Robert Urie interviewed by David Wharton-Street

David Wharton-Street

Oral history interview with Robert Urie, conducted and recorded by David Wharton-Street at the National Railway Museum, York on 12 April 2018. Duration: 1 hr. 4 min. 30 sec. Role as Infrastructure Project Director; appointment to Director Regional Railways North East (RRNE); track access agreement; RRNE steps towards privatisation; RRNE Directors' meeting; Mersey Travel Limited (MTL); formation of Railtrack in 1994; Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and rail safety; Association of Train Operating Companies [ATOC] and role; RRNE responsibilities; RRNE management buyout (MBO) team; progress towards privatisation; new rail initiatives; safety within RRNE; train service initiatives; safety within train operating unit (TOU) and train operating company (TOC); transfer of franchise to MTL; Passenger Transport Executives’ attitude to an external franchise; creation of Railtrack and British Rail Infrastructure Services (BRIS); rolling stock companies (ROSCOs); feelings on privatisation; benefits to public of privatisation

One of over 150 oral history recordings made as part of the Britain’s Railways All Change (BRAC) archive project. BRAC was set-up to cover gaps in documenting the railway privatisation process in the United Kingdom, between 1994 and 1997, when the government-owned British Rail was dismantled into over 100 privately-owned companies. The interviews capture the recollections of people involved in the planning and implementation of the privatisation process, the management of change and running the railway during privatisation.


Oral Histories
Object Number:
oral history interview
Britain’s Railways All Change (BRAC) oral history archive, created in partnership with the Friends of the National Railway Museum, the Retired Railway Officers’ Society and the National Railway Museum.