This is a business history of the first twenty-five years of nationalised railways in Britain. Commissioned by the British Railways Board and based on the Board's extensive archives, it breaks new ground in analysing fully the dynamics of nationalised industry management and, in particular, the complexities of the vital relationship with government. After exploring the origins of nationalisation, the book deals with the organisation, financial performance, investment and commercial policies of the British Transport Commission (1948-2), Railway Executive (1948-53) and British Railways Board (1963-73). The special problems of the railway industry, unique in its complexity, are fully explored, and new calculations of profit and loss, investment, and productivity are provided on a consistent basis for 1948-73. This business history thus represents a major contribution not only to the debate about the role of the railways in a modem economy but also to that concerning the nationalised industries, which have proved to be one of the most enduring problems of the British economy since the War.
A Century of Transport Competition and Interdependency
Author: Colin Divall
The coming of the railways signalled the transformation of European society, allowing the quick and cheap mass transportation of people and goods on a previously unimaginable scale. By the early decades of the twentieth century, however, the domination of rail transport was threatened by increased motorised road transport which would quickly surpass and eclipse the trains, only itself to be challenged in the twenty-first century by a renewal of interest in railways. Yet, as the studies in this volume make clear, to view the relationship between road and rail as a simple competition between two rival forms of transportation, is a mistake. Rail transport did not vanish in the twentieth century any more than road transport vanished in the nineteenth with the appearance of the railways. Instead a mutual interdependence has always existed, balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each system. It is that interdependence that forms the major theme of this collection. Divided into two main sections, the first part of the book offers a series of chapters examining how railway companies reacted to increasing competition from road transport, and exploring the degree to which railways depended on road transportation at different times and places. Part two focuses on road mobility, interpreting it as the innovative success story of the twentieth century. Taken together, these essays provide a fascinating reappraisal of the complex and shifting nature of European transportation over the last one hundred years.
For the new edition of this classic book Professor Bagwell has included an examination of transport developments since 1974 and particularly the radical changes in policy introduced by Thatcher governments since 1979. The inclusion of a large number of maps, tables and figures, and contemporary illustrations of principal modes of transport enhances the reader's understanding and enjoyment of the text. `The most comprehensive, detailed and up-to-date book on the subject.' -TLS `Full of apt and revealing examples which bring alive and make more readily intelligible the fundamental economic arguments.' - Agricultural History Review
For over thirty years the Bibliography of British Railway History has been an essential tool for anyone wanting to study the history of rail transport and one of the foundations for the best of recent railway historical research. The continuing output of new publications about railways is such that a substantial supplement is required from time to time to maintain the work's utility. This is the second such supplement. As well as providing addenda to some of the 13,000 entries in the previous volumes, this volume has 6600 new entries.