer for Freightliner in 1982 until 1985 when went on part-time secondment as a Recruitment Consultant with Lloyd's of London and took another secondment as Assistant Director of Bath Enterprise Ltd at Green Park Station between 1985 to 1987. He completed a Master of Business Administration in Business Development at City University Business School and went on secondment as Programme Director for Master of Science Transport & Logistics Management at the University of Salford between 1987 and 1989. Between 1988 and 1989 he took a part-time secondment as Personal Assistant to President (Alastair Pugh CBE) of the Chartered Institute of Transport. He then moved to become the Senior Training Consultant for Transmark at Paddington, staying in this post until 1990 when he moved to The Grove Management Centre, Watford as Commercial Manager and Deputy Head, staying until 1995. At this point he became Heritage Officer at 66 Porchester Road for the British Railways Board, until 1998 when he took up the position of Secretary of the Railway Heritage Committee, serving until 2013. He is a Member of the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board, part of the Science Museum Group, serving from 2014 onwards.