Leslie Smith interviewed by Frank Paterson

Frank Paterson

Oral history interview with Leslie Smith, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson at the interviewee's home in Edinburgh on 5 December 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 36 min. 10 sec. Career overview; freight marketing posts; Managing Director Trainload Freight (TLF); cost reductions; TFL profit subsidised Railfreight Distribution (RfD) losses; separation of freight; implementation processes; management buyouts (MBOs); Wisconsin Central bid; internal movement of engineering materials; English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS); Ed Burkhardt (Chief Executive Officer); Ian Braybrook (Managing Director); reversed strategy; open access; Foster Yeoman; Charterail; National Power contract; private owner wagons; Section 8 grants; Merehead quarry; Class 59; financial improvements; retirement

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.