(or, in the earliest days, the hyphenated Inter-City) was introduced by British Rail
in 1966 as a brand-name for its long-haul express passenger services (see British Rail brand names
for a full history).
In 1986 the British Railways Board divided its operations into a number of sectors ("sectorisation"). The sector responsible for long-distance express trains
assumed the brand-name InterCity, although many routes that were previously operated as InterCity services were assigned to other sectors (e.g., London
to King's Lynn
services were transferred to the commuter sector Network SouthEast
Origins of the InterCity brand name
British Rail first used the term Inter-City
in 1950 as the name of a train running between London and Wolverhampton. This was part of an overall policy of introducing new train names in the post WWII period.
The name was applied to the business express which ran from London in the morning and returned in the afternoon, and became part of the railway lore of the West Midlands. West Midlands residents always believed that it was the success of this one train that led to the adoption of the name as a British Rail brand in 1966. This belief was supported by the timeline: in 1966 The Inter-City
was heading towards its ultimate demise in 1967, when the mainline London-West Midlands service was consolidated into the newly electrified route via Rugby.
InterCity was divided into the following divisions: