Catalogue description Great Central Railway Company

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Details of RAIL 226
Reference: RAIL 226
Title: Great Central Railway Company

This series documents the establishment and administration of the Great Central Railway Company.

Documents include board papers, correspondence, deeds, agreements, contracts, specifications, estimates, plans, minutes and reports of directors' and proprietors' meetings, together with various committee minutes and reports, accountant's records, which include stock and share registers, civil engineer's records and reports on parliamentary bills and orders, locomotive and rolling stock records, statements of passenger, goods and other traffic connected with half yearly reports, miscellaneous books and publications, which include material concerning the extension to the London Line, photograph albums, and staff records, the latter including numerical registers of staff (with indexes).

Electronic images of selected pieces of these records can be searched online through our partner website. (Please Note: Pieces 193-199, 226-227 and 508 only have been digitised).

Date: 1852-1958
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: GCR
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Great Central Railway Company, 1897-1923

Physical description: 690 files, rolls and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Accruals: No further accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:

The Great Central Railway Company (GCR) was first formed as the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway Company (MSL). After the passing of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire (Extension to London etc) Act 1893, which authorised the MSL to construct a main line from its railways in Kirkby in Ashfield (Notts) to London, the MSL felt its name no longer reflected its sphere of influence. Therefore, the Great Central Railway Act 1897 was promoted which (amongst other items) changed its name to the GCR. The effective date for the name change was 1 August 1897.

At the time of the name change, the MSL owned 353½ miles of railway (with another 207 miles in joint ownership with other railway companies) and 111½ miles of canal. The GCR went on to obtain further acts and open other lines and by 31 December 1922, it owned 628 miles of railway with a further 209 miles jointly owned with other railway companies and 200 miles leased or worked. Its system was based on Manchester reaching Wigan and St Helens to the north west, Barnsley to the north, Grimsby to the north east, Lincoln to the east and London to the south, serving large cities and towns such as Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Leicester and Rugby.

With the Midland Railway Company and the Great Northern Railway Company, the GCR had interests in the Cheshire Lines Committee which gave the GCR access to North Wales and Liverpool. On 1 January 1923, the GCR became part of the London and North Eastern Railway Company under the North Eastern, Eastern and East Scottish Group Amalgamation Scheme 1922.

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