Jim Cornell interviewed by Frank Paterson (session 2 of 2)

2019-02-05 in London
Frank Paterson

Oral history interview with Jim Cornell, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson (session 2) at Network Rail Headquarters, 1 Eversholt Street, London on 5 February 2019. Duration: 50 min. 20 sec. Achievements as Group Managing Director of British Rail Infrastructure Services (BRIS) 1993-1996; restructuring for privatisation; staff reductions; trade union relationships; full value not realised; relationships with Railtrack; scope of contract; specification difficulties; split between maintenance and renewals; contract length issue; refused possessions for essential safety maintenance; payments withheld; tripartite meeting with Department of Transport (DoT)/Treasury; Railtrack lack of appreciation of civil engineering; management of 13 BRIS units; railway deteriorated; Railtrack failure; 8 years as Network Rail Board Non-Executive Director

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.