Roger Ford

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Roger Ford
Roger Ford in the cab of class 800002 at North Pole Train Maintenance Centre, 2015
In the cab of class 800002 at North Pole Train Maintenance Centre, 2015
Born United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Railway journalist
Years active 1976-present
Known for Modern Railways

Roger Ford is a British journalist specialising in rail transport.[1] He is Industry and Technology Editor of the monthly trade and technical magazine Modern Railways, where he is probably best known for his authoritative column Informed Sources, noted for its in-depth analysis of railway technical, commercial and policy issues.[2] He is also founding editor of Rail Business Intelligence.[3]


Ford trained as a mechanical engineer with English Electric at Rugby, specialising in prime movers, and on qualification joined the head office of the company’s Traction Division. While at English Electric Traction he was seconded to the Maintenance Division, spending time at Finsbury Park and Stratford locomotive depots.

He subsequently pursued a career in industrial publicity management, with British Standards, Chloride and Fairey, before deciding to become a full-time writer in 1976, specialising in railways. In the 1980s he also edited the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Railway Division's quarterly technical journal Railway Engineer and the Railway Industry Association's Railpower magazine, promoting the UK rail industry abroad.

With the start of privatisation of British Rail in 1993 Ford began a parallel career as an independent consultant, with clients including the former Office of Passenger Rail Franchising and a number of leading banks and leasing organisations. He has also presented technical and commercial papers to a wide range of learned societies and industry conferences.

In March 1995 he became the founding editor of the fortnightly subscription newsletter Rail Privatisation News, created to provide inside information for financial, legal and commercial organisations taking part in the privatisation of British Rail. Initially conceived as a short-term project linked to the privatisation programme, the Railway Gazette International newsletter saw circulation continuing to expand after the 1997 general election, and in 1998 the title was changed to Rail Business Intelligence to reflect its ongoing role.[4]

To support his writing activities Roger Ford launched his own website Alycidon Rail (named after the British Rail Class 55 locomotive[5]). This provides on-line resources including archives, research material and an acronym translator. The e-Preview newsletter offers a monthly e-mail outlining the contents of the next Informed Sources column in Modern Railways, developments since the column went to press and a short blog.


90006 at Liverpool Street

Roger Ford was the Chartered Institute of Transport's Journalist of the Year in 1993 and received the same award from the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport in 2003.[2] He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics & Transport and an Associate of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.

Class 90 locomotive 90006 is named Roger Ford on one side, and Modern Railways on the other.[6]

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