British Railways in the 1970s and 80s
By Greg Morse
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747812517, 4000pp.)
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
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For British Rail, the 1970s was a time of contrasts, when bad jokes about sandwiches and pork pies often veiled real achievement, like increasing computerisation and the arrival of the high-speed Inter-City 125s. But while television advertisements told of an 'Age of the Train', Monday morning misery remained for many, the commuter experience steadily worsening as rolling stock aged and grew ever more uncomfortable. Yet when BR launched new electrification schemes and introduced new suburban trains in the 80s, focus fell on the problems that beset the Advanced Passenger Train, whose ignominious end came under the full media glare. In British Rail in the 1970s and '80s, Greg Morse takes us through a world of Traveller's Fare, concrete concourses and peak-capped porters, a difficult period, which began with the aftershock of Beeching and ended with BR becoming the first nationalized passenger network in the world to make a profit.