Mark Smith is a career railwayman who joined British Rail in 1987. He was the Station Manager at London Charing Cross in the early 1990s and later Customer Relations Manager for two privatised train companies. He has also worked for the UK’s Department for Transport as head of their UK rail fares and ticketing regulation team. In 2001, Mark set up a website called The Man in Seat 61, to help travellers plan and book train travel around Europe and worldwide. This became his full time job in 2007, and before the pandemic it received up to 1 million visitors each month.