The Navigators (film)

The Navigators (Film)

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The Navigators (film)

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The Navigators is a 2001 British film directed by Ken Loach with screenplay by Rob Dawber.

It tells the story of the reactions of five Sheffield rail workers to the privatisation of the railway maintenance organisation for which they all work, and the consequences for them. The film was inspired by the failure of the Connex South Central and the Connex South Eastern franchise: Connex lost both franchises because of poor service.


The film follows five railway workers – John, Paul, Mick, Gerry and Len – in a Yorkshire depot affected by the privatisation of British Rail in 1995. The men are informed by their supervisor that they are now working for a company called East Midlands Infrastructure, and are competing with rival track companies.

On a maintenance job, one of the workers is sent away because his depot is now owned by a rival firm. His departure leaves the rest of the crew unable to finish the job. The railwaymen are introduced to their new managing director, Mr Hemmings, by watching a video about the "age of change" in Britain's rail industry. Hemmings says that the culture will change too, and the days of a job for life are over, though new opportunities have arisen for those prepared to take the initiative. East Midlands Infrastructure is renamed Gilchrist Engineering.

Gerry argues with his boss about procedures being imposed without consultation. Management make a concession that the crew points out is no concession at all. The Managing Director...
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