Christopher Austin interviewed by Michael Lee

Michael John Lee

Oral history interview with Christopher Austin, conducted and recorded by Michael Lee at the interviewee's home in Bromley, Kent on 25 January 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 20 min. 20 sec. Personal background; Parliamentary Affairs Manager role; privatisation of ancillary businesses 1980s; Conservative 1992 manifesto; alternative methods of privatisation; Parliamentary Affairs team work; Grant Woodruff; Robert Adley; Peter Snape; Railways Bill debates; House of Lords debate; working with Richard Faulkner (Westminster Communications); privatisation implementation work; staff briefing; Future Rail 1991; Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) bill; staff attitudes; personal reflections; activity at party conferences; Brian Mawhinney (Secretary of State for Transport); Professor Philip Goodwin (University of Oxford)

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.