HOME
The Info List - British Rail





British Railways
British Railways
(BR), which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the state-owned company that operated most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997. Originally a trading brand of the Railway Executive of the British Transport
Transport
Commission, it became an independent statutory corporation in 1962 designated as the British Railways
British Railways
Board.[1] The period of nationalisation saw sweeping changes in the national railway network. A process of dieselisation and electrification took place, and by 1968 steam locomotion had been entirely replaced by diesel and electric traction, except for one narrow-gauge tourist line. Passengers replaced freight as the main source of business, and one-third of the network was closed by the Beeching Axe
Beeching Axe
of the 1960s in an effort to reduce rail subsidies. On privatisation, responsibility for track, signalling and stations was transferred to Railtrack
Railtrack
(which was later brought under public control as Network Rail) and that for trains to the train operating companies. The British Rail
British Rail
"double arrow" logo is formed of two interlocked arrows showing the direction of travel on a double track railway and was nicknamed "the arrow of indecision".[2][3] It is now employed as a generic symbol on street signs in Great Britain
Great Britain
denoting railway stations, and as part of the Rail Delivery Group's (RDG) jointly managed National Rail
National Rail
brand is still being printed on railway tickets.[4]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Nationalisation
Nationalisation
in 1948

1.1.1 Regions

1.2 1955 Modernisation Plan 1.3 The Beeching reports 1.4 Post-Beeching

2 Branding

2.1 Pre-1960s 2.2 1960s 2.3 Post-1960s

3 Finances

3.1 Investment 3.2 Privatisation

4 Accidents and incidents 5 Network 6 Preserved lines 7 Marine services

7.1 Ships 7.2 Sealink 7.3 Hovercraft

8 Advanced Passenger Train 9 Successor companies 10 Future 11 Parodies 12 See also 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of rail transport in Great Britain
History of rail transport in Great Britain
1948–1994

British Rail
British Rail
filmstrip showing how the railways were unified under BR.

Nationalisation
Nationalisation
in 1948[edit]

BR steam locomotive: number 70013 Oliver Cromwell

As BR modernised, diesel and electric locomotion gradually replaced steam. Pictured: two preserved 'Warship' class diesel-hydraulics

The rail transport system in Great Britain
Great Britain
developed during the 19th century. After the grouping of 1923 under the Railways Act 1921, there were four large railway companies, each dominating its own geographic area: the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
(GWR), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), the London
London
and North Eastern Railway (LNER) and the Southern Railway (SR). During World War I
World War I
the railways were under state control, which continued until 1921. Complete nationalisation had been considered, and the Railways Act 1921[5] is sometimes considered as a precursor to that, but the concept was rejected. Nationalisation
Nationalisation
was subsequently carried out after World War II, under the Transport
Transport
Act 1947. This Act made provision for the nationalisation of the network, as part of a policy of nationalising public services by Clement Attlee's Labour Government. British Railways came into existence as the business name of the Railway Executive of the British Transport
Transport
Commission (BTC) on 1 January 1948 when it took over the assets of the Big Four.[6] There were also joint railways between the Big Four and a few light railways to consider (see list of constituents of British Railways). Excluded from nationalisation were industrial lines like the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway. The London
London
Underground – publicly owned since 1933 – was also nationalised, becoming the London Transport
Transport
Executive of the British Transport
Transport
Commission. The Bicester Military Railway was already run by the government. The electric Liverpool Overhead Railway
Liverpool Overhead Railway
was also excluded from nationalisation.[citation needed] The Railway Executive was conscious that some lines on the (then very dense) network were unprofitable and hard to justify socially, and a programme of closures began almost immediately after nationalisation. However, the general financial position of BR became gradually poorer, until an operating loss was recorded in 1955. The Executive itself had been abolished in 1953 by the Conservative
Conservative
government, and control of BR transferred to the parent Commission. Other changes to the British Transport
Transport
Commission at the same time included the return of road haulage to the private sector.

Regions[edit] British Railways
British Railways
was divided into regions which were initially based on the areas the former Big Four operated in; later, several lines were transferred between regions. Notably, these included the former Great Central lines from the Eastern Region to the London
London
Midland Region, and the West of England Main Line
West of England Main Line
from the Southern Region to Western Region

Southern Region of British Railways: former Southern Railway lines. Western Region of British Railways: former Great Western Railway lines. London
London
Midland Region of British Railways: former London
London
Midland and Scottish Railway lines in England. Eastern Region of British Railways: former London
London
and North Eastern Railway lines south of York. North Eastern Region of British Railways: former London
London
and North Eastern Railway lines in England
England
north of York. Scottish Region of British Railways: all lines, regardless of original company, in Scotland.

The North Eastern Region was merged with the Eastern Region in 1967. In the 1980s, the regions were abolished and replaced by "business sectors", a process known as sectorisation. The Anglia Region was created in late 1987, its first General Manager being John Edmonds, who began his appointment on 19 October 1987. Full separation from the Eastern Region – apart from engineering design needs – occurred on 29 April 1988. It handled the services from Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, its western boundary being Hertford East, Meldreth and Whittlesea.[7][8] 1955 Modernisation Plan[edit] Main article: 1955 Modernisation Plan The report, latterly known as the "Modernisation Plan",[9] was published in January 1955. It was intended to bring the railway system into the 20th century. A government White Paper produced in 1956 stated that modernisation would help eliminate BR's financial deficit by 1962, but the figures in both this and the original plan were produced for political reasons and not based on detailed analysis.[10] The aim was to increase speed, reliability, safety, and line capacity through a series of measures that would make services more attractive to passengers and freight operators, thus recovering traffic lost to the roads. Important areas included:

Electrification of principal main lines, in the Eastern Region, Kent, Birmingham
Birmingham
to Liverpool/Manchester and Central Scotland Large-scale dieselisation to replace steam locomotives New passenger and freight rolling stock Resignalling and track renewals Modern marshalling yards The closure of an unspecified, but relatively small, number of lines

The government appeared to endorse the 1955 programme (costing £1.2 billion), but did so largely for political reasons.[10] This included the withdrawal of steam traction and its replacement by diesel (and some electric) locomotives. Not all the modernisations would be effective at reducing costs. The dieselisation programme gave contracts primarily to British suppliers, who had limited experience of diesel locomotive manufacture, and rushed commissioning based on an expectation of rapid electrification resulted in numbers of locomotives with poor designs, and a lack of standardisation.[11] At the same time containerised freight was being developed.[11] The marshalling yard building programme was a failure, being based on a belief in the continued viability of wagon load traffic in the face of increasingly effective road competition, and lacking effective forward planning or realistic assessments of future freight.[11]

British Railways
British Railways
Eastern Region timetable for Summer 1963.

The Beeching reports[edit]

Network for development proposed in 1965 report "The Development of the Major Trunk Routes" (bold lines)

Main article: Beeching cuts During the late 1950s, railway finances continued to worsen, whilst passenger numbers grew after restoring many services reduced during the war, and in 1959 the government stepped in, limiting the amount the BTC could spend without ministerial authority. A White Paper proposing reorganisation was published in the following year, and a new structure was brought into effect by the Transport
Transport
Act 1962.[12] This abolished the Commission and replaced it by several separate Boards. These included a British Railways
British Railways
Board, which took over on 1 January 1963.[13]

A Scammell Scarab
Scammell Scarab
truck in British Railways
British Railways
livery, London, 1962. British Railways
British Railways
was involved in numerous related businesses including road haulage

Following semi-secret discussions on railway finances by the government-appointed Stedeford Committee in 1961, one of its members, Dr Richard Beeching, was offered the post of chairing the BTC while it lasted, and then becoming the first Chairman of the British Railways Board.[14] A major traffic census in April 1961, which lasted one week, was used in the compilation of a report on the future of the network. This report—The Reshaping of British Railways—was published by the BRB in March 1963.[15][16] The proposals, which became known as the "Beeching Axe", were dramatic. A third of all passenger services and more than 4,000 of the 7,000 stations would close. Beeching, who is thought to have been the author of most of the report, set out some dire figures. One-third of the network was carrying just 1% of the traffic. Of the 18,000 passenger coaches, 6,000 were said to be used only 18 times a year or less. Although maintaining them cost between £3m and £4m a year, they earned only about £0.5m.[17] Most of the closures were carried out between 1963 and 1970 (including some which were not listed in the report) while other suggested closures were not carried out. The closures were heavily criticised at the time,[18] and continue to be controversial.[19] A small number of stations and lines closed under the Beeching programme have been reopened, with further reopenings proposed.[20] A second Beeching report, "The Development of the Major Trunk Routes", followed in 1965.[21] This did not recommend closures as such, but outlined a "network for development". The fate of the rest of the network was not discussed in the report. Post-Beeching[edit] The basis for calculating passenger fares changed in 1964. In future, fares on some routes—such as rural, holiday and commuter services—would be set at a higher level than on other routes; previously, fares had been calculated using a simple rate for the distance travelled, which at the time was 3d per mile second class, and 4½d per mile first class[22] (equivalent to £0.23 and £0.35 respectively, in 2016[23]). Passenger levels decreased steadily from 1962 to the late 1970s,[24] and reached a low in 1982.[25] Network improvements included completing electrification of the Great Eastern Main Line
Great Eastern Main Line
from London to Norwich between 1976 and 1986 and the East Coast Main Line
East Coast Main Line
from London
London
to Edinburgh between 1985 and 1990. A main line route closure during this period of relative network stability was the 1500V DC-electrified Woodhead Line
Woodhead Line
between Manchester and Sheffield: passenger service ceased in 1970 and goods in 1981. The 1980s and 1990s saw the closure of some railways which had survived the Beeching Axe
Beeching Axe
a generation earlier, but which had seen passenger services withdrawn. This included the bulk of the Chester and Connah's Quay Railway in 1992, the Brierley Hill
Brierley Hill
to Walsall section of the South Staffordshire Line
South Staffordshire Line
in 1993, while the Birmingham to Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
section of the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
was closed in three phases between 1972 and 1992. A further British Rail
British Rail
report, from a committee chaired by Sir David Serpell, was published in 1983. The Serpell Report made no recommendations as such, but did set out various options for the network including, at their most extreme, a skeletal system of less than 2000 route km. This report was not welcomed, and the government decided to quietly leave it on the shelf. Meanwhile, BR was gradually reorganised, with the regional structure finally being abolished and replaced with business-led sectors.[citation needed] This process, known as "sectorisation", led to far greater customer focus, but was cut short in 1994 with the splitting up of BR for privatisation.

Network SouthEast
Network SouthEast
with a Networker at Charing Cross serving Kent

Upon sectorisation in 1982, three passenger sectors were created: InterCity, operating principal express services; London
London
& South East (renamed Network SouthEast
Network SouthEast
in 1986) operating commuter services in the London
London
area; and Provincial (renamed Regional Railways
Regional Railways
in 1989) responsible for all other passenger services.[26] In the metropolitan counties local services were managed by the Passenger Transport Executives. Provincial was the most subsidised (per passenger km) of the three sectors; upon formation, its costs were four times its revenue.[26] Because British Railways
British Railways
was such a large operation, running not just railways but also ferries, steamships and hotels, it has been considered difficult to analyse the effects of nationalisation.[27] During the 1980s British Rail
British Rail
ran the Rail Riders membership club aimed at 5- to 15-year-olds. Prices rose quickly in this period, rising 108% in real terms from 1979 to 1994, as prices rose by 262% but RPI only increased by 154% in the same time.[28] Branding[edit] Main article: British Rail
British Rail
corporate liveries Pre-1960s[edit] Following nationalisation in 1948, British Railways
British Railways
began to adapt the corporate liveries on the rolling stock it had inherited from its predecessor railway companies. Initially, a GWR-style Brunswick green was used on passenger locomotives, and LNWR-style lined black for mixed-traffic locomotives, but later green was more widely adopted.[29][30] Development of a corporate identity for the organisation was hampered by the competing ambitions of the British Transport
Transport
Commission and the Railway Executive. The Executive attempted to introduce a modern, curved logo which could also serve as the standard for station signage totems. Due to its similarity to a hot dog, it became known as the "flying sausage". BR eventually adopted the common branding of the BTC as its first corporate logo, an Art Deco-style motif of a lion astride a spoked wheel, designed for the BTC by Cecil Thomas; on the bar overlaid across the wheel, the BTC's name was replaced with the words "British Railways". This logo, nicknamed the "Cycling Lion", was applied from 1948 to 1956 to the sides of locomotives, while the sausage logo was adopted for station signs across Great Britain, each coloured according to the appropriate BR region.[31] In 1956, the BTC was granted a heraldic achievement by the College of Arms and the Lord Lyon, and then BTC chairman Brian Robertson wanted a grander logo for the railways. BR's second corporate logo (1956–1965), designed in consultation with Charles Franklyn, adapted the original, depicting a rampant lion emerging from a heraldic crown and holding a spoked wheel, all enclosed in a roundel with the "British Railways" name displayed across a bar on either side. This emblem soon acquired the nickname of the "Ferret and Dartboard". A variant of the logo with the name in a circle was also used on locomotives.[31]

Liverpool Central station sign using the "Flying Sausage" format

1960s[edit] The zeal for modernisation in the Beeching era drove the next rebranding exercise, and BR management wished to divest the organisation of anachronistic, heraldic motifs and develop a corporate identity to rival that of London
London
Transport. BR's design panel set up a working party led by Milner Gray of the Design Research Unit. They drew up a Corporate Identity Manual which established a coherent brand and design standard for the whole organisation, specifying Rail Blue and pearl grey as the standard colour scheme for all rolling stock; Rail Alphabet
Rail Alphabet
as the standard corporate typeface, designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert; and introducing the now-iconic Corporate Identity Symbol of the "Double Arrow" logo. Designed by Gerald Barney (also of the DRU), this arrow device was formed of two interlocked arrows across two parallel lines, symbolising a double track railway. It was likened to a bolt of lightning or barbed wire, and also acquired a nickname: "the arrow of indecision". A mirror image of the double arrow was used on the port side of BR-owned Sealink
Sealink
ferry funnels. The new BR corporate identity and Double Arrow were rolled out in 1965, and the brand name of the organisation was truncated to "British Rail".[31][30]

The British Rail
British Rail
"Double Arrow" (1965)

Rail Blue
Rail Blue
colours – Class 40 40128 with blue and grey coaching at Llandudno in 1982

Post-1960s[edit] The uniformity of BR branding continued until the process of sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s. Certain BR operations such as Inter-City, Network SouthEast
Network SouthEast
or Railfreight
Railfreight
began to adopt their own identities, introducing logos and colour schemes which were essentially variants of the British Rail
British Rail
brand. Eventually, as sectorisation developed into a prelude to privatisation, the unified British Rail
British Rail
brand disappeared, with the notable exception of the Double Arrow symbol, which has survived to this day and serves as a generic trademark to denote railway services across Great Britain.[31] The BR Corporate Identity Manual is noted as a piece of British design history and there are plans for it to be re-published.[32] Finances[edit]

Inverness station with British Rail
British Rail
Class 158s

Despite its nationalisation in 1947 "as one of the 'commanding heights' of the economy",[33] according to some sources British Rail was not profitable for most (if not all)[34] of its history.[35] Newspapers reported that as recently as the 1990s, public rail subsidy was counted as profit;[36] as early as 1961, British Railways
British Railways
were losing £300,000 a day.[37] It was thought that most of the nationalised railways (excluding some freight services) would cease to operate like other unprofitable privatised businesses in the UK, and British Rail's profitability was questioned.[38] Although the company was considered the sole public-transport option in many rural areas, the Beeching cuts
Beeching cuts
made buses the only public transport available in some rural areas.[39] Despite increases in traffic congestion and automotive fuel prices beginning to rise in the 1990s, British Rail
British Rail
remained unprofitable. Following sectorisation, InterCity became profitable. This sector became the first long distance passenger railway in the UK to go into profit. InterCity became one of Britain’s top 150 companies with civilised city centre to city centre travel across the nation from Aberdeen and Inverness in the north to Poole and Penzance in the south.[40] Investment[edit] ‹ The template below (Incomplete) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. ›

This section is incomplete. (February 2013)

In 1988, the line to Aberdare
Aberdare
was reopened. A British Rail advertisement ("Britain's Railway", directed by Hugh Hudson) featured some of the most iconic railway structures in Britain, including the Forth Rail Bridge, Royal Albert Bridge, Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct
and London Paddington station.[41] The London
London
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street station
was rebuilt, opened by Queen Elizabeth II, and a new station was constructed at Stansted Airport in 1991. The following year, the Maesteg Line
Maesteg Line
was reopened and the line to King's Lynn electrified. Privatisation[edit]

Rail ridership in Great Britain, 1829–2014

UK rail subsidy 1985–2015 (in 2015 terms), showing the huge increase after the Hatfield crash

Main articles: Privatisation of British Rail
Privatisation of British Rail
and Impact of the privatisation of British Rail Between 1994 and 1997, British Rail
British Rail
was privatised.[42] Ownership of the track and infrastructure passed to Railtrack
Railtrack
on 1 April 1994. Passenger operations were later franchised to 25 private-sector operators and the freight services were sold to six companies, five of whom were owned by the same buyer.[43]

The Waterloo & City line was part of Network SouthEast.

The Waterloo & City line, part of BR Network SouthEast, was not included in the privatisation and was transferred to London Underground in December 1994. The remaining obligations of British Rail were transferred to BRB (Residuary) Limited. The privatisation, proposed by the Conservative
Conservative
government in 1992, was opposed by the Labour Party and the rail unions. Although Labour initially proposed to reverse privatisation,[44] the New Labour manifesto of 1997 instead opposed Conservative
Conservative
plans to privatise the London
London
Underground.[45] Rail unions have historically opposed privatisation, but former Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen general secretary Lew Adams moved to work for Virgin Trains, and said on a 2004 radio phone-in programme: "All the time it was in the public sector, all we got were cuts, cuts, cuts. And today there are more members in the trade union, more train drivers, and more trains running. The reality is that it worked, we’ve protected jobs, and we got more jobs."[46][47] Accidents and incidents[edit] Main article: List of accidents on British Rail Network[edit]

Crowds on a railtour at Maesteg Castle Street Station since reopened by BR as the Maesteg Line

The former BR network, with the trunk routes of the West Coast Main Line, East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line, Great Eastern Main Line and Midland Main Line, remains mostly unchanged since privatisation. Several lines have reopened and more are proposed, particularly in Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
where the control of railway passenger services is devolved from central government. However, in England
England
passenger trains have returned to Mansfield, Corby, Chandlers Ford, the reopened line to Aylesbury Vale Parkway and there are numerous other proposals to restore services, such as Oxford-Milton Keynes/Aylesbury, Lewes-Uckfield, Bristol-Portishead and Plymouth-Tavistock. In London, Tyne and Wear, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Nottingham urban light-rail systems have taken over the routes of some former BR routes. In Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government successfully supported the reopening to passenger services, of the Vale of Glamorgan Line
Vale of Glamorgan Line
between Barry and Bridgend in 2005. In 2008 the Ebbw Valley Railway
Ebbw Valley Railway
reopened between Ebbw Vale Parkway and Cardiff, with services to Newport scheduled to commence by 2011. (The Barry-Bridgend route was included in the closures proposed in the Beeching report of March 1963 and its services were duly withdrawn in June 1964, but Ebbw Vale had already been closed to passengers before the report was published.) In Scotland, the Scottish Government have reinstated the lines between Hamilton and Larkhall, Stirling and Alloa, and Airdrie to Bathgate. The biggest line reinstatement project was the rebuilding of part of the former Waverley Route
Waverley Route
from Edinburgh to Carlisle as the Borders Railway.[48] Preserved lines[edit] On its creation, British Railways' assets included the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway
Vale of Rheidol Railway
in Ceredigion, Wales. Although built as a working railway, this line was by that time already principally a tourist asset. British Rail
British Rail
continued to operate the line, using steam locomotives, well beyond the withdrawal of standard gauge steam. The line's three steam locomotives became the only steam engines to receive TOPS
TOPS
serial numbers, and the only steam engines to be painted in BR Rail Blue
Rail Blue
livery and carry the double arrow logo. The Vale of Rheidol Railway was privatised in 1989 and continues to operate as a private heritage railway. Other preserved lines, or heritage railways, have reopened some lines previously closed by British Rail. These range from picturesque rural branch lines like the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
to sections of mainline such as the Great Central Railway. Many have links to the National Rail
National Rail
network, both at station interchanges, for example the Severn Valley Railway
Severn Valley Railway
between Kidderminster and Kidderminster Town, and physical rail connections like the Watercress Line
Watercress Line
at Alton. Although most are operated solely as leisure amenities some also provide educational resources, and a few have ambitions to restore commercial services over routes abandoned by the nationalised industry. Marine services[edit] Ships[edit] Main article: British Railways
British Railways
ships

Sealink
Sealink
house flag

British Railways
British Railways
operated ships from its formation in 1948 on several routes. Many ships were acquired on nationalisation, and others were built for operation by British Railways
British Railways
or its later subsidiary, Sealink. Those ships capable of carrying rail vehicles were classed under TOPS
TOPS
as Class 99.

Sealink
Sealink
MV St David berthed in Larne

Sealink[edit] Main article: Sealink Sealink
Sealink
was a ferry company based in the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1984, operating services to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and Ireland. Hovercraft[edit] Main article: Seaspeed The joint hovercraft services of British Rail
British Rail
(under British Rail Hovercraft
Hovercraft
Limited) in association with the French SNCF.[49] British Rail Hovercraft
Hovercraft
Limited was established in 1965, under authority given to it by the British Railways
British Railways
Act 1967 and started its first service in 1966. Seaspeed
Seaspeed
started cross-Channel services from Dover, England to Calais
Calais
and Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
France
using SR-N4
SR-N4
hovercraft in August 1968. Advanced Passenger Train[edit] Main article: Advanced Passenger Train

An APT departs Euston for Glasgow

The Advanced Passenger Train
Advanced Passenger Train
(APT) was an experimental tilting high speed train developed by British Rail
British Rail
during the 1970s and early 1980s, for use on the West Coast Main Line, which contained a lot of curves. Notable among numerous technical advancements was the active tilting system, which the APT pioneered and has since appeared on other designs around the world. Successor companies[edit] See also: History of rail transport in Great Britain
History of rail transport in Great Britain
1995 to date, Privatisation of British Rail, and Impact of the privatisation of British Rail

A First North Western
First North Western
Class 156 at Romiley Junction station, near Manchester in 2001. It is in its former Regional Railways
Regional Railways
livery.

Under the process of British Rail's privatisation, operations were split into more than 100 companies. The ownership and operation of the infrastructure of the railway system was taken over by Railtrack. The Telecomms infrastructure and British Rail Telecommunications was sold to Racal, which in turn was sold to Global Crossing
Global Crossing
and merged with Thales Group. The rolling stock was transferred to three private ROSCOs (rolling stock companies). Passenger services were divided into 25 operating companies, which were let on a franchise basis for a set period, whilst goods services were sold off completely. Dozens of smaller engineering and maintenance companies were also created and sold off. British Rail's passenger services came to an end upon the franchising of ScotRail; the final train that the company operated was a Railfreight Distribution
Railfreight Distribution
goods train in autumn 1997. The British Railways Board continued in existence as a corporation until early 2001, when it was replaced with the Strategic Rail Authority. Since privatisation, the structure of the rail industry and number of companies has changed several times as franchises have been re-let and the areas covered by franchises restructured. Franchise-based companies that took over passenger rail services include:

Midland Mainline—superseded in 2007 by East Midlands Trains Great North Eastern Railway—superseded in 2007 by National Express East Coast, brought back into public ownership with the creation of the new government-controlled East Coast operator; the East Coast franchise was transferred to Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
East Coast in 2015 Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
West Coast Virgin CrossCountry—superseded in 2007 by CrossCountry ScotRail—operated by National Express, superseded in 2004 by First ScotRail; control of the franchise has since passed to Abellio ScotRail Great Western Trains—became First Great Western in 2008, renamed to Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
in 2015 Wales
Wales
& West—became Wessex Trains
Wessex Trains
and Wales
Wales
& Borders (including the Cardiff Railway Company services operated as Valley Lines) in 2001, after being split into two separate franchises, and now run by Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
and Arriva Trains Wales Arriva Trains Northern—originally Northern Spirit, succeeded in 2004 by First TransPennine Express
First TransPennine Express
and Northern Rail First North Western—originally North Western Trains, succeeded in 2004 by First TransPennine Express
First TransPennine Express
and Northern Rail Anglia Railways, Great Eastern (later First Great Eastern), and the West Anglia section of WAGN were merged to become One, later renamed National Express East Anglia, superseded in 2012 by Abellio Greater Anglia, now known as Greater Anglia Thameslink—succeeded by First Capital Connect
First Capital Connect
in 2006, combined at the same time with West Anglia Great Northern
West Anglia Great Northern
to form the Thameslink Great Northern franchise; succeeded by Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway
in 2014, augmented by South Central and Gatwick Express
Gatwick Express
to form the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise
Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise
in 2015 LTS (London, Tilbury & Southend)—rebranded as c2c in 2000 Connex South Eastern
Connex South Eastern
became South Eastern Trains, then Southeastern Connex South Central
Connex South Central
became South Central and later renamed Southern Merseyrail
Merseyrail
Electrics superseded by Arriva Trains Merseyside
Arriva Trains Merseyside
and now Merseyrail South West Trains
South West Trains
then South Western Railway operated by FirstGroup and MTR Corporation, in 2017 Central Trains—divided in 2007 between London
London
Midland, CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains London
London
Underground for the short underground Waterloo & City line Silverlink—divided in 2007 between London
London
Overground and London Midland

Future[edit] See also: Renationalisation of British Rail Since privatisation, many groups have campaigned for the renationalisation of British Rail, most notably 'Bring Back British Rail'. Various interested parties also have views on the privatisation of British Rail. The renationalisation of the railways of Britain continue to have popular support. Polls in 2012 and 2013 showed 70% and 66% support for renationalisation respectively.[50][51] Due to rail franchises lasting sometimes over a decade, full renationalisation would take years unless compensation was paid to terminate contracts early. When the infrastructure owning company Railtrack
Railtrack
ceased trading in 2002, the Labour government set up the not-for-dividend company Network Rail
Network Rail
to take over the duties rather than renationalise this part of the network. However in September 2014, Network Rail
Network Rail
was reclassified as a central government body, adding around £34 billion to public sector net debt. This reclassification had been requested by the Office for Budget Responsibility to comply with pan-European accounting standard ESA10.[52] Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has pledged to gradually renationalise British Rail
British Rail
franchises if elected, as and when their private contracts expire, creating a "People's Railway".[53] This position echoes the positions defended by the RMT – the biggest trade union within the railway industry. It has recently stepped up its campaigning under the presidency of Sean Hoyle for a nationalized railway.[citation needed] Parodies[edit] In 1989, the ITV Sketch Show Spitting Image
Spitting Image
made a parody of Hudson's British Rail
British Rail
advert on the plans of the Conservative
Conservative
British Government to privatise the railways featuring many of the show's puppets (including the show's portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher), numerous BR trains and landmarks and even a cardboard cutout of Thomas the Tank Engine.[54] See also[edit]

UK Railways portal

History

History of rail transport in Great Britain Privatisation of British Rail Impact of the privatisation of British Rail

Divisions, brands and liveries

Sealink
Sealink
– BR's sea division British Rail
British Rail
Telecommunications British Rail
British Rail
brand names British Rail
British Rail
corporate liveries BRB (Residuary) Limited List of companies operating trains in the United Kingdom

Classification and numbering schemes

British Carriage and Wagon Numbering and Classification British Rail
British Rail
locomotive and multiple unit numbering and classification

Rolling stock

List of British Rail
British Rail
classes Steam locomotives of British Railways List of British Railways
British Railways
steam locomotives as of 31 December 1967

Other

British Transport
Transport
Police Gerry Fiennes British Rail
British Rail
flying saucer British Rail
British Rail
sandwich The wrong type of snow

References[edit]

Jackson, Tanya (2013). "6: In Search of an Identity". British Railways: The Nation's Railway. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-9742-6. Retrieved 11 September 2015.  Height, Frank; Cresswell, Roy (1979). Design for Passenger Transport. Pergamon. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4831-5309-4. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 

^ s.1 Transport
Transport
Act 1962 ^ "The Arrow of Indecision". madebysix.wordpress.com.  ^ Shannon, Paul. "Blue Diesel Days". Ian Allan Publishing. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  ^ Her Majesty's Government (2002). "The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (SI 2002:3113)". Retrieved 2009-03-27.  ^ "The State and the Railways". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Hansard. 1920-08-03. col. 711–713. Retrieved 2009-07-18.  ^ Her Majesty's Government (1947). " Transport
Transport
Act 1947". The Railways Archive. (originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Retrieved 2006-11-25.  ^ Slater, John, ed. (December 1987). "Anglia Region created". Railway Magazine. Cheam: Prospect Magazines. 133 (1040): 758. ISSN 0033-8923.  ^ Slater, John, ed. (July 1988). "Anglia takes over". Railway Magazine. Cheam: Prospect Magazines. 134 (1047): 426. ISSN 0033-8923.  ^ British Transport
Transport
Commission (1954). "Modernisation and Re-Equipment of British Rail". The Railways Archive. (Originally published by the British Transport
Transport
Commission). Retrieved 2006-11-25.  ^ a b Loft, Charles (2013) Last Trains – Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England
England
ISBN 9781849545006 ^ a b c Terence Richard Gourvish; N. Blake (1986). British Railways, 1948–73: a business history. Cambridge University Press. pp. 286–290.  ^ Her Majesty's Government (1962). " Transport
Transport
Act 1962". The Railways Archive. (originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Retrieved 2006-11-25.  ^ nationalarchives.gov.uk ^ "Back to Beeching", BBC Radio 4, 27 February 2010 ^ British Transport
Transport
Commission (1963). "The Reshaping of British Railways – Part 1: Report". The Railways Archive. (originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Retrieved 2006-11-25.  ^ British Transport
Transport
Commission (1963). "The Reshaping of British Railways—Part 2: Maps". The Railways Archive. (originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Retrieved 2006-11-25.  ^ Richard Beeching "The Reshaping of British Railways", p.15 ^ "The Economics and Social Aspects of the Beeching Plan"—Lord Stoneham, House of Lords, 1963 ^ "Can Beeching be undone?". 2009.  ^ "Move to reinstate lost rail lines", BBC, 15 June 2009 ^ "The Development Of The Major Railway Trunk Routes", The Railways Archive, British Railways
British Railways
Board, February 1965  ^ Cooke, B.W.C., ed. (July 1964). "Notes and News: New fares structure". Railway Magazine. Westminster: Tothill Press. 110 (759): 592.  ^ UK Retail Price Index
Retail Price Index
inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.  ^ The UK Department for Transport
Transport
(DfT), specifically Table 6.1 from Transport
Transport
Statistics Great Britain
Great Britain
2006 Archived 8 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. (4 MB PDF file) ^ Chapter 12: Transport
Transport
at the UK Government Web Archive (archived 5 January 2016) ^ a b Thomas, David St John; Whitehouse, Patrick (1990). BR in the Eighties. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-9854-7.  ^ Boocokc, Colin. Spotlight on BR: British Railways
British Railways
1948–1998 Success or Disaster?. ISBN 978-0-906899-98-4.  ^ Gourvish, Terry. British Rail
British Rail
1974–1997: From Integration to Privatisation. p. 277.  ^ Brian Haresnape Railway Liveries. BR Steam 1948–1968 ^ a b Height & Cresswell 1979. ^ a b c d Jackson 2013. ^ "Is the British Rail
British Rail
logo a design icon?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.  ^ "History of Railways in Britain". Rail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ "History of the British Railway". Rail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ Gourvish, T. R. (2011). British Railways
British Railways
1948–73: A Business History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-18883-0.  ^ Wolmar, Christian (23 October 2011). " British Rail
British Rail
'profit' figure masks doubling of subsidy". Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ Payne, Sebastian. "Fifty years on from Beeching and Britain's railways are better than ever". The Spectator. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ Mitchell, Brian; Chambers, David; Crafts, Nicholas (August 2009). "How good was the profitability of British Railways, 1870–1912?" (PDF). University of Warwick. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ Welsby, John. "Railway Services for Rural Areas". Japan Railway & Transport
Transport
Review (9): 12–17. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ "The fall and rise of Britain's railways". Rail Staff News. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2016.  ^ Britain's Railway Advert 16:9 HD. 31 August 2011 – via YouTube.  ^ Her Majesty's Government (1903). "Railways Act 1993". The Railways Archive. (originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Retrieved 2006-11-26.  ^ "EWS Railway—Company History". Archived from the original on 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2006-11-26.  ^ - Macintyre, Donald (10 January 1995), "Blair soft-pedals over reversing BR privatisation", www.independent.co.uk  ^ "Labour Party Manifesto", www.labour-party.org.uk (website unaffiliated with the official Labour Party), Railways, 1997, archived from the original on 2002-08-21  ^ TRANSCRIPT FROM THE BILL GOOD SHOW, CKNW RADIO, VANCOUVER – Interview with Lew Adams, Board Member, Strategic Rail Authority, UK (PDF) (transcript), Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships website, 26 November 2004, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2014  ^ "Union boss hops on board Virgin". BBC News. 19 October 1998.  ^ "Waverley Rail Project route".  ^ "Chapter 3: British Rail
British Rail
Hovercraft
Hovercraft
Ltd" (PDF). competition-commission.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-03-02.  ^ "70% want end to rail privatisation", www.globalrailnews.com, 13 Sep 2012  ^ Merrick, Jane. " Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
reveals first official policy: To renationalise the railways". The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2017.  ^ Budget (19 March 2014). "Budget 2014: fears of more austerity in spite of growth". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2014.  ^ Elgot, Jessica. "Corbyn to launch transport campaign with rail pledges". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2017.  ^ Britain's Railway. 20 November 2009 – via YouTube. 

Further reading[edit]

Brady, Robert A. (1950). Crisis in Britain. Plans and Achievements of the Labour Government. University of California Press. , on nationalization 1945–50, pp 236–83

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: British Railways
British Railways
and British Rail
British Rail
(category)

British Railways Board history BRB (Residuary) Ltd. Catalogue of the BR Technical Research Department archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

v t e

British Rail

History

1955 Modernisation Plan Beeching cuts Serpell Report Privatisation of British Rail Accidents

Legislation

Transport
Transport
Act 1947 Transport
Transport
Act 1962 Railways Act 1993 Transport
Transport
Act 2000

Management

British Transport
Transport
Commission British Railways
British Railways
Board BRB (Residuary) Limited

Regions

Eastern London
London
Midland North Eastern Scottish Southern Western

Services, sectors and subsidiaries

Passenger

InterCity Network NorthWest Network SouthEast Regional Railways ScotRail

Freight

Railfreight Rail Express Systems Railfreight
Railfreight
Distribution

Speedlink Freightliner

Trainload Freight Red Star Parcels

Other

British Rail
British Rail
Engineering British Rail
British Rail
Research Division British Rail
British Rail
Telecommunications British Transport
Transport
Hotels Sealink Travellers Fare

Media and Publicity

Blue Pullman Killing Time Age of the Train Railnews The wrong type of snow

See also Category:British Rail

v t e

National railway companies of Europe

List of railway companies Rail transport
Rail transport
by country Railway companies by country

Albania HSH Armenia SKZD1 Austria ÖBB Azerbaijan ADY1 Belarus BŽD/BČ Belgium SNCB/NMBS Bosnia ŽFBH2 and ŽRS3 Bulgaria BDŽ Croatia HŽ Czech Republic ČD Denmark DSB Estonia EVR and Elron Finland VR France
France
SNCF Georgia SR1 Germany DB Greece TrainOSE Hungary MÁV Ireland IÉ Italy FS Kazakhstan KTŽ1 Kosovo HK/KŽ4 Latvia LDz Lithuania LG Luxembourg CFL Macedonia MŽ Moldova CFM Montenegro ŽPCG Netherlands NS Norway NSB Poland PKP Portugal CP Romania CFR Russia RŽD1 Serbia ŽS (Kargo, Voz)7 Slovakia ŽSSK Slovenia SŽ Spain Renfe Operadora Sweden SJ AB Switzerland SBB CFF FFS Turkey TCDD1 Ukraine UZ United Kingdom NR5 / NIR6

1Country partly in Asia 2For the Federation BH 3For Srpska 4State with limited recognition 5For Great Britain 6For Northern Ireland 7Newly established ra

.