Records of the pre-nationalisation railway companies, pre-nationalisation canal and related companies, the London Passenger Transport Board, and successors

Reference:
RAIL
Title:
Records of the pre-nationalisation railway companies, pre-nationalisation canal and related companies, the London Passenger Transport Board, and successors
Description:

The records in RAIL are those of all private railway companies and private canal companies taken into public ownership by the Transport Act of 1947, together with records which relate to the railway network, and those of associated bodies.

They are as follows:

  • the records of the Great Western Railway Company (GWR), the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LMS), the London and North Eastern Railway Company (LNER), and the Southern Railway Company (SR), together with their associated undertakings;
  • the records of private canal companies;
  • the records of the London Passenger Transport Board, 1933-1947;
  • and other railway records, from both private and public sources, relating mainly to the pre-nationalisation period.

These records relate to all administrative and operational aspects of private railway and private canal companies, to the railway network, and to their associated functions.

Date:
1634-1982
Arrangement:

Records taken into the British Transport Historical Records Office have been allocated BTHR series references.

Related Material:
Records of the British Transport Commission can be found in AN
Correspondence concerning the British Transport Historical Records is in AN 104
Additional material concerning individual railway companies is in MT 6
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Language:
English
Physical description:
1203 series
Access conditions:
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
British Railways Board, British Railways Board Record Centre , from 1977
Custodial history:
Following nationalisation, the records of the 'big four' railway companies and their associated undertakings, together with the records of all canal companies, and other transport records relating to these companies and their functions, came under the aegis of the British Transport Commission (BTC). Between the years 1951 and 1962, the records of these companies, and of associated operations, under the aegis of the BTC were transferred to the British Transport Historical Records Office (BTHR) at Porchester Road London W2. In 1962, these records became the responsibility of British Railways Board, and in 1972, of the Public Record Office. In 1977, the BTHR Office was closed, and the British Railways Board Records Centre opened on the same site. The transfer of holdings of BTHR to the PRO began in the same year.
Unpublished finding aids:
BTHR card index in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.
Administrative / biographical background:

By the Transport Act of 1947, railways, canals, long-distance road haulage and various other types of transport were acquired by the state and handed over to a British Transport Commission for operation. Responsibility for the operation of railways was exercised through the Railway Executive, that for canals was exercised through a Docks and Inland Waterways Executive, both of which were responsible to the Ministry of Transport.

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