Mike Harris was an extremely versatile journalist, writer and intellectual heavyweight whose life was dominated by railways both ancient and modern.
He was a prolific author of railway titles, which were thought-provoking and extremely well-researched. He edited many magazines as well as managing numerous others.
Mike joined Ian Allan Publishing in 1977 to edit Railway World, which he did with great success, transforming it from an ailing title to a leader in its field.
He then became editorial director of Ian Allan Publishing and it was in this position that he showed his extraordinary versatility. He took on the editorship of Armed Forces and his success in this role was rewarded by his appointment as managing director of the company.
On leaving Ian Allan Publishing in 1992, Mike continued to make a huge contribution to a whole range of railway magazines.
He returned to edit Railway World in 1996 where he masterminded a second recovery in a highly competitive market. It was during this second spell as editor that he became ill and only gave up his post earlier this year.
Mike’s energy was huge. He often worked 16 hours and more a day to meet deadlines and travelled many miles to cover stories or to visit friends.
His contribution to railway history in general and particularly Ian Allan Publishing was colossal. He will be very sadly missed.