Network SouthEast - A

Network SouthEast - A
Network SouthEast (NSE) was one of the three passenger sectors of British Rail created in 1982. NSE mainly operated commuter rail trains within Greater London and inter-urban services in densely populated South East England, although the network went as far west as Exeter. Before 1986, the sector was originally known as London & South Eastern.
During the privatisation of British Rail, it was gradually divided into a number of franchises.
Network SouthEast History
Before the sectorisation of British Rail (BR) in 1982 the system was split into largely autonomous regional operations: those operating around London were the London Midland Region, Southern Region, Western Region, and Eastern Region.
Sectorisation of BR changed this setup by organising by the traffic type:
  • Commuter services in the south-east of England
  • Long-distance intercity services
  • Local services in the UK regions
  • Parcels and freight.
The aim was to introduce greater budgetary efficiency and managerial accountability by building a more market-focused and responsive business, rather than privatising BR completely. It was expected that the London and South East sector would cover most of its operating costs from revenues, in contrast to heavily subsidised rural services.
Upon sectorisation, the London & South Eastern sector took over responsibility for passenger services in the south-east of England, working with the existing BR business units of Regions and Functions to deliver the overall service. Day-to-day operation, staffing and timetabling continued to be delivered by the Regions – and the sector came into existence with barely thirty staff based at Waterloo.
On 10 June 1986, L&SE was relaunched as Network SouthEast, along with a new red, white and blue livery. The relaunch was intended to be more than a superficial rebranding and was underpinned by considerable investment in the presentation of stations and trains, as well as efforts to improve service standards. This approach was largely brought about by a new director, Chris Green, who had presided over similar transformation and rebranding of ScotRail.
The relaunch was marked by the first 'Network Day', on 21 June 1986. For £3 passengers could travel anywhere within the Network. 200 extra services were provided and over 200,000 passengers took advantage of the offer. There was a second Network Day on 13 September, and others in subsequent years, though passengers for these required a Network Card to qualify.
Although NSE did not originally own or maintain infrastructure, it exercised control over almost all carrier core functions. NSE set its own goals and service standards in consultation with BR, and created its own management structure and oversight. BR allowed NSE to decide about scheduling, marketing, infrastructure enhancements, and rolling stock specifications on NSE-assigned lines and services.
In April 1990, British Rail Chairman Bob Reid announced that sectorisation would be made complete, with regions disbanded by 1991–92 and the individual sectors becoming directly responsible for all operations other than a few core long-term planning and standards functions. Network SouthEast thus went from a business unit of around 300 staff to a major business operation with 38,000 staff and a £4.7 billion asset value – large enough to be ranked as the 15th-biggest business in the UK.
Network SouthEast, like each other sector, was given primary responsibility for various assets (rolling stock, tracks, stations), and control resided with the primary user. Other sectors could negotiate access rights and rent facilities, using their own resources.
NSE was able to exert much greater control and accountability over both its operating budget and service quality than BR could under its Regions. Relations were generally good between NSE and other sectors, although operating pressures sometimes forced staff to use equipment and assets belonging to other sectors to meet immediate needs.
On 1 April 1994, Network SouthEast was disbanded with its operations transferred to train operating units ready for privatisation.
Network SouthEast Network Railcard
Although NSE ceased to exist in 1994, the grouping of services that it defined before privatisation remain grouped by the Network Railcard, which can be bought for £30 and which offers a 34% discount for adults and 60% discount for accompanying children after 10:00 on weekdays and all day at weekends (subject to a minimum weekday fare of £13). Holders of annual season tickets for journeys within the Network area, including on London Underground, are issued with a "Gold Card" which gives them similar privileges to the Network Railcard.
Network SouthEast Rolling Stock
Network SouthEast Subdivisions
NSE was broken down into various sub-divisions.
Subdivision Main Route(s) & Route Description
  • Chiltern
Chiltern Main Line, London to Aylesbury Line
London Marylebone-Aylesbury/Banbury
  • Great Eastern
Great Eastern Main Line, Mayflower Line, Sunshine Coast Line, Shenfield–Southend line, Crouch Valley Line
London Liverpool Street-Ipswich/Harwich/Clacton-on-Sea/Walton-on-the-Naze/Southminster/Southend Victoria
  • Great Northern
East Coast Main Line, Hitchin-Cambridge Line
London King's Cross-Peterborough/Cambridge (and subsequently London King's Cross-Cambridge-King's Lynn)
  • Island Line
Island Line
Ryde Pier Head-Shanklin
  • Kent Link
North Kent Line, Bexleyheath Line, Dartford Loop Line, Greenwich Line, Mid-Kent Line, Catford Loop Line, Bromley North Line
London Victoria/Charing Cross-Dartford/Gravesend/Gillingham/Orpington/Sevenoaks/Hayes, Grove Park-Bromley North
  • Kent Coast
Chatham Main Line, Hastings Line, Sheerness Line, South East Main Line, Maidstone Line
London Victoria/Charing Cross-Margate/Dover/Folkestone/Ashford/Tunbridge Wells/Hastings (and subsequently North Downs services as far as Redhill/Three Bridges)
  • London, Tilbury and Southend
London, Tilbury and Southend line
London Fenchurch Street - Tilbury - Southend Central - Shoeburyness
  • North Downs
North Downs Line
Reading-Guildford-Reigate-Gatwick Airport-Tonbridge
  • Northampton Line/North London Lines
West Coast Main Line, Marston Vale Line, North London Line
London Euston/Broad Street-Watford-Milton Keynes-Northampton-Birmingham, Bedford-Bletchle
  • Solent and Wessex
Portsmouth Direct Line, South West Main Line
London Waterloo-Guildford-Portsmouth, London Waterloo-Basingstoke-Southampton-Bournemouth-Weymou
  • South London Lines
South London Lines, Oxted Line, Sutton & Mole Valley Lines, Caterham Line, Tattenham Corner Line
London Victoria & London Bridge to Croydon/Caterham/Tattenham Corner
London Victoria-East Grinstead/Uckfield/Sutton/Epsom Downs/Dorking/Horsham
  • South Western Lines
Alton Line, Waterloo-Reading Line, Hounslow Loop Line, Kingston Loop Line, Shepperton branch, Staines–Windsor line, Weybridge branch, Chessington branch, Hampton Court branch, New Guildford Line
London Waterloo-Alton/Reading/Windsor/Guildford/Epsom/Chessington South/Dorking/Hampton Court/Kingston Circle/Shepperton/Hounslow Circle/Weybridge
  • Sussex Coast
Brighton Main Line, Arun Valley Line, East Coastway Line, West Coastway Line
London Victoria/London Bridge-Gatwick Airport-Brighton/Eastbourne/Littlehampton, Brighton-Hastings, Brighton-Portsmouth-Southampton
  • Thames
Great Western Main Line, Cotswold Line, Greenford branch, Windsor branch London Paddington-Slough- (-Windsor-) Reading-Oxford-Worcester/Banbury, Ealing-Greenford
  • Thameslink
Bedford-Luton-London-Gatwick Airport-Brighton
  • Waterloo & City
Waterloo & City line
  • West Anglia
Fen Line, Lea Valley Line, Chingford branch
London Liverpool Street-Harlow-Cambridge-King's Lynn (express services to Cambridge, and almost all services to King's Lynn, were subsequently transferred to the Great Northern route from London King's Cross); London Liverpool Street-Stansted Airport, and local services: Liverpool Street-Chingford, Liverpool Street-Enfield Town, Liverpool Street-Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters), and Liverpool Street-Hertford East/Broxbourne (via Tottenham Hale).
  • West of England
West of England Main Line
London Waterloo-Basingstoke-Salisbury-Exeter
Network SouthEast Modernisation
Soon after conception, Network SouthEast started to modernise parts of the network, which had become run down after years of under-investment. The most extreme example was the Chiltern Lines.
Network SouthEast Overview
Network SouthEast Main Region(s): London, South East
Network SouthEast Other Region(s): East of England, South West, Thames Valley
Network SouthEast Fleet Size: Carriages: 6,700 (1986)
Network SouthEast Stations Called at: 930 (1986)
Network SouthEast Parent Company: British Rail
Network SouthEast Headquarters: London
Network SouthEast Dates of Operation: 1986–1994
Network SouthEast Successors:
Chiltern Railways
Thames Trains
Connex South Eastern
South West Trains
Great Western Railway (train operating company)
Network SouthCentral
Anglia Railways
First Great Eastern
LTS Rail
West Anglia Great Northern
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