|A history of pre-war locomotive developments, the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges and their influence on future motive power policy. The passenger and mixed traffic BR Standards, early Big Four dieselisation - including GW railcars, the arrival of the DMU - a novelty at the time, livery changes, improving steam efficiency - double chimneys on the Western and Eastern and rebuilds for Bulleid's Pacifics, early branch cut-backs, DC electrification schemes, pilot scheme diesels and Western Region Hydraulic perversity, AC electrics and the downgrading of the Great Western route to Birmingham, the Blue Pullman, more closures including the Somerset & Dorset and the Great Central and a whole host of branch lines - Dr Beeching tries to justify his decision's, finally the last steam specials end an era. The demise of non-standard diesel classes takes us into corporate days (with a steam interlude on the Vale of Rheidol) and ultimately to Sectorisation and the new beginning? Locations range from the Welsh Border Branches to the Southern Region's commuterland.|
- An Inherited Rallway - Four into one doesn`t go! But the new British Railway`s Board had to make it happen, and Standard designs were developed from the findings of the locomotive trials in 1948. Soon BR was developing new traction, both steam and diesel, early diesel develvpments started with 10000 and 10201.
- Modernlsatlon Plans - From 1955 a clearer policy developed, diesels and electrics were the way forward, but GT3 combined modem and traditional theory, the Southern`s electrification was reborn, the Eastern was also electrifying whilst D6XX and D8XX Warship Diesel Hydraulics were entering service on the Western Region, the Eastern were receiving new English Electric type 4`s (class 40`s) and the branch line train was losing steam everywhere as DMU`s continued to be introduced.
- Transition from Steam - Between 1960 and 1968 the railways of Britain changed radically, steam was eliminated from every region, electrification continued with speed on the West Coast Mainline, to Bournemouth and suburban Glasgow went AC as the `Blue Train` arrived, but curiously the DC suburban lines on Tyneside were dieselised. Dr. Beeching was wielding his axe the Somerset and Dorset and Great Central were among the casualties. BR found a new business in railtour trade from railway enthusiasts then promptly banned steam so it was destination Barry - even for some diesels!
- The Corporate Era - Rail blue epitomises the stagnant years of BR. Investment in the HST and gas turbine APT dominated the news but it also saw the end for the Blue Pullman (now rail grey) the Westems, Hymeks, Warships and Deltics, even the Vale of Rheidol became corporate and bland. The inauguration of the Carlisle to Glasgow electrification showed the way forward.
- A Revitalised Railway - During the early 1980`s new liveries signalled a new era, where locomotives were soon to become a thing of the past, `Sprinterisation and Sectorisation` would change the railway beyond belief, Inter-City Network South-East, Provincial and Parcels operations were launched, closer co-operation with local authorities, then the first signs of privatisation . . . Stagecoach.
- 1994 - The End or a New Beginning - Then came the tunnel . . . and Class 373 Eurostars, but controversy still raged over the route for the new Continental Mainline, France could do it, BR couldn`t . . . postponed for privatisation.