John Swift interviewed by Dick Fearn

Anthony Richard Fearn

Oral history interview with John Swift, conducted and recorded by Dick Fearn at Monckton Chambers, London on 13 November 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 10 min. 16 sec. Personal background; legal career; appointment as first Rail Regulator; competition within monopolies; difference between Rail Regulator and Franchising Director; regulation in different privatised industries; privatising Railtrack earlier; regulation of Railtrack; regulation of passenger train operating companies (TOCs); public interest; delays to franchising process; relationships; track access agreements; Railtrack funding; rolling stock companies (ROSCOs); open access; EC Directive 91/440; separation of track and trains; accountability of Rail Regulator; Gwyneth Dunwoody; John MacGregor; Roger Freeman; John Prescott; retirement; setting-up Office of the Rail Regulator; Chair of Judges National Rail Awards

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.