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John Palmer was born in 1948 and became a member of an extended family of railwaymen. Home was in the railway town of Derby, close to the Midland main line and the Great Northern line to Nottingham Victoria, employment within the railway industry naturally followed and John entered service in the department of the chief mechanical and electrical engineer. Shortly afterwards he was selected for a management training scheme, a career of 33 years in contract and project management work in the U K and overseas was enjoyed and also allowed ample opportunity to pursue his own natural interest in all things railway.