More About the Author
Joe was born in Preston, Lancashire in February 1977 but before his first birthday his family had moved south to London where he has remained ever since.
Growing up a stone's throw from the District / North London lines and the British Rail Hounslow Loop evidently made a very early impression and like many little boys Joe was obsessed with all things railways, combining this with his other great love; drawing.
Daily journeys to school in Hammersmith on the District Line began to raise questions in Joe's mind about the traces of abandoned railways he saw, which prompted library research and culminated at the age of 12 in the first version of the London Railway Atlas, which was a sprawling mass of A4 sheets of paper, black ink and sellotape taking up most of a bedroom wall. It used the humble A to Z as a guide, just as the aforementioned book does now.
Following the premature loss of his mother in 1989, Joe filled long Summer holiday days by purchasing a zone 1-6 travelcard and roving London's railway network, curious to find traces of the abandoned lines and stations his research was uncovering. He'd also cycle around West London, camera in hand, photographing the remnants of these lines and stations perhaps with a book in the distant future in mind.
By his mid-teens Joe had pretty much lost all outward interest in railways and turned his sights to the usual pursuits of teenage boys, whilst still maintaining a keen interest in drawing and design. After a very short university career (1 term studying Biology at King's College London) and 18 months working London's club scene as well as bit-parts acting Joe's former interest came back to the fore one day in the form of a poster recruiting for Northern Line Guards at Old Street Tube station.
That was in late 1997, and after initially joining London Underground on a 6 month short-term contract as a stop-gap (the Guard role's days were numbered), a whole career has since ensued.
After 9 months working out of East Finchley Depot as a Guard, Joe successfully passed 'motors' and spent a further 6 months driving 1959 and 1962 Stock trains on the Northern Line before transferring to Parson's Green Depot on the District Line in March 1999. After 2 years driving on the District Line, Joe was promoted to Duty Manager (Trains) at Earl's Court, and it was whilst in this role that he appeared in 'The Tube' Series 1 on television.
After 6 years as a Duty Manager at Earl's Court, Joe was again promoted to the role of Train Operations Manager, in charge of the day-to-day operations of Elephant & Castle Depot on the Bakerloo Line, where he remained for 2 1/2 years. In December 2009 Joe turned his attentions to station operations, taking up the position of Marylebone Group Station Manager, managing 6 stations on the Bakerloo Line.
The London Railway Atlas Second edition and the 2006 First edition are a revival of Joe's childhood interest and have been gradually spawned on a home PC using pretty basic software and many hundreds of hours' endeavour. Despite job demands Joe is still keen to continue periodically updating this work as London's railways continue to evolve, and has some future projects in mind to complement this book.