British Railways (BR), later in British Rail renamed, was the national railway company of Great Britain. It developed 1948 with the nationalization of the four large private railway companies of the country, for in such a way specified „bends Four “and between 1994 and 1997 was gradually denationalized and dissolved.
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the Eisenbahnnetz of Great Britain developed during 19. Century and one operated by dozens of private societies. 1923 was combined it into four large societies, which controlled a certain geographical area in each case. These enterprises were the Great Western Railway (GWR), London, avoiding country and Scottish Railway (LMS), London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) and the Southern Railway (SR).
During the Second World War the four societies were placed under national supervision. The distances and plants were destroyed by enemy action or were because of the strong demand zerschlissen. Thus the societies came into a financial crisis.
the labour government of Clement Attlee created 1947 with „transport act “the legal basis for the nationalization of the Eisenbahnnetzes. At the 1. January 1948 was formed the new national society British for Railways, which under supervision „British transport Commission stood “(since 1962 „British Railways board “). The former LMS lines in Northern Ireland were sold placed to 1949 to the province government and under the supervision „of the Ulster transport Authority “.
The new society was divided in six administrative regions, to whose borders mostly at the route networks „bend yourself Four “oriented:
- Eastern region - the southern LNER distances
- North Eastern region - the northern LNER distances in England
- London avoiding country region - the LMS distances in England and Wales
- Scottish region - the LMS and LNER distances in Scotland
- Southern region - the entire route network of the SR
- Western region - the entire net of the GWR
these regions formed the basis of the firm's structure of British Rail into the 1980er and maintained a certain degree at independence.
of the 1955 modernization plan sketched of „British transport Commission “planned investments in the value of 1240 million Pound over one period of 15 years. The offer should become more attractive for passengers and goods customers. There was three emphasis:
- Electrification of the main lines
- procurement of new Diesel and electric locomotives on a large scale, in order to be able to replace the steam engines to a large extent.
- New signaling devices and renewal of the tracks
the modernization plan did not consider however the effects, which the mass motorizing exercised on the traditional role of the railways. Much money was invested into redundant marshalling yards, this at a time, when the goods traffic on the rail decreased/went back strongly.
BR was obstructed also by outdated regulations, which specified the freight rates and the railway forced to transport also unprofitable goods. Thus the competitive power was limited opposite the road, gaining a profit was nearly impossible.
The financial situation worsened and the plan 1959 was again sketched. The modernization should become more rational accelerated and the enterprise. Massenbestellungen for diesel locomotives were made, from which later many than proved unreliably.
the Beeching axe and the end of the steam era
between 1950 and 1962 had been shut down unprofitable Nebenlinien with an overall length by 4970 kilometers. 1963 published smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Beeching, the chairman at that time of the supervisory authority “British Railways board” that British Railways, a report and demanded a fundamental rationalization of the enterprise. The Beeching axe in such a way specified (English. Beeching axe) did not fall between 1963 and 1973 less than 6536 kilometers of railroad line to the victim, of it alone 1701 kilometers in the year 1964. However from political reasons of not all for locking planned distances were also actually concluded, so for example the line by the Scottish Highlands between Inverness and Thurso. Some distances are operated today as museum courses.
During the early 1960er the steam engines were deactivated on a large scale and replaced by diesel locomotives. The last steam course of British Rail drove in August 1968. On several goods lines they remained into the 1970er inside in the employment. Some the steam engines remained for museale purposes, but most fell the cutting torch to the victim. Likewise in August 1968 the society in „British Rail was renamed “.
Sektorisierung and privatisation
into the 1980ern were dissolved the six partial independent administrative regions and the net was arranged into five sectors. The passenger traffic divided into the sectors „intertown center “(express trains), „network SouthEast “(Londoner of locals train) and „regionally Railways “(regional courses in the rest of country). „Railfreight “was responsible and „British for the goods traffic the Rail engineering Limited “(BREL) for the infrastructure.
The conservative government of John major decided to liberalisieren the British railway nature completely. With the Railway act of 1993 was gradually divided and denationalized British Rail between 1994 and 1997.
The individual lines were combined into regional groups and written out as concessions, for which private enterprises could apply. Usually bus enterprises of this possibility made use. In order to ensure a uniform tariff system, the society was created national Rail.
The privatisation did not bring everywhere desired success. The number of carried passengers rose, but the hoped for price reductions were missing to a large extent. On the contrary the prices substantial had to be increased. The goods traffic increased also, but about argued whether this is to be owed to the privatisation or nevertheless rather the general economic growth.
The entire course infrastructure was taken over by the private society Railtrack. But their manager proved as incompetent. The maintenance of the plants was neglected from cost reasons, important investments were painted because of the short term profit thinking. By numerous breakdowns and deadly accidents the British railways lost their once good reputation. Railtrack could their shareholders no more dividend disburse and had the bankruptcy to 2002 explain. One year later took over the public and explicitly not society network Rail the responsibility aligned to maximization of profit over the technical plants.