I don't think I am alone in trying to fathom out the mess into which Britain's railways got themselves. I well remember talking about the proposals to privatise the railway to a friend who was employed by British Railways in the civil engineering department. The proposals seemed so daft that I felt that nothing would came of them and that commonsense would prevail; how naïve of me.
In an attempt to educate myself I decided to read "Broken Rails" by Christian Wolmar, published by Aurum Press, being fortunate to get hold of the second edition that covers the events leading up to the government forcing Railtrack into administration.
If you haven't read it then I strongly recommend it, I couldn't put the book down!