John Smith interviewed by Michael Robson (session 1 of 2)

Michael A. Robson

Oral history interview with John Smith, conducted and recorded by Michael Robson (session 1) at the interviewee's office at GB Railfreight, London on 28 June 2019. Duration: 56 min. 16 sec. Career overview; shadow Anglia franchise; Hull Trains; GB Railfreight; challenges compared to working for British Rail (BR); cultural differences between GB Railways and BR; Master Operating Lease Agreement (MOLA); Class 170; rolling stock costs; open access; Hull Trains; GB Railfreight (GBRf) contract for Railtrack infrastructure services; intermodal freight; Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC); English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS); GBRf principles; intermodal productivity; Class 66 maintenance; reflections on post-privatisation industry

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
Courtesy of John Smith. 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.