Railways Act 1921

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1921 c. 55


Railways Act, 1921

(11 & 12 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 55.

An Act to provide for the reorganisation and further regulation of Railways and the discharge of liabilities arising in connection with the possession of Railways, and otherwise to amend the Law relating to Railways, and to extend the duration of the Rates Advisory Committee.

[19th August 1921]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Reorganisation of Railway System.

Part I.

Reorganisation of Railway System.

S-1 Grouping of railways.

1 Grouping of railways.

(1) 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.

(2) The groups to be formed shall be those specified in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act, and as respects the several groups the railway companies to be amalgamated (in this Act referred to as ‘constituent companies’) shall be those set out in relation to each group in the second column of that schedule, and the companies to be absorbed (in this Act referred to as ‘subsidiary companies’) shall be those set out in relation to each group in the third column of that schedule, and the companies constituted by such amalgamation are in this Act referred to as amalgamated companies.

S-2 Preparation and settlement of amalgamation schemes.

2 Preparation and settlement of amalgamation schemes.

(1) The constituent companies in any group may on or before the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, submit to the Minister of Transport (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Minister’) an amalgamation scheme framed in accordance with the provisions of this Act which has been agreed to by all those companies.

(2) The Minister shall refer to the amalgamation tribunal hereinafter constituted any scheme so submitted to him, and the tribunal, unless it appears to them that the scheme does not conform with the requirements of this Act or that the provisions of this Act relating to the procedure preliminary to the submission of an agreed scheme have not been complied with, shall confirm the scheme.

(3) If the constituent companies in any group fail to submit an agreed amalgamation scheme framed in accordance with the provisions of this Act on or before the said date, a scheme for the amalgamation of the constituent companies in that group shall be prepared and settled in accordance with this Act by the amalgamation tribunal.

S-3 Provisions to be contained in amalgamation schemes.

3 Provisions to be contained in amalgamation schemes.

(1) An amalgamation scheme under this Act—

(a ) shall provide for the incorporation of the amalgamated company under an appropriate name, with power to hold land for the purposes of the company, and make such provisions as appear necessary or expedient with regard to the share and loan capital of the amalgamated company and the vesting of the property, rights, powers, duties, and liabilities, whether statutory or otherwise, of the constituent companies; and

(b ) shall provide generally as to the terms and conditions of amalgamation and for the winding-up of the constituent companies, including the allocation to holders of securities of the constituent companies in substitution therefor and in satisfaction of all claims arising thereunder, of such securities of the amalgamated company, and of such amounts, as may be specified in the scheme; and

(c ) shall incorporate Part V. of the Railways Clauses Act, 1863 , subject to the provisions of this Act; and may incorporate with or without modification any of the provisions of the Companies Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845 , and the Acts amending that Act, and such modifications may provide that any committees appointed under section ninety-five of the Companies Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, may comprise persons who, though not directors of the company, are proprietors and possess such other qualifications (if any) as may be provided by the scheme; and

(d ) shall give effect to the provisions contained in the Second Schedule to this Act with respect to the direction of the amalgamated company, and may, with the consent of the proprietors, provide for the payment of compensation out of the assets of a constituent company to the directors of the company who suffer loss by abolition of office; and

(e ) shall contain such provisions with respect to the management of any superannuation, pension, provident, widows' and orphans' and other benefit fund or funds established by any constituent company as may be necessary in consequence of amalgamation, so, however, as to preserve in all other respects the management of such funds unaltered until other provision is made by Parliament; and

(f ) shall incorporate the provisions contained in the Third Schedule to this Act with respect to existing officers and servants; and

(g ) may make such incidental and supplemental provisions as appear necessary or expedient in order to give full effect to the provisions of the scheme and the purposes of this Act:

Provided that the scheme may provide for the postponement for a period not exceeding five years, or, if for special reasons the amalgamation tribunal think fit, ten years, of the winding up of a constituent company with or without any change in the name of the company in order to enable such company to continue to exist for the purpose of receiving and holding any securities of the amalgamated company for the benefit of any class or classes of the holders of any loan or share capital of the constituent company or of any company the interest or dividends of which are guaranteed by or secured on the revenues of the constituent company, according to their respective rights and interests in pursuance of and in accordance with any arrangement which may be approved by the amalgamation tribunal and included in the scheme, and during such postponement of winding up a constituent company shall cease to be a railway company within the meaning of section two hundred and sixty-seven of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908 , but any securities of the constituent company, which are at the date of amalgamation securities in which trustees are by law entitled to invest trust funds, shall continue to be such securities.

(2) With respect to the Western group the following provision shall have effect:—

(a ) The amalgamation scheme shall provide for constituting the Great Western Railway Company the amalgamated company, and for amalgamating therewith the other constituent companies in the group;

(b ) For the purposes aforesaid, the scheme may provide for increasing all or any of the existing classes of loan and share capital of the Great Western Railway Company, or creating new classes of loan or share capital of that company, with such rights, priorities, and conditions as may be specified in the scheme, and for allocating to the holders of the loan and share capital of the other constituent companies additional and new capital of the Great Western Railway Company so created to such amounts and in such manner as may be provided by the scheme;

(c ) Notwithstanding anything in any special Act affecting the Great Western Railway Company, or the holders of any class of loan or share capital in that company, the additional capital of each class shall form part of, and rank pari passu with, the existing capital of that class, and any new class of capital may, with the consent of the majority in value of the holders of any class of security affected, rank before any existing class of capital;

(d ) Paragraph (a ) of the foregoing subsection, so far as it relates to the incorporation of the amalgamated company, shall not apply, and paragraph (b ) thereof, so far as it relates to the winding up of the constituent companies, shall not apply, to the Great Western Railway Company.

S-4 Preparation and approval of absorption schemes.

4 Preparation and approval of absorption schemes.

(1) The constituent companies in any group may, on or before the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, submit to the Minister a scheme or schemes framed in accordance with the provisions of this Act for the absorption by the amalgamated company to be formed by the amalgamation of those constituent companies of the subsidiary companies which, under this Act, are to be absorbed by that amalgamated company, or any of those subsidiary companies, on terms agreed to by the subsidiary companies to which the scheme or schemes may relate.

(2) The Minister shall refer to the amalgamation tribunal any scheme so submitted to him, and the tribunal, unless it appears to them that the scheme does not conform with the requirements of this Act, or that the provisions of this Act relating to the procedure preliminary to the submission of an agreed scheme have not been complied with, shall confirm the scheme.

(3) If the constituent companies in any group fail on or before the said date to submit one or more agreed schemes framed in accordance with the provisions of this Act for the absorption of all the subsidiary companies which are to be absorbed by the amalgamated company to be formed by the amalgamation of those constituent companies, a scheme for the absorption of any subsidiary company with respect to which an agreed absorption scheme framed in accordance with the provisions of this Act has not been made shall be prepared and settled in accordance with this Act by the amalgamation tribunal.

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