Shooter joined British Rail in the 1970s as a management trainee. During the privatisation of British Rail he headed up the M40 Trains management buy-out consortium that would become Chiltern Railways. Shooter became chairman of Data Base Regio United Kingdom Limited, and retired from Chiltern and Data Base Regio in December 2011.
He is currently chairman of Vivarail, a company aiming to heavily overhaul London Underground D78 Stock and upcycle them into new British Rail Class 230 DEMUs.
Shooter is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Chartered Institute of Transport. As of 2013 Shooter became chairman of Moorland and City Railways, and one of the vice-presidents of Railfuture along with Lord Adonis, Chris Green, Roger Ford and Barry Doe.
In the New Year Honours 2010 Shooter was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire "for services to the rail industry". Adrian Shooter is chairman of the Model "A" Ford Club of Great Britain.
In 2014 his Model "A" suffered a seized bearing during a classic rally race in Myanmar.
He owns the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Class "B" steam locomotive 778 (originally Number 19), which he operates in the grounds of his residence in Oxfordshire. Carriages to accompany the locomotive were commissioned from Boston Lodge works. Shooter owns an Indian Hindustan Ambassador car, and a replica Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad "Model T" inspection locomotive commissioned from the Statfold Barn Railway.