The Later Years of British Rail 1980-1995: Freight Special records a period of enormous change and adaptation, and the story is told here by the authors, Patrick Bennett and Peter Lovell, using the photographs they took over this period.
1980 to 1995 was an extraordinary time for the railways of Britain, especially in the freight sector. With British Rail still controlling all aspects of the railways in 1980 there was not a great deal of change around. Hundreds of collieries were still working and freight traffic was still abundant, with marshalling yards active and many branch lines still operating. In the early 1980s Sectorisation arrived, and in 1983 the freight division was separated from the passenger side and given a new livery. Further division occurred in 1987 with the freight group being divided into seven different sectors.
As the eighties progressed, the freight sector was constantly changing, new locomotives were introduced, and the older types started to disappear. The mixed freight train became a thing of the past, but new traffic flows developed, particularly in containers and aggregates. The coal sector was in steady decline and branch lines became disused. In the early nineties three new freight companies were created in anticipation of privatisation, Loadhaul, Mainline and Transrail. However, when privatisation itself finally arrived all the companies were taken over by the same American company and merged to form the English, Welsh and Scottish Railways.
The majority of the 180 colour photographs are displayed in two-per-page format and they are all accompanied by a detailed caption. 96 pages.