John Ellis interviewed by Christopher Mew

Christopher Frank Mew

Oral history interview with John Ellis, conducted and recorded by Christopher Mew at the interviewee's home in Gloucestershire on 16 March 2018. Duration: 53 min. 33 sec. Early career; Railtrack share floatation; involvement with privatisation; track access agreements; legal matters during Scotrail management buyout (MBO) process; explaining effects of privatisation to staff in Scotland; relationship between train operating companies (TOC) and outsourced engineering; Railtrack; Network Rail culture; better integration between infrastructure and TOCs; strength of personal interfaces; formalisation of safety management; effect of privatisation on staffing; recruitment changes; lost knowledge; rights of joint users of network; government support for TOCs; rolling stock companies (ROSCOs) success; freight and passenger train path balance; comparison of work before and after privatisation; TOCs and Network Rail relationships; lack of understanding over legislative safeguards; government involvement in industry after privatisation

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.