Ian Braybrook interviewed by Frank Paterson

Frank Paterson

Oral history interview with Ian Braybrook, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson at the interviewee's home in Lincolnshire on 21 January 2020. Duration: 2 hr. 49 min. 33 sec. Early career; coal sector; Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) contract and privatisation; trainload restructuring; Organising for Quality (OfQ); business engineers revised role; trade union consultations; government directive for freight; Mercers review; privatisation preparation; Lazards; government misunderstandings; Railfreight Distribution considered not saleable; restructuring into three trainload shadow companies by 31 March 1994; Managing Director North East; team; area of responsibility; management buyout (MBO); employee involvement; bid progress; Wisconsin Central purchase of Rail Express Systems (RES); MBO bids for three companies; Omnitrax; financing; Loadhaul; Wisconsin takeover; management structure; Managing Director English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS); restructure; Ed Burkhardt; rolling stock investment; Leslie Smith; market conditions; Total Operations Processing System (TOPS) replacement 1997; management changes; Railfreight Distribution (RfD); impact of changes in energy production market; Settle-Carlisle upgrade funded by EWS; meeting with Brian Souter; reflections on working with Wisconsin Central; staff conditions; share price; engineering wagons allocations; reflections on private sector; relations with Railtrack; benefits of privatisation; retirement; reflections on 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.