Railways Act 1921

Railways Act 1921

The Railways Act of 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being made by many of the country's 120 railway companies, move the railways away from internal competition, and to retain some of the benefits which the country had derived from a government-controlled railway during and after the Great War of 1914-1918.

Background history

The British railway system had been built up by more than 100 railway companies, large and small, and often, particularly locally, in competition with each other. The parallel railways of the East Midlands, and the "war" between the South Eastern Railway and the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway at Hastings were examples of such local competition.

During World War I the railways were under state control, which continued until 1921. Complete nationalisation had been considered, and the 1921 Act is sometimes considered as a precursor to that, but the concept was rejected; nationalisation was subsequently carried out after World War II, under the Transport Act 1947.

The final act largely followed proposals set out in a June 1920 white paper, "Outline of Proposals as to the Future Organisation of Transport Undertakings in Great Britain and their Relation to the State". [cite hansard | url=http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1920/aug/03/the-state-and-the-railways | house=House of Lords | date=3 August 1920 | column_start=711 | column_end=713 ]

Aims of the Act

After consideration of the Railways Bill it was decided that the Scottish companies, originally destined to be a separate group, would be included with the Midland/North Western and Eastern groups respectively, in order that the three main Anglo-Scottish trunk routes should each be owned by one company for its full length: the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line by the former group, and the East Coast Main Line by the latter.

The opening paragraph of the Railways Act 1921 states:

With a view to the reorganisation and more efficient and economical working of the railway system of Great Britain railways shall be formed into groups in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the principal railway companies in each group shall be amalgamated, and other companies absorbed in manner provided by this Act.

The Act took effect on 1 January 1923. By that date most of the mergers had taken place, some from the previous year. The "Railway Magazine" in its issue of February 1923 dubbed the new companies as "The Big Four of the New Railway Era".

These "Big Four" were:
* London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)
* Great Western Railway (GWR)
* London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)
* Southern Railway (SR)

See also a list of railway companies involved in the 1923 grouping.

Lines outside of the Act

A number of lines remained outside the "Big Four"; many operated as joint railways. Examples include the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway (M&GN) between the LMS and the LNER in eastern England, the largest of the joint railways; the second largest was the Cheshire Lines Committee, also LMS/LNER; and the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJ) between the LMS and the SR in south-western England, perhaps the most famous of the joint railways.

Other exempted railways were light railways authorised under the Light Railways Act 1896, and similar lines; although some such lines still chose to join the Groups. Those lines staying independent were principally those under the influence of Colonel Stephens, who had been instrumental in securing the necessary exemption.


External links

* [http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docSummary.php?docID=65 View the text of the Act]
* [http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/irs/irshome/features/readings/archive/grouping.htm Some historical opinion articles from the University of York]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Railways Act 1921 — Der Railways Act 1921 (auch bekannt als Grouping Act) war ein im Jahr 1921 von der britischen Regierung unter David Lloyd George erlassenes Gesetz. Beabsichtigt war, die immer größer werdenden Verluste der 120 Eisenbahnunternehmen einzudämmen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Railways Act 1993 — The Railways Act 1993 [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1993/ukpga 19930043 en 1] was introduced by John Major s Conservative government and passed on 5 November 1993. It provided for the restructuring of the British Railways Board (BRB), the… …   Wikipedia

  • Railways Act 1993 — Der Transport Act 1993 war ein im Jahr 1993 unter dem konservativen britischen Premierminister John Major entstandenes Gesetz zur vollständigen Privatisierung des Schienenverkehrs. Entstehung des Gesetzes Nach dem überraschenden Sieg der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 1922 Border Railways Act — The 1922 Border Railways Act authorised the construction of cross border railways in the Riverina region of Australia. Despite being located in New South Wales, the region was closer to Victoria and their railway network, operated by the… …   Wikipedia

  • 1921 in rail transport — EventsJanuary events* January 26 Abermule train collision, Wales: faulty operation of Train Tablet leads to head on collision killing 17 people. April events * April 15 Southern Pacific Railroad takes delivery of 4 6 2 number 2472 (now preserved) …   Wikipedia

  • Railways in Melbourne — Melbourne rail network  City Loop  Caulfield group  Frankston line  Pakenham line  Sandringham line  Cranbourne line …   Wikipedia

  • Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company — The Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company was a Company in England, formed in 1846, which managed several canals and a railway. It was leased by the London and North Western Railway from 1847, and bought by it in 1922, but continued to act… …   Wikipedia

  • Cambrian Railways — Streckennetz der Cambrian Railways 1921 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cambrian Railways — owned 230 miles of track over a large area of mid Wales. The system was an amalgamation of a number of railways that were incorporated in 1864, 1865 and 1904. The Cambrian connected with two of the larger railways to give connections to the North …   Wikipedia

  • Transport Act 1962 — Der Transport Act 1962 war ein im Jahr 1962 von der britischen Regierung unter dem konservativen Premierminister Harold Macmillan erwirktes Gesetz zur teilweisen Reprivatisierung des Schienenverkehrs. Die mit dem Transport Act 1947 gegründete… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”