chapter  IX
17 Pages

The Railways Act 1921

On the outbreak of war in 1914, a 'Railway Executive Committee', consisting of the General Managers of the principal railway companies, was set up by the Government to take over control of the railways. The Railways Act 1921 introduced many far-reaching changes of the greatest importance. It implied in the first place a recognition by Parliament of the advantages of amalgamation, whereas in the previous century Parliament was suspicious of combination. The Minister of Transport, on representation from shipping or canal interests, may refer to the Rates Tribunal any exceptional rates so competitive with coastwise shipping or canals as to be detrimental to the public interest and inadequate having regard to the cost of affording the service. Every railway company is obliged to supply certain statistics and returns to the Minister of Transport subject to any variations agreed between the Minister and the Railway Companies Association.