British Rail from Sectorisation to Privatisation

Publication Date15th March 2024

Book FormatPaperback





A record of over 150 beautiful pictures bring to life this important period in British railway history.
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How did the railways of Britain change from the uniformity of the 1970s to the kaleidoscope of twenty-first century rail operation? The answer is sectorisation, and Mark Jamieson's British Rail from Sectorisation to Privatisation explores this important but near-forgotten period in the recent history of British railways.

In 1982 British Rail reorganised into five sectors, each responsible for different types of rail traffic: InterCity, Provincial Services, London and South East, Railfreight and Parcels. Sectorisation coincided with the 1980s explosion of brands, colours and logos and the railways soon followed suit, with many bright new liveries applied to trains old and new.

But sectorisation wasn't just about liveries: a relentless focus on each sector's 'bottom line' exposed rail traffic that did not pay and led to the disappearance of many trains. InterCity trains to Blackpool, Stranraer and Shrewsbury ceased and the variety of wagonload freight was virtually destroyed.

Carefully researched captions bring over 150 beautiful pictures to life, explaining how nearly 50 years of nationalised railways would come to an end as British Rail prepared for privatisation.

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