Ken Burrage interviewed by Frank Paterson

2019-01-23 in London
Frank Paterson

Oral history interview with Ken Burrage, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson at the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, London on 23 January 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 49 min. 16 sec. Attitude towards signalling post-Clapham; importance of communications network; British Rail Telecommunications (BRT) set-up; support for concept; fibre optic network maintenance concerns; BRT sale; Network Rail recreation of network; ownership of maintenance of assets critical; contract supervision; internal maintenance brought back; Westinghouse purchase of Design Offices; comparisons pre and post privatisation; positive inputs from contractors; Network Rail reintroduced training; Clapham accident impacts; signalling fault responsible; personal involvement on day of accident; Joint Inquiry; 25 recommendations; hidden Inquiry; 97 recommendations; resistance to change removed; reorganisation; Director Engineering Standards Director 1992-1994; Controller Railtrack Group Standards; move to Westinghouse; relationships with key people; Network Rail; Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE); competency licensing

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
Britain's Railways All Change
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.