Choo chooooooo (it's a bit hard to write down diesel or electric sounds)! So, you've had a couple of years break from my talking trains (although I have witnessed a "few" other rail threads popping up recently!). What was Devvy-spawn has now grown significantly to the point where I'm not having to wake up every night, and actually have a *small* amount of free time to write again. So as promised, here is the start of my rewritten version of my 12:08 timeline, which unbelievably I started over 7 years ago in 2011. Time flies.
There will be some new ideas. Some rehashed old ideas. Some good points, and some bad points - I don't want this to be a BR on steroids, but equally they will fare better (they could hardly fare much worse then OTL). And so....
REFORM OF THE BRITISH TRANSPORT COMMISSION
The BTC's rail operations are to be reformed, with the Railway Executive taking on more responsibilities and directly managing more of the strategy for the BTC's rail operations.. Most day-to-day running and administrative tasks will remain with the areas & regions; Southern, Western, London Midland, Eastern, North-Eastern and Scottish. Overall strategy, however, and the funding for such, will now fall directly under the Railways Executive responsibility. Incoming boss General Brian Robertson will be able to establish his vision there; it is said he wants to thoroughly modernise British Railway's operations, with major steps to be taken to electrify the network, bringing in new trains, faster speeds, and much lower operating costs.
Trials had been held in 1948 and 1949 with locomotives from each region (along with the footplate crew) being sent to other regions to haul trains in service, aimed at dispelling the notion that engines from one region were bespoke for the traffic demands of that area. Although successful in technically proving this, many regions attempted to hold on to such powers under other guises such as loading gauge restrictions or the like. However, the strategy played straight in to the hands of the BTC, who following the 1953 Transport Act have empowered the Railway Executive to set strategy, set improvement projects in motion, budget finances and set "common standards" for the entire network, across all of the BR regions. The BR regions will continue to be responsible for actually operating the network, setting fares and collecting revenues.
Notes: This is the main PoD. The Railway Executive is empowered largely with the ability to define standards and strategy upon the Regions who operate day-to-day services. It's a small PoD, but has major ramifications in enabling the BTC & RE to force strategy and efficiencies on the British Rail Regions. OTL, the RE was disbanded, and management of British Railways was handed directly to the British Transport Commission (who attempted to juggle that with their other transport responsibilities). Here, the RE continues to live, with beefed up powers (both centralised from below, and devolved down from the BTC) to force it's vision and strategy on the reluctant regions, but with other operational and financial measures decentralised down to the regions.