Graham Eccles interviewed by Mike Hodson

Mike Hodson

Oral history interview with Graham Eccles, conducted and recorded by Mike Hodson in East Sussex on 17 April 2018. Duration: 1 hr. 42 min. 43 sec. Early career; Margaret Thatcher delay meeting; mentored by Gordon Pettitt; sectorisation; Chris Green; John Prideaux; General Manager of Southern Region and Anglia Region; privatisation model; London, Tilbury & Southend ticket fraud; South Central sale; John Welsby; bus companies prior experience of privatisation; Peter Field at South Western partnership with Compagnie Generale des Eaux (CGE) (Connex); Brian Souter; Stagecoach; Connex; privatisation model seen as flawed; separation of track and trains; reflections on Stagecoach; acquisition of Porterbrook rolling stock company (ROSCO); appointment of Geoff Mee; leading Stagecoach bids for subsequent franchises; Island Line; South West Trains (SWT); Operations Director SWT; driver shortage; Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) exploit industry structure to increase pay; profits driven by passenger numbers; Chief Operating Officer Rail Stagecoach Group; Non-Executive Director Network Rail; acquisition of Porterbrook; ROSCOs successfully privatised; fares innovation; unaligned objectives and directions; separation of track and trains remains unresolved; advising on the 2005 Transport Act; working at No.10 Downing Street Delivery Unit; Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC); quality of management; improvements in South West Trains; measuring success; facilitating change to Network Rail; rail privatisation overseas

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.