Oakwood Video Library

British Railways 1948 - 1994: From Nationalisation to Privatisation Volume Two - From Passengers to Customers

Code: KW004
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An inherited Railway – Four into one doesn’t go, but the new British Railways Board had to make it happen, and Standard designs were developed from the findings of the locomotive trails in 1948. Soon BR was developing new traction, both steam and diesel, early diesel developments starting with 10000 and 10201.

Modernisation Plans – From 1955 a clearer policy developed, diesels and electrics were the way forward, but GT3 combined modern and traditional theory, the ‘Southern’ electrification plans were reborn and the Eastern Region was also electrifying. Warship diesel-hydraulics were entering service on the Western Region, while the Eastern was receiving new English Electric Type 4s, and branch lines were losing steam everywhere as DMUs continued to be introduced.

Transition from Steam – Between 1960 and 1968 the railways of Britain changed radically, steam was eliminated from every region, electrification continued with speed on the West Coast Main line, to Bournemouth, and suburban Glasgow went AC as the ‘Blue Train’ arrived, but curiously the DC suburban lines on Tyneside were dieselised. Dr. Beeching was wielding his axe, with the Somerset & Dorset and Great Central lines among notable casualties. BR found a new business in railtour trade from railway enthusiasts, and then promptly banned steam, so even the youthful BR Standards were destined for scrap yards such as Barry, along with some diesels!

The Corporate era – Rail blue epitomises the stagnant years of BR, and even the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge stock had the new double-arrow image. Investment for the HST and gas turbine APT dominated the news, but it also saw the end for the Blue Pullman (now rail grey), the Westerns, Hymeks, Warships, and Deltics. However, the inauguration of the Carlisle to Glasgow electrification showed the way forward.

A Revitalised Railway – During the early 1980s new liveries signalled a new era where locomotives were soon to become a thing of the past, ‘Sprinterisation and Sectorisation’ would change the railway beyond belief – Inter-City, Network South East, Provincial, and Parcels operations were launched – there was closer co-operation with local authorities, and then came the first signs of privatisation . . . Stagecoach.

1994 – The End or a New Beginning – Then came the tunnel, and Eurostars, but controversy still raged over the route for the new Continental Main line, France could do it, BR couldn’t . . . postponed for privatisation. 

Produced by - Oakwood Video Library
Running time - 81 Minutes
Aspect Ratio - 4:3 (Colour/B&W)
DVD only
Released - 2014 

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