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Old 1st January 2017, 20:36   #46
Taunton
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Reading some past books, it appears that the records at the Board of Trade about railways were not particularly accurate of what actually existed. The nationalisation legislation was doubtless based on these records. For example LTC Rolt wrote that it was only when the Talyllyn came to the attention of the national media when enthusiast operation started that they realised it was still in operation. There were presumably some abandonments which just happened which should have had authorisation, but nobody complained and they just went.

Another source said the Board of Trade had no idea of who had what locomotives in service apart from a dog-eared copy of the RCTS loco stock book in the desk of a junior official who was an enthusiast, as once railways had fully depreciated the capital expenditure on purchase of a loco they were no longer reported in annual returns. The later Ian Allan books were based on official railway sources, so continued to show into the 1970s the four cars of the ex-LMS Wirral electric lines which, when only a couple of years old, had been blown to bits by bombing in 1941, because they were still having accounting depreciation calculated for their 30-year expected life.

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Old 2nd January 2017, 14:12   #47
John Luxton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimbleshanks View Post
The Talyllyn being a case in point - wasn't it effectively under the same ownership as the slate quarry that it served - so separating it from that ownership in order to nationalise it could have been tricky from a legal point of view.
If I recall correctly the Talyllyn Railway existed in two legal entities Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Abergynolwyn to Bryneglwys Quarry even though under common ownership. Separating should not have proved that difficult if there had been a will to do so.

When the mines were nationalised some mining companies continued to exist such as Powell Duffryn as it still does now trading as PD Ports.

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Old 2nd January 2017, 16:01   #48
Calthrop
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Originally Posted by Merthyr Imp View Post
The Talyllyn actually passed from private ownership to the preservation society in 1951.

There's a suggestion it escaped nationalisation in 1948 'as officialdom thought it too run-down, and the level of traffic too low, to be worth taking over.'
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Originally Posted by Shimbleshanks View Post
I wonder what factor the ownership structure of the line concerned determined whether or not it was nationalised in 1948?

The Talyllyn being a case in point - wasn't it effectively under the same ownership as the slate quarry that it served - so separating it from that ownership in order to nationalise it could have been tricky from a legal point of view.

I believe that the legal ownership of the Ffestiniog was also very tangled, which is probably the main reason that it escaped becoming part of BR in 1947.
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Originally Posted by John Luxton View Post
If I recall correctly the Talyllyn Railway existed in two legal entities Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Abergynolwyn to Bryneglwys Quarry even though under common ownership. Separating should not have proved that difficult if there had been a will to do so.
Per Rolt's Railway Adventure, slate traffic on the Talyllyn had ceased -- leaving the line effectively passenger-only, and summer-only -- by the beginning of 1948 (Bryneglwys Quarry ceased production in 1946, though traffic continued for a while after to clear stocks of slate). This circumstance would presumably have made little difference to the legal position -- might have rendered separation of the two bodies a little easier? -- but conceivably, the railway's being reduced to a summer-only pleasure line might have reinforced authority's seeing it (as per Merthyr Imp's post) as not worth bothering with nationalising.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 22:29   #49
Taunton
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The Talyllyn, I understand, did not have any trade in its shares, it was part of the slate company, wholly owned by Sir Henry Haydn Jones. Other rail operations which were part of an industry but which had some public passenger operation were also not taken into BR. The South Shields Marsden & Whitburn Colliery was another example, although being part of a coal company it ended up being separately nationalised into the NCB.

The enthusiast society leased rather than owned the railway in the early years, ownership continued with Sir Haydn's widow after his death.

Last edited by Taunton; 2nd January 2017 at 22:32.
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Old 4th January 2017, 07:50   #50
krus_aragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimbleshanks View Post
I wonder what factor the ownership structure of the line concerned determined whether or not it was nationalised in 1948?

The Talyllyn being a case in point - wasn't it effectively under the same ownership as the slate quarry that it served - so separating it from that ownership in order to nationalise it could have been tricky from a legal point of view.
Yes, W. H. McConnell had sold both the Bryn Eglwys quarry and his controlling interest in the Talyllyn to Sir Henry Haydn Jones MP, who kept the railway running until preservation took over. Tom Rolt (in Railway Adventure) suggests the fact that contemporary OS maps marked all the line's stations as closed may have contributed to its disregard.
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