Richard Spoors interviewed by Brian Clementson

Brian Leonard Clementson

Oral history interview with Richard Spoors, conducted and recorded by Brian Clementson at the interviewee's home in Buckinghamshire on 10 July 2018. Duration: 1 hr. 29 min. 25 sec. Early career; Clapham accident; move into Rail Privatisation Unit at British Railways Board (BRB) Headquarters; John Palmer; creation of Railtrack; aftermath of accidents; preparation for a new safety regime; Train Protection Warning System (TWPS); Hatfield accident; tilting trains for West Coast Main Line (WCML); privatisation; reporting lines to BRB and Department for Transport/Treasury; open access; separation of track from trains; management buyouts (MBOs); Railtrack; McKinsey consultants; different views on Railtrack set up; Railtrack vesting; organisational structure; British Rail Infrastructure Services (BRIS); division of responsibilities; safety validation; personal career trajectory; Eurostar; Hatfield accident; Southall accident; move to Railtrack; culture change; track issues; professional training after privatisation; Permanent Way Institution (PWI); effects on personal life; customer focus 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.