BR Liveries: Sectorisation to Privatisation

In the 1980s British Railways was coming under considerable pressure from the country’s politicians to stem its losses. One of the most radical changes made was the splitting of the railways into sectors and the abandonment of regional boundaries. The changes lead to an explosion of new liveries, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES relates.

The railway of the early 1980s would have been very familiar to anyone who had learned about the system 35 years before. The regional boundaries which had been introduced following nationalisation in 1948 were still basically intact. Cross-country expresses still changed locomotives as they moved from area to area and there was wasteful duplication of management and personnel at the various headquarters dotted around the country.

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