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Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by MK Tom, 27 Dec 2016.
Thanks for the info - interesting! Where does it meet the mainline?
A place called Woodburn Junction, just North of Sheffield station in an area called Park Hill. Also, I've just seen, there are a number of passing loops on the line too.
Add Penrhyn Railway, Padarn Railway.
Technically a Tramway but it did call itself a railway Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway.
Welsh Highland Railway though track had been removed from most of the route during WWII was still in existence.
Were there any tramways in the 1950s and later that were operated privately rather than municipally?
I'm amazed that they have survived given out little traffic there must be.
My guess is that the Fairbourne, the Ravenglass & Eskdale and the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch (despite the length of the latter two) would have been classed as a miniature railways on a par with seaside pleasure lines and excluded from nationalisation for that reason.
Regarding tramways, the Swansea & Mumbles Railway was operated by very large tramcars and remained in private hands until closure in 1960.
The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) was an interesting example of a line that escaped nationalisation in 1948; as it had also avoided Grouping in 1923 it could claim to have been the last of the major pre-Grouping railways.
The Liverpool Overhead was the most unlikely, given that the adjacent Mersey Railway from Liverpool to Birkenhead, which was nationalised, was also electric and also fully independent. The LOR closed in 1957 mainly because significant repairs were needed to the structure which the shareholders could not afford - it basically broke even on running costs against fare income. Such would not have been an issue for the nationalised system.
The Derwent Valley, a country freight line north of York, was a curious survivor as they had given up their own locomotives long before nationalisation, and hired them and crews daily from the main system (I believe they provided their own guard). It eventually closed in sections to 1980, principally because, like the LOR, it needed major renewals which the operating income didn't justify - most of the rails had never been replaced from when it was built. Like many independent railway companies (not least the Metropolitan) it ended up making more from property development and non-rail activities than anything on the rail side.
I believe the last privately-operated tramway was the Manx Electric, which was nationalised by the IOM government in 1957, again due to running out of free money for needed repairs. It just pipped by a few months the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay tramway, which merely closed down.
The County Donegal and the Lough Swilly both remained independent because of the difficulties of nationalising something operated in two countries. Both closed down at the end of the 1950s, but whereas the CDJR continued to run a bus service for a while with vehicles hired from the Irish state bus company CIE, the Lough Swilly, still calling themselves a railway officially, ran it's own independent bus services throughout Donegal (Ireland), although headquartered in Londonderry (UK) until 2014, being made bankrupt just two years ago by the (UK) government tax authorities because they had not paid their income tax monies over. I presume that is the last UK independent railway company, although the last two extensions of the DLR in London have been built and operated by independent companies, being however operationally integrated with the main system. The Mudchute to Lewisham section is still privately owned and maintained. The same can be said about the Heathrow Express line and operation beyond Hayes.
The Banbury - Wroxton ironstone railway. It connected with the main GW line just north of Banbury North Junction (that's the GC line to Woodford). The "Main Line" was double tracked, but traffic drove on the right! Still operational in the 60s I remember.
The Isle of Man Railway, was nationalised after a fashion in the late sixties early seventies. When the then management ran out of money to operate the whole system. So the Manx Government stepped in. All public transport on the Island is "State" run bar the Grundle Glen Line and the Douglas Horse Drawn Tram line along the "Prom". Having said that the current I.M.R. services run basicly March-October as per most Heritage lines on the UK mainland, so it's akin to the N.R.M. at York but with it's own running line.
Add Whittingham Hospital Railway:
Add the Col. Stephens lines such as
Kent & East Sussex light railway
East Kent light railway
Rye and Camber tramway
Shropshire & Montgomery light railway
West Sussex light railway
He was also involved with other lines mentioned already such as the Ffestiniog
I seem to remember reading that the K&ESR wasn't included in the grouping, however it was included in the nationalisation.
Presumably the Calstock branch as well since Gunnislake seems to have made it into the national network.
The Mersey Rly is interesting. I used to have a copy of the Oakwood history of the MR and I recall reading that the MR continued to operate at least semi independently until 1951 when London Midland finally realised it was part of their territory and sent in people to sort it out. Perhaps there is someone out there with the Oakwood book who could check out the exact comments on this period to confirm that I am not imagining what I have just said.
The Kent & East Sussex and the East Kent Light Railway both did become part of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.
The Rye & Camber ceased operations in 1939 but was used for military traffic during the war before the line was sold for scrap in 1947.
The Shropshire & Montgomeryshire was taken over by the War Department in 1941 and was a military railway until it eventually closed in 1960.
The West Sussex closed in 1935.
According to the Wikipedia entry on the Mersey Railway it was nationalised in 1948.
The Bere Alston - Calstock - Gunnislake - Callington line was part of the Southern Railway and so became part of British Railways.
If I have things rightly: Stephens's standard-gauge light railways remained independent at Grouping; but Kent & East Sussex and East Kent were nationalised in 1948 -- Shropshire & Montgomeryshire, taken over by the Army early in World War II, remained active in Army use until abandoned in 1960; West Sussex had been abandoned in 1935. (His other significant s/g line, the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead, was abandoned in 1940.)
The 3ft gauge Rye & Camber was taken over by the Army at the start of World War II -- effectively ruined by military use, never ran again after the end of the war.
Bere Alston -- Calstock -- Gunnislake -- Callington, until 1923 the independent Plymouth, Devonport & South-Western Junction Railway, was taken into the Southern Railway at the Grouping.
ETA: Merthyr Imp, your post appeared while I was in the process of making this one !
The East Kent, Kent & East Sussex, Shropshire & Montgomery, and Mersey Railways were all taken into BR in 1948. The Rye & Camber line was closed by then.
One of the K&ESR, ex-LBSCR "Terrier" 0-6-0T locos survives in preservation (ex BR 32670), returning "home" to what is now a heritage railway.
In Northern Ireland, the Northern Counties Committee had been owned by LMSR, and would have passed to the Railway Executive in 1948, but never became part of BR (although a few of their Class WT 2-6-4T were built by BR at Derby) .
As per my understanding, the NCC -- having passed as above, to the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission -- was effectively part of BR for the brief period 1/1/1948 -- 31/3/1949. With effect from 1/4/1949, the NCC system was sold to the newly-formed Ulster Transport Authority, and merged administratively under that body with the Belfast & County Down railway's system, and with sundry road-transport operations in the Province. (The following year, the UTA closed down many of the lesser sections of its lately-acquired rail system.)
My first visit to the area was in summer 1960 - I was gutted to realise I'd missed going on this line by just a few weeks.
Regarding other non-municipal systems, was Gateshead and District not company owned? I'm also unsure about the Grimsby to Immingham, although maybe it was a joint municipal undertaking.
Grimsby & Immingham Tramway became part of BR. It was built by the Great Central Railway.