Ray Oakley

Ray began his railway career with a Traffic Apprenticeship in 1949.


Railway voices at the NRM

Ray Oakley was an Oxford graduate, and began his career with a Traffic Apprenticeship in 1949 through the graduate recruitment scheme. This led to station master roles, and a series of jobs managing railway operations, including the Channel Tunnel project. He retired from the British Railways Board headquarters in 1986.

Excerpt 1: Ray recollects his first impressions when starting his Traffic Apprenticeship in Hertfordshire and North London in 1949. 2.37

L&SWR 0-4-4T steam locomotive, 1897, clas M7, no 245. This locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1962.

Excerpt 2: Even after nationalisation, old rivalries persisted. 2.31

Boring machine, used to carve out rock to construct the Channel Tunnel. The Channel Tunnel opened in 1995, to create a rail link between London and Brussels and Paris, and connections to many other European cities.

Excerpt 3: One of the biggest railway projects of recent years was the Channel Tunnel. 2.30

The Euston 'arch' was designed by Philip Hardwick (1792-1870) for the London & Birmingham Railway and was completed in May 1838 at a cost of £35,000.

Excerpt 4: Ray reflects on the current and future style of railway management. 2.41

Background: Class 87