British Rail Design

Hardcover: 120 pages
Publisher: Danish Design Council
ISBN-10: 8787385325
ISBN-13: 978-8787385329
Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 20.5 x 1.6 cm
Release Date: 1986
Price: sold


This book is about the policy which
British Hail, 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 kilometers and 50 per cent
of her freight tonne kilometers were on
rail. Today, the figures are 7 and 11 per
cant, 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 Rail-
ways 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.

J.J. O’Brien
Joint Managing Director (Railways),
Member of British Railways Board.

Design in motion

This book presents 21 years of working
with design at British Rail - and some
of the problems associated with
maintaining design standards in a large
organization which is, at the same time,
one and many enterprises.

Throughout, the professional contribution
of engineer, architect and designer has
been and still is in the service of the
sector business requirements and the
corporate role of the British Railways

Within British Rail’s design policy, unity
with diversification may be a corporate
objective that can be achieved.
Conversely, it may also result in visual
disintegration and visual confusion of
the customer.

A reversion to past idioms in design is
also a fashionable vogue. The popular
pastiche of past styles is often a form
of cultural vandalism that makes no
contribution to the present or future
of environmental design.

British Rail seeks a forward looking
corporate design policy. This book
illustrates just some aspects of design,
that may help to focus on the problems
for debate.

I am indebted to Mr Jens Bernsen,
Director, M.Sc. EE, and Ms Susanne
Schenstrom, Architect MAA, both of
the Danish Design Council, and to
Mr Johan Adam Linneballe, Graphic
Designer, for the role they played in
perceiving, designing and producing
this book. Their skill and drive is of
the same nature as the spirit which
built the railways in the first place.

James Cousins
Director of Industrial Design
British Railways Board

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