Sun, 30 Sep 2007

Photogallery: Rail: BR Privatisation: Network Rail era

British Railway Privatisation: second round of passenger franchising and the Network Rail era: approx 2002 to 2007 (coverage era subect to further random changes of government policy).

By 2001-02 the privatised railway was very much in crisis. Many of the first round of franchises had been withdrawn and re-let. The reasons behind this varied but included insolvency of the franchisee and inability to actually organise the running of trains. Other franchises had been extended (Virgin West Coast following Railtrack's WCML PUG1 fiasco)

Railtrack itself was forced into administration by the actions of the Government who, as the controlling shareholder via their Golden Share, declined to exercise a proper oversight and control of the company when it hit financial crisis as a result of mismanagement and a string of serious rail accidents.

This gallery covers the first five years of Network Rail - a time of recovery for the railway as it licked the wounds imposed by the ideologies of successive Tory and Labour transport policies (or, in Labour's case, lack of policies).

Covering the following passenger rail franchises: Southern,
as well as photos to come from the following first generation franchises and takeovers: Virgin WC/XC, First Great Western, Central Trains