Ian Dobbs is a railway manager and advisor who has a long career in railways and public transport management, both in the UK and overseas, where he has run large railway systems in both the private and public sectors. He joined British Rail from University as a management trainee in 1977 and had a 16-year career with the business. Following a series of operational and commercial roles throughout the UK rail system, Ian progressed to become one of BR’s most senior Area Managers. In 1991 he was appointed by Sir Bob Reid, the then Chairman of British Rail, to become Divisional Director, Great Eastern, where he was responsible for Liverpool Street station and its train services in to and throughout East Anglia, one of Britain’s busiest railways.
In 1993, Ian was recruited by the Victoria State Government in Australia to reform and manage the State’s transport network. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Public Transport Corporation with responsibility for the train, tram and bus network and he successfully managed the transition to privatisation.
In 1999 Ian left government service to become a railway management consultant and advisor in Australia, New Zealand and around the Pacific Rim. During this time, he was engaged by banks and financial institutions to advise on and turn around poorly performing railway franchises and concessions, including spells as an interim CEO.
In 2005 Ian returned to the UK to take up the role as Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group PLC’s Rail Division. In this role he was responsible for running the company’s rail and light rail services including South West Trains, East Midlands Trains, Sheffield Supertram and Manchester Metrolink. He was also Co-Chairman of Virgin Rail Group, which is 49% owned by Stagecoach. As part of this role Ian was also a Director of ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) and a member of the National Task Force for Rail in the UK.
Ian is married and lived in Hertfordshire with his wife and daughter. His son is a serving army officer in the Australian Defence Force and decided to stay in Australia when the rest of his family relocated back to the UK.
Ian left BTPA to return to Australia on 5 September 2011.