Meet the Team


Nigel Harris BA (Hons)

Nigel Harris is the former Managing Editor & Events Director of RAIL, Britain’s market-leading magazine covering Britain’s railway. It’s known for its lively blend of news, pithy, informed opinion and informative features with the magazine frequently being the source of news stories and expert comment for mainstream media. Under Nigel’s leadership, RAIL became a key opinion former in the sector.

A native of Burnley, Lancashire and educated at Burnley Grammar School, he graduated with Honours in history from the University of Wales, Lampeter, in 1978. Nigel fell into journalism by accident, training as a newspaper reporter/features writer with The Westmorland Gazette, Kendal, in 1979. He moved into railway journalism as Assistant Editor of Steam World magazine in 1981 and has since edited six national railway magazines, including Steam Railway, Steam World and Trains Illustrated and he’s the author of around ten specialist books on railways and shipping.

As Editor of RAIL since 1995, Nigel has reported, and commented on, the privatisation of British Rail: its first decade and a half operated by the private sector and its more recent change back into a largely Government controlled industry. He is a regular source of analysis and opinion in the wider media of radio, television and national newspapers, including Sky News, News at Ten and BBC News 24, in addition to dozens of local BBC and independent radio and TV stations. Nigel has written opinion and analysis for The Times and has provided specialist rail industry comment for, amongst others, Radio 4’s You and Yours and its legendary ‘Today’ programme. He has also written for the Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.

Railways play a part in Nigel’s spare time too. From the age of 15, he has been an active standard gauge volunteer steam locomotive fireman/driver. He was also a locomotive driver on the Great Central Railway, in Leicestershire and director of the GCR plc. Nigel is also a founding director of the Loughborough Standard Locomotives Company which part owns and operates its own fleet of three main line steam locomotives, restored from scrapyard condition.

Richard Bowker CBE

Richard has worked at a senior level in both public and private sector companies for over 30 years, both in the UK and internationally.

His previous senior roles include as Group Commercial Director for the Virgin Group of Companies reporting directly to Sir Richard Branson and where he was a Non-Executive Director of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Co-Chairman of Virgin Rail Group. In December 2001, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport to be Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, a post he held for 3 years. Between September 2006 and July 2009, he was Group Chief Executive of National Express Group Plc, one of the world’s leading international transport businesses employing some 42,000 people in the UK, Spain and North America. Subsequent to that he spent three years (2009-2012) as CEO of Etihad Rail PJSC in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

More recently he has held senior positions within the world of Sports administration. Between 2012 and 2018 he was the Senior Independent Director of the English Football League and for four years (2013-2017) was a Commissioner of the Football Regulatory Authority. Between 2012 and 2018 he was a member of the FA Council. From June 2017 to January 2019 he was Chair of UK Athletics, the Governing Body for the sport of Athletics in the UK and prior to that, was a Director on the Board of the London Marathon, one of the world’s most successful charitable fundraising events.

A frequent commentator in the media on transport matters, Richard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He received a BA (Hons) degree in economics and economics & social history from the University of Leicester and was made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2005 for services to the railway industry.

Stef Foster

Stef Foster

Stef is a former Acting Editor of RAIL magazine. She spent 16 years on RAIL, working her way up from Editorial & Production Assistant in 2007, to Deputy Editor in 2020, and finally Acting Editor in 2023. In between that time, she held a variety of roles across events management, production management, and editorial.

She fell into journalism (and railways) completely by accident after deciding she wanted to embark on a career in publishing. But, as with many people on the railway, once she was bitten by the rail bug, it was hard to shake! While organising Railfest 2012, a colleague introduced her to 1923 Metropolitan Electric Sarah Siddons and the Frankenstein-esque interior and quirky details captured her imagination, beginning a probably unhealthy obsession with the history of the London Underground and Metroland.

Stef has interviewed many senior people on the railway, spoken at conferences, and become a passionate supporter of championing diversity on the railway and the personal development of individuals. She also feels strongly about the railway’s role in achieving net zero.