Object type
Oral history interview with Michael Lee, conducted and recorded by David Wharton-Street (session1) at the interviewee's home in Hertfordshire on 15 May 2019. Duration: 2 hr. 53 min. 12 sec. Early career; Operational Research; British Rail Engineering Inventory Control; traffic forecasting for small bore version of Channel Tunnel; development and implementation of Operational Research Computerised Allocation of Tickets to Services (ORCATS); sectorisation made possible; Serpell Report; challenged by British Rail (BR); forecasting passenger train loadings and revenue; introduction of Class 43 High Speed train (HST); Age of the Train advertising; InterCity service modelling; move to Network SouthEast (NSE) as Economic Survey Officer; change in passenger loadings; London and South East travelcards; Central London Rail Study; Thameslink; Crossrail; Monopolies & Mergers Commission (M&MC) inquiry into NSE; monitoring passenger satisfaction; second inquiry; Service Route Manager; negotiating with Southern Region management who delivered service; interface between General Manager Southern Region and NSE; Organising for Quality (OfQ); Sub-Sector Planning & Marketing Manager; Head of Strategic Planning NSE; train operating units (TOUs); Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF); structure; liaison with BR and Department for Transport (DfT); development of Passenger Service Requirement (PSR) policy; Save Our Railways; passenger transport executives (PTEs); fares regulation; Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC); Rail Settlement Plan (RSP); fares and franchising; subsidy; types of franchise bidders

Michael Lee interviewed by David Wharton Street (session 1 of 2)

Oral Histories


Oral history interview with David Russell, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson at the National Railway Museum, York on 1 October 2018. Duration: 2 hr. 25 min. 44 sec. Early career; Paddington Senior Technical Officer; troubleshooting Old Oak Common 1964 Assistant to Depot Engineer; Quality Control Engineer Old Oak Common 1966; working with contractors; Cardiff Canton 1967; Area Maintenance Engineer Old Oak Common 1970; staff shortages; Divisional Maintenance Engineer King's Cross 1973; preparation for Great Northern (GN) electrification; Class 43 High Speed Train (HST) replacing Class 55 Deltics; Regional Traction Engineer British Rail: Eastern Region 1976; HST; Freight Engineer Derby 1982; sectorisation; scale of business; range of locomotive types; Class 56; design concepts; Class 58; British/American design approach differences; Foster Yeoman; proposal to Director Freight for own locomotives; American locomotive procurement agreement process; contract signed for first Class 59s 20 November 1984; comparisons with British locomotives; delivery; maintenance staff seconded to Foster Yeoman; first Class 59 hauled train February 1986; further Class 59 imports; success criteria; Class 59 lessons not applied; Class 60 contract awarded to Brush; John Welsby; Class 60 development; late delivery; freight business reorganisation for privatisation; Director Railfreight Distribution; retirement; Head of Engineering Mendip Rail; created a licenced Vehicle Acceptance Body for heritage locomotives and carriages; processes and procedures outlined

David Russell interviewed by Frank Paterson

Oral Histories


Oral history interview with Mark Causebrook, conducted and recorded by Theo Steel at the interviewee's home in Northampton on 17 June 2018. Duration: 3 hr. 4 min. 28 sec. Planning Office British Rail: London Midland Region London Division; Staff Entrant Management Trainee; traffic management; Rocket 150 celebrations; Motorail Kensington Olympia closure; preparing for Thameslink coal management unit; miners' strike; privatisation of subsidiaries; British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL); British Transport Hotels; investigating General Electric (GE) and General Motors (GM) freight locomotives; Regional Railways North East (RRNE); TransPennine; matrix management; John Edmonds (Director Regional Railways); Transport Users Consultative Committee (TUUC); West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (WYPTE); Class 14x Pacers; stopping single tracking; Settle & Carlisle line closure; Leadership 500; Sector Director Regional Railways Central (RRC); scale of operations; leadership team; staff relationships and pay; vertical integration; opinions on RRC; Class 158; 1992 election; separation of track and trains; profit centres; train operating units (TOUs); privatisation process; First Group and National Express bids; Centro/West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE); Dean Finch; National Express Central bid cost reductions; Passenger Service Requirement (PSR); Railtrack/Network Rail; National Express finances; joining Go Ahead; Thameslink; London Bridge issues; work with First Class Partnerships (FCP); rolling stock companies (ROSCOs)

Mark Causebrook interviewed by Theo Steel

Oral Histories


Oral history interview with Raymond Price conducted and recorded by Philip Benham in York on 2 August 2018. Duration: 4 hr. 59 min. 38 sec. Early career; Performance Manager King’s Cross; performance of Great Northern (GN) electrics following driver only operation (DOO) and industrial relations tensions; Area Operations Manager; Organising for Quality (OfQ); sectorisation; privatisation process and phasing; separation of track and trains; Railtrack senior management; Performance Manager West Anglia & Great Northern (WAGN); management down-sizing for privatisation; Railtrack signalling strike; track access agreements; Railtrack East Coast Main Line Route Rationalisation programme; Network Change provisions; preparation of WAGN for privatisation; limited productivity opportunities; WAGN driver re-structuring; trade union attitudes to privatisation; Associated Society of Locomotive Enginemen & Firemen (ASLEF); Rail Maritime & Transport Union (RMT); reasons for WAGN driver re-structuring failure; working on Heathrow Express project; recruitment to Railtrack; Michael Holden; train operating company (TOC) concerns about condition of infrastructure; appointment as Zone Director 1999; Winning is Green; West Anglia Route Modernisation scheme (WARM); relationships with TOC management; performance budget use; Rail Regulator as real Railtrack customer; Southall accident; Paddington accident; Ladbroke Grove accident; signals passed at danger (SPADs) management; Hatfield accident; gauge causing cracking (GCC); replacement of GCC rails; legacy of GCC on Railtrack; safety culture change; relationships with other bodies such as Health & Safety Executive (HSE); Managing Director (MD) Arriva Trains Northern (ATN); passenger transport executives (PTEs); franchise takeover; ATN driver shortage; relationship with Strategic Rail Authority (SRA); RMT conductors dispute; Class 333 issues; differences between Railtrack/Network Rail and TOCs; Northern timetable crisis 2018; successes of ATN; skills gap; Northern franchise shape; Managing Director Arriva Trains 2003; industry structure

Raymond Price interviewed by Philip Benham

Oral Histories


Oral history interview with Richard Brown, conducted and recorded by Chris Kinchin-Smith at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Birdcage Walk, London on 3 July 2019. Duration: 1 hr. 21 min. 19 sec. Early career; Personal Assistant to Jim O’Brien and Geoff Myers (British Rail (BR) Joint Managing Directors); Business Planning Manager Intercity 1985-1988; sectorisation; Cyril Bleasdale; John Prideaux; InterCity required to eliminate subsidy by 1988; InterCity Manager West Coast Main Line (WCML) 1988; Organising for Quality (OfQ); relationships with British Rail: London Midland Region; investment in infrastructure over tilting trains; Director InterCity for Midland Main Line (MML) and CrossCountry; leadership challenges; staff attitudes towards privatisation; success of vertical integration; relationships with Railtrack; management buyout (MBO); elected first Chairman of Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC); MBO bid unsuccessful; management transferred on to work with National Express; reasons for MBO bid failure; appointed Chief Executive National Express Trains Division; acquisition of Prism train operating companies (TOCs); ensuring strong management team for each TOC; appointed to National Express Board as Group Commercial Director; relationship with Strategic Rail Authority (SRA); Alastair Moreton; Richard Bowker; TOC and parent companies development; First Group; comparison of TOCs over time; Network Rail; recommendations from the Department for Transport (DfT)’s Brown Report into TOC franchising; South Western Railway (SWR); Williams Review; Transport for London (TfL) concession model; reflections on Railtrack and Network Rail; comparisons with working at Eurostar; High Speed 1 project management; European franchising models; reflections on career; environmental initiatives

Richard Brown interviewed by Chris Kinchin-Smith

Oral Histories


Oral history interview with Paul Watkinson, conducted and recorded by David Maidment in Oxfordshire on 11 August 2020. Duration: 1 hr. 18 min. 33 sec. Early career; industrial relations issues 1984-1986; strike 1989; developing privatisation alongside John Welsby and Tony Roche in reference to personnel issues; re-structuring negotiating machinery from 1956; impact of Clapham accident; Organising for Quality (OfQ); pay dispute 1989; High Court judgement; strikes; settlement; changes in industrial relations processes; businesses take on industrial relations responsibilities from British Rail (BR) Headquarters; industrial relations processes change facilitated privatisation; General Election 1992; control of privatisation process at British Railways Board (BRB); industrial relations during privatisation; protection for staff agreed; video for staff; Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) support; Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) support; National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) against but saw no choice; working with Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) and government; working team responsible for implementing privatisation; ensuring train operating companies (TOCs) have competent teams; ensuring TOCs understand responsibilities; Roger Salmon; John Swift; signalling strike 1994; Railtrack lack of dispute handling experience; driver agreement restructuring; reflections

Paul Watkinson interviewed by David Maidment

Oral Histories