British Rail Divisions

Route115?

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Just a quick question, I can't find the answer on google.

Can someone tell me what divisions each of the BR regions had? I'm particularly interested in the early 80s when I joined the service. I know about Southern & Western but not about Eastern (when there were five regions), Midland or Scottish. Also did the Operations & Engineering departments have the same divisions (I know that Western didn't). Also what date where they abolished and areas reported directly to regions?
 
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Taunton

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They varied over time, commonly being consolidated together, To give a start, the WR divisions long aligned with the loco depot codes that many are familiar with, 81 to 89, a structure that actually came from the GWR.
 
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They varied over time, commonly being consolidated together, To give a start, the WR divisions long aligned with the loco depot codes that many are familiar with, 81 to 89, a structure that actually came from the GWR.
Yes; that's why Old Oak Common was 81A rather than (as might be assumed from the other regions) 80A.
 

Clarence Yard

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In the early 1980’s the divisional structure on the Eastern was Kings Cross, Liverpool St, Norwich, Doncaster, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle - 7 with the same operational and maintenance boundaries.

I don’t think the Scottish had divisions then - their structure went straight from Area to Region.

The ER divisions were abolished in October 1983.
 

ChiefPlanner

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The Southern was easy - South Western , Central and South Eastern.

The Western was London , Bristol , Plymouth and Cardiff

The LM was London , Birmingham , Manchester , Liverpool and Stoke (might have missed something there) - Preston ?
 

6Gman

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The Southern was easy - South Western , Central and South Eastern.

The Western was London , Bristol , Plymouth and Cardiff

The LM was London , Birmingham , Manchester , Liverpool and Stoke (might have missed something there) - Preston ?
That covers the Premier Line and its subsidiaries (sorry L&Y). I think you may have missed the Derby lot!

There was certainly a Nottingham Division.
 

ChiefPlanner

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That covers the Premier Line and its subsidiaries (sorry L&Y). I think you may have missed the Derby lot!

There was certainly a Nottingham Division.
Of course - and as good an earner (from coal) as was the Cardiff Division.....(the latter being highly graded as Divisional Manager)

There could be a good discussion on Area Managers , except it was a moving target as they were cut out or amalgamated over the years. Example , Swansea replaced Llanelli , Margam , Bridgend - so it was therefore almost half of Wales......(and to think at one time there was a concern about having enough good staff to get these AM jobs !)
 
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The Plymouth division of the WR didn't last long after the slaughter of the ex-SR lines, being merged with Bristol in 1967. The Stoke division of the LM always seemed an odd territory covering amongst others the Cambrian, VoR and North Wales lines.
 

edwin_m

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Wasn't there also territories for a while?
I believe there was supposed to be a reorganisation into territories, but it got cancelled. I recall Modern Railways suggesting (possibly when considering some matter other than Territories) that the Division was about the right size for a geographic breakdown and the Regions were the ones that should be abolished.
 
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'Territories' was part of the proposed 'field reorganisation' proposed by management consultants (nothing new there) McKinsey in 1971. It got cancelled very late in the process - Brunel House in Cardiff was built as one of the territory HQs for which alternative uses had to be hastily found.
 

6Gman

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I have an Ian Allen Locoshed Book somewhere that includes a section on applying for permits. It lists all the Divisions at that time. Interestingly it shows how independent they were, since the policy on shed visits varied from "permits by written application" to "no visits permitted".
 
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I'm particularly interested in the early 80s when I joined the service. I know about Southern & Western but not about Eastern (when there were five regions), Midland or Scottish. Also did the Operations & Engineering departments have the same divisions . . . . .
Back in the day, a train's headcode could be a reliable indicator of the division its destination was located in.

Codes for the second letter of the headcode were printed in the front section of Working Timetables.
For trains within the London Midland Region in the 1980 WTT, these were listed as:

Division
London - A, B or C
Birmingham - G or H
Liverpool - F
Manchester - H or J
Preston - P
Stoke-on-Trent - D, J or K
Nottingham - D, F or P
(plus the "universal" codes for inter-regional trains - E, M, O, S or V)

This suggests LMR Operations used the same divisions mentioned in posts #6 & 7 above.
 

Taunton

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The Stoke division of the LM always seemed an odd territory covering amongst others the Cambrian, VoR and North Wales lines.
An article in Modern Railways at the time described this, in that while Crewe would seem the obvious centre from a railway operating point of view, it didn't actually generate much revenue, whereas Stoke and environs had more passenger ticket office income, and particularly in those times far more freight revenue generated.

It was an early move away from an operations-led railway to a business-oriented, revenue-led railway.
 

StephenHunter

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Back in the day, a train's headcode could be a reliable indicator of the division its destination was located in.

Codes for the second letter of the headcode were printed in the front section of Working Timetables.
For trains within the London Midland Region in the 1980 WTT, these were listed as:

Division
London - A, B or C
Birmingham - G or H
Liverpool - F
Manchester - H or J
Preston - P
Stoke-on-Trent - D, J or K
Nottingham - D, F or P
(plus the "universal" codes for inter-regional trains - E, M, O, S or V)

This suggests LMR Operations used the same divisions mentioned in posts #6 & 7 above.
Isn't that still somewhat the case today for London at any rate?
 
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An article in Modern Railways at the time described this, in that while Crewe would seem the obvious centre from a railway operating point of view, it didn't actually generate much revenue, whereas Stoke and environs had more passenger ticket office income, and particularly in those times far more freight revenue generated.

It was an early move away from an operations-led railway to a business-oriented, revenue-led railway.
Given how wedded the railway was to its historical groupings, a side benefit of picking Stoke would be to placate both the North Western men and the Derby lot by choosing somewhere in the middle (a bit like painting Selnec buses orange so no-one could accuse Manchester Corporation of taking over)
 

Tio Terry

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Like all Regions, Eastern varied as Divisions merged and were reorganised but those I remember were, Norwich, Liverpool St, Kings Cross, Doncaster, Sheffield and Newcastle.
 

edwin_m

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An article in Modern Railways at the time described this, in that while Crewe would seem the obvious centre from a railway operating point of view, it didn't actually generate much revenue, whereas Stoke and environs had more passenger ticket office income, and particularly in those times far more freight revenue generated.

It was an early move away from an operations-led railway to a business-oriented, revenue-led railway.
Nottingham above was mentioned above - did that Division include Derby? If so it would be another instance of commercial revenue being favoured over operational advantage in how these were drawn up - whoever did so seems to have had a rather unusual focus for that time?
 

D6130

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Like all Regions, Eastern varied as Divisions merged and were reorganised but those I remember were, Norwich, Liverpool St, Kings Cross, Doncaster, Sheffield and Newcastle.
Prior to 1st January 1967, there was the separate North Eastern Region, with its HQ in York. IIRC, it was split into four divisions....Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough and Newcastle, but I am open to correction on that.
 
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The one thing I associate with the creation of the divisions, was the ugly, brutalist office-blocks that were built to house many of them, despite the many perfectly serviceable pre-BR buildings that were available. It was all about emphasising the 'new railway' and all that, but there are (were) some real shockers. The NER excelled - not - Zetland House, Middlesbrough and the carbuncle on the front of Hull Paragon (now removed) spring to mind. Rail House, Manchester wasn't much better - it still exists but has been re-clad and is now in non-railway use. Plymouth had a new tower block only for the division to be abolished fairly soon afterwards - it is now finally out of railway service and to become part of the University.
 

GC class B1

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The Southern was easy - South Western , Central and South Eastern.

The Western was London , Bristol , Plymouth and Cardiff

The LM was London , Birmingham , Manchester , Liverpool and Stoke (might have missed something there) - Preston ?
Yes Preston was a Division and you missed Nottingham.

Another bit of history. There was at one time a North Eastern Region and this was incorporated into the Eastern Region Before the 1970s I think. In the late 1980s I think, an Anglia Region was introduced from that part of the Eastern Region.

Nottingham above was mentioned above - did that Division include Derby? If so it would be another instance of commercial revenue being favoured over operational advantage in how these were drawn up - whoever did so seems to have had a rather unusual focus for that time?
Yes the Nottingham Division did include Derby. The LM Regional Engineering HQ was in Derby but other Regional HQs were in Crewe (operating) and London.
 
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Southern House in Croydon was hardly a looker, though to be fair it was not up against a great deal in the 1960s and 70s Croydon architecture stakes.
 

D6130

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Southern House in Croydon was hardly a looker, though to be fair it was not up against a great deal in the 1960s and 70s Croydon architecture stakes.
Very true....although, IIRC, the Central Division HQ was actually in the nearby Essex House, where I did my guard's passing out exam in 1983. Southern House contained various Southern Region HQ departments as a sort of overspill from Waterloo.
 
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Thanks. That I did not know. The Hone Office had the building for a while recently though I think they no longer do.
 

Bevan Price

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The London Midland public timetables included lists of senior managers and their jobs. The Summer 1959 t/t shows Divisional Traffic Managers based at:
London: Finsbury Square, London
West Midlands: Birmingham
East Midlands: Nottingham
East Lancashire: Manchester
Merseyside & North Wales: Liiverpool
Northern Division: Barrow in Furness

By 1963, it had changed to:
London (Western): Finsbury Square
London (Midland): Euston House
Birmingham (Western): both in Smallbrook, Birmingham
Birmingham (Midland)
Leicester
Nottingham
Manchester
Liverpool
Barrow in Furness

And in 1964, there was a single Birmingham Division, and new divisions at Stoke on Trent (George Dow), Chester & Preston. The London (Western) Division had moved to Euston Station. Other divisions were the same as 1963.

Back in 1953, no divisions were listed; the equivalent officers seemed to report to a commercial superintendent.

When I get time, I will look at timetables for other regions.
 

D6130

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In my copy of the Winter 1955-56 Scottish Region Passenger Timetable, no Divisional Managers are listed. However, in the Summer 1961 edition three Divisional managers are listed, viz. G.L.Nicholson, Glasgow & South West Division; J.M. Fleming, East Coast Division (Edinburgh) and H.M.Herbert, Northern Division (Inverness). By the Summer 1963 timetable, the same three divisions existed, but the Glasgow & South Western Divisional Manager's post was vacant.
 

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