Robert Breakwell interviewed by David Maidment

David John Maidment

Oral history interview with Robert Breakwell, conducted and recorded by David Maidment at the interviewee's home in Essex on 5 February 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 31 min. 6 sec. Joined as Clerk British Rail: Southern Region; station and area management; Train Crew Management British Rail: London Midland Region; Operations Planning Manager Great Eastern (GE); implementing Train Crew Agreement; Managing Director West Anglia/Great Northern; Managing Director GE Network SouthEast (NSE); preparing for privatisation; preparing bid with Compagnie Generale des Eaux (CGE); Drivers’ Manning Agreement; First Group successful bid; business plan; South West Trains (SWT) train crew problems; competition with Anglia; impact of accidents; merger with Anglia as First Greater Anglia; staff attitudes to privatisation; impact of rail defect problem; difficult relationship with Railtrack; preparation for new franchise bid; effects of privatisation on GE

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.

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