British Railways 1948-1973: A Business History

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Originally published in 1986, 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 fully analyses the dynamics of nationalised industry management and 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). 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 modern 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.