|British Railways/British Rail|
|Successor||Principally Railtrack (infrastructure); members of ATOC (passenger); EWS and Freightliner (freight)|
|Founded||1962 (previously a section of the BTC)|
|Location||Great Britain and adjacent waters|
|Industry||Land and sea transport|
|Former Parent||British Transport Commission (until 1962), British Railways Board (since 1962)|
British Railways (BR), which later traded as British Rail, ran most of the British railway system from the nationalisation of the 'Big Four' British railway companies in 1948 until privatisation in stages from 1994 to 1997. Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of business from the Public sector (government to the Private sector (business For the generic term see Rail tracks. Railtrack was a group of companies that owned the track, signalling, Tunnels The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC is a body which represents 26 train operating companies that provide passenger Railway services on the privatised English Welsh and Scottish Railway Ltd ( EWS) is the largest British rail freight company Freightliner Trucks is a manufacturer of heavy duty Trucks, Chassis and Semi-trailer trucks The company was founded as Freightliner LLC in 1942 and The British Transport Commission (BTC was created by Clement Attlee 's post-war Labour government as a part of its nationalisation programme to oversee The Railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world Nationalization, also spelled nationalisation, is the act of taking an industry or assets into the Public ownership of a national government "Railroad" and "Railway" both redirect here For other uses see Railroad (disambiguation. The Privatisation of British Rail was the result of the Railways Act 1993 introduced by John Major 's Conservative government
This period of nationalisation saw massive changes in the railway network: steam traction was eliminated in favour of diesel and electric power, passengers replaced freight as the main source of business, and the network was severely rationalised.
The rail transport system in Great Britain developed during the 19th century. This article is part of a series on the History of rail transport in Great Britain The History of rail transport in Great Britain 1948 - 1994 covers the period The Railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world After the grouping of 1923 under the Railways Act 1921 there were four large railway companies, each dominating its own geographic area: the Great Western Railway (GWR), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) and the Southern Railway (SR). The Railways Act of 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being The Great Western Railway ( GWR) was a British railway company and a notable example of Civil engineering, linking London with the West London Midland for the new (2007 railway company The London Midland and Scottish Railway ( LMS) was a British Railway company The The Southern Railway (SR was a British railway company established in the 1923 Grouping. The Transport Act 1947 made provision for the nationalisation of the network, as part of a policy of nationalising public services by Clement Attlee's Labour Government. Under the Transport Act 1947 the railways long-distance road haulage and various other types of transport were acquired by the state and handed over to a British Transport Commission Nationalization, also spelled nationalisation, is the act of taking an industry or assets into the Public ownership of a national government Clement Richard Attlee 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC ( 3 January 1883 &ndash 8 October 1967 The Labour Party is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Founded at the start of the 20th century it has been since the 1920s the principal party of the British Railways came into existence as the business name of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission (BTC) on 1 January 1948 when it took over the assets of the Big Four. A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a Business trades under for commercial purposes although its registered The British Railways Board (BRB was a Nationalised industry in the United Kingdom. The British Transport Commission (BTC was created by Clement Attlee 's post-war Labour government as a part of its nationalisation programme to oversee New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 1948 ( MCMXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  Though there were few initial changes to the service, usage increased and the network became profitable. Regeneration of track and stations was completed by 1954.
In the same year, changes to the British Transport Commission, including the privatisation of road haulage, ended the coordination of transport in the UK. Rail revenue fell and in 1955 the network again ceased to be profitable. The mid-1950s saw the rapid introduction of diesel and electric rolling stock, but the expected transfer back from road to rail did not occur and losses began to mount. 
The desire for profitability led to a major reduction in the network during the mid-1960s. Dr. Richard Beeching was given the task by the government of re-organising the railways ("the Beeching Axe"). Richard Beeching Baron Beeching ( 21 April 1913 - 23 March 1985) commonly known as Doctor Beeching, was chairman of British The Beeching Axe is an informal name for the British Government 's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system  This policy resulted in many branch lines and secondary routes being closed because they were deemed uneconomic. The closure of stations serving rural communities removed much feeder traffic from main line passenger services. The closure of many freight depots that had been used by larger industries such as coal and iron led to much freight transferring to road haulage. Iron (ˈаɪɚn is a Chemical element with the symbol Fe (ferrum and Atomic number 26 The closures were extremely unpopular with the general public at that time, and remain so today.
Passenger levels decreased steadily from the late fifties to late seventies.  Passenger services then experienced a renaissance with the introduction of the high-speed Intercity 125 trains in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The InterCity 125 is the brand name under which British Rail operated services with their fleet of High Speed Trains within Great Britain.  The 1980s saw severe cuts in government funding and above-inflation increases in fares, and the service became more cost-effective. In economics inflation or price inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over a period of time Between 1994 and 1997, British Rail was privatised. The Privatisation of British Rail was the result of the Railways Act 1993 introduced by John Major 's Conservative government  Ownership of the track and infrastructure passed to Railtrack; passenger operations were franchised to individual private sector operators (originally there were 25 franchises); and the freight services sold outright (six companies were set up, but five of these were sold to the same buyer). For the generic term see Rail tracks. Railtrack was a group of companies that owned the track, signalling, Tunnels  The Conservative government under John Major claimed that privatisation would see an improvement in passenger services. Sir John Major KG CH ACIB (born 29 March 1943 is a British Politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Passenger levels have since increased to above the level they had been at in the late 1950s. 
The BR network, with the trunk routes of the West Coast Main Line, East Coast Main Line, Great Western Main Line and Midland Main Line, remains mostly unchanged since privatisation, with several branch line re-openings particularly in Scotland and Wales, where the control of the railway network is devolved from central government. Swindon railway station is in the town of Swindon, Wiltshire, England. The West Coast Main Line (WCML is a busy mixed-traffic railway route in the United Kingdom. The East Coast Main Line ( ECML) is the electrified high-speed railway link between London and Edinburgh connecting Yorkshire, North East The Great Western Main Line is a main line Railway in England that runs westwards from London Paddington station to Temple Meads The Midland Main Line is a major railway line in the United Kingdom, part of the British railway system. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
Following privatisation, British Rail's operations were divided up between a company that ran the infrastructure of the railway system, Railtrack, and various franchise-based companies that took over the running of rail services on a regional basis for a set number of years. For the generic term see Rail tracks. Railtrack was a group of companies that owned the track, signalling, Tunnels The companies that took over passenger rail services include: