This book is about the policy which British Rail, the UK’s railways network, adopts towards design. The British Railways Board, the senior management of BR sees good design as central to good business. British Rail Design shows how good design can help BR meet the problems and challenges of its new organizational structure.
Thirty years ago, 20 per cent of Britain’s passenger kilometres and 50 per cent of her freight tonne kilometres were on rail. Today, the figures are 7 and 11 per cent, even though the market for inland transport has more than doubled. BR has had to reorganize so as to be more responsive to customer demand. in this reorganization, the merits of good design policy are clear.
The late 1980’s allow us to make a major updating of our physical apparatus, and in particular of our rolling stock. At the same time, our engineering and catering organizations are now asked to submit tenders competitive to those offered by outside firms. Overall, we are more conscious of market needs; and, having embarked this year on Britain’s biggest investment program since 1955, we can demand the best of our suppliers. These various factors have pushed design to the centre of our freshly significant marketing strategy.
The Design Panel of the British Railways Board was set up in 1956. The Panel has always counted distinguished independent experts in design among its membership. In the future its tasks promise to be more important than ever. This book will help all railway managers meet the new challenges.
Joint Managing Director (Railways),
Member of British Railways Board.