Catalogue description Records created or inherited by the British Transport Commission, the British Railways Board, and related bodies

Details of AN
Reference: AN
Title: Records created or inherited by the British Transport Commission, the British Railways Board, and related bodies

Records of the British Transport Commission, British Railways Board and related bodies, established to oversee and regulate various types of transport acquired by the government under the provisions of the nationalization legislation of 1947, relating to all aspects of their establishment, administration and operation.

The records of the railway executives, which preceeded nationalization of the railway, and some private papers are also included.

AN 96 is a series number not used.

For series created for regularly archived websites, please see the separate Websites Division.

Date: 1802-2019

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

Related material:

See also the records of the Ministry of Transport: MT

See also the records of the railway companies nationalized in 1947 and their undertakings: RAIL

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

BRB (Residuary) Ltd, 2001-

British Railways Board, 1963-2001

British Transport Commission, 1947-1962

Strategic Rail Authority, 2001-2006

Physical description: 222 series
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

from 1979 British Railways Board

Custodial history: Between the years 1951 and 1962, the records of the British Transport Commission, British Railways Board, and all related bodies were transferred to the British Transport Historical Records Office (BTHR) at Porchester Road, London W2. These included 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. In 1962, these records became the responsibility of British Railways Board, and in 1972, of the Public Record Office (PRO). 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.
Administrative / biographical background:

Under the Transport Act 1947 the railways, 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. The commission was responsible to the Ministry of Transport for general transport policy, which it exercised principally through financial control of a number of executives set up to manage specified sections of the industry under schemes of delegation.

Under the Transport Act 1962, the British Transport Commission was replaced by the British Railways Board (BRB) in 1963, operating as British Rail, and various boards were established to oversee and regulate the railways, the docks, inland waterways, road haulage and London Transport.

On 1 April 1994, responsibility for managing the track and railway infrastructure passed to a newly-formed company Railtrack plc. In October 2001 Railtrack was replaced by the not-for-profit company Network Rail. The BRB continued as operator of all train services until 1997 when they were sold or franchised to the public sector. Privatisation was completed in 1997, but the BRB continued in existence to discharge residual non-operational functions (e.g. railway land, and pensions).

In 2001, under the Transport Act 2000, the BRB and the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) were abolished and their functions transferred to the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Initially a Shadow SRA was established in 1999, and the SRA was then placed on a formal legal basis by the 2000 Act and came into existence on 1 February 2001. The functions which had been carried out by the BRB prior to the creation of the SRA were placed under the charge of BRB (Residuary) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SRA.

The SRA was wound up on 1 December 2006 following the passing of the Railways Act 2005, and its functions variously transferred to the Department for Transport Rail Group, to Network Rail and some to the Office of Rail Regulation. Upon the dissolution of the SRA under the 2005 Act, ownership of BRB (Residuary) Ltd passed to the Secretary of State for Transport.

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