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Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by MK Tom, 27 Dec 2016.
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.
I would imagine there were a few hospital railways running in 1948? What about that one near Dartford that used old tram cars?
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.
In contrast, I believe that the Corris Line or the Welshpool & Llanfair had by , then, been absorbed by the GWR so would have been nationalised along with all that company's other assets.
They were - see previous post a few days ago. The Festiniog had ceased operating in 1946.
That wouldn't necessarily have prevented it being nationalised though. (And in fact, I think a portion at the Blaenau Ffestiniog end was still in use even at that time.)
I seem to remember that the line's owners applied for an abandonment order which was refused and it might have been the legal complications surrounding that, rather the fact that it was largely disused, that prevented it from becoming part of BR.
Yes, but the small portion still in use after 1946 was operated by the local quarry companies rather than the railway itself. The Festiniog company did make an attempt to have the line abandoned, but not until 1950, when it was found that an Act of Parliament was needed, the expense of which they couldn't afford.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.