Haydn Abbott interviewed by David Maidment

David John Maidment

Oral history interview with Haydn Abbott, conducted and recorded by David Maidment at Porterbrook headquarters, Tavistock Square, London on 14 November 2018. Duration: 46 min. 27 sec. Engineering career; headhunted as Managing Director Angel Trains 1999; Royal Bank of Scotland; staff recruitment; culture change; competition and technical co-operation with other rolling stock companies (ROSCOs); relationship with train operating companies (TOCs); technical engineering aspects of ROSCOs; design and development of Virgin Class 390 Pendolinos; changing relationship with manufacturers; setting up Angel Trains; reflections on Angel Trains; Class 43 High Speed Trains (HSTs) upgrades; rail industry problems; Railway Children; politicians; Gwyneth Dunwoody (Member of Parliament); future of rail industry; implementation of European Train Control system (ECTS); Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R)

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.