John Palmer was born into a railway family, who have served the industry for many generations, living near Derby and the Midland Main Line from St Pancras to Sheffield. He is a life-long railway enthusiast and professional railwayman. John spent thirty-three years in the industry and his work took him to nineteen different countries. Although the author has spent most of his working life with diesel and electric traction, his first love was always steam and the period on the Midland main lines, after the 1955 modernisation plan. Since his retirement, he has been involved in railway historical research and also as a director of the preservation group restoring BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0, 73156.