British Railways, commonly known as The Other Railway, is the company owned by Britain following the merger of the "Big Four" in 1948. This company lasted from 1948 to 1995 when it was privatized and divided up into different companies. On the Island of Sodor the North Western Railway became part of British Railways and was known as the North Western Region. However, it managed to keep much of its operating independence, which allowed it to avoid the effects of total Dieselization and the Beeching Axe. The only other Sudrian railway company operational at the time, the Skarloey Railway, was not absorbed into British Railways, although some other British narrow gauge lines did become part of it.


A report was published in December 1954 to bring the railway into the 20th century. Early action was the building of "Standard" classes of steam locomotives to replace aging, pre-grouping era engines. In 1956 another report stated that modernisation would help reduce BR's budget problems. In this plan was the requirement to remove steam engines and replace them with Diesel and electric locomotives; this led to the demise of British Mainline Steam by 1968. Only two parts of the BR network retained steam working after 1968, the North Western Region and the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway, the latter becoming privatised in 1989.