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view document PDF (0.9Mb download)Railway Regulation Act

Document Summary

Among other regulatory measures, this act introduced the 'parliamentary train', required to carry third class passenger at minimum standards of comfort; and therefore the first statutory recognition that the railways played a social role, and an attempt to prevent them abusing their monopoly position. Measures contained in the Act were;

  • The ability to limit a railway's profit by the altering of charges;
  • The right to purchase future railways for the State;
  • Mandating of railway accounts, and their inspection;
  • Mandating of minimum standards for trains carrying third class passengers;
  • Requirement to carry additional mail traffic;
  • Requirement to convey military and police officers;
  • Requirement to allow the laying of telegraph lines;
  • Prohibition of the issuing of Loan Notes and other illegal securities.


  • Please note that this Act is presented in its original form as passed. This Act may have been amended by subsequent legislation. For details of amendments please see the UK Statute Law Database at www.statutelaw.gov.uk.

    This document was published on 9th August 1844 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

    It was written by Her Majesty's Government.

    The original document format was Paper, and comprised 11 pages.

    This document was kindly sourced from Parliamentary Archives and is in our Primary legislation collection. It was added to the Archive on 24th January 2005.

    Copyright Information

    This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.

"Whereas it is expedient that the Concession of Powers for the Establishment of new Lines of Railway should be subjected to such Conditions as are herein-after contained for the benefit of the public :' Be it Enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty...That if at any Time after the End of Twenty-One Years...after the passing of any Act...for the Construction of any new Line of Passenger Railway...the clear annual profits...shall equal or exceed the Rate of Ten Pounds for every Hundred Pounds of such paid-up Capital Stock, it shall be lawful...to revise the Scale of Tolls, Fares, and Charges limited by the Act or Acts relating to the said Railway...

And whereas it is expedient to secure to the poorer Class of Travellers the Means of travelling by Railway at moderate Fares, and in Carriages in which they may be protected from 'the Weather;' be it enacted, That...all Passenger Railway Companies...shall, be means of One Train at least to travel along their Railway from one End to the other of each Trunk, Branhc, or Junction Line...once at least each Way on every Week Day...provide for the Conveyance of Third Class Passengers...

Such Train shall start at an Hour to be from Time to Time fixed by the Directors...Such Train shall travel at an average Rate of Speed not less than Twelve Miles per Hour for the Whole Distance travelled on the Railway, including Stoppages:

Such Train shall, if required, take up and set down Passengers at every Passenger Station which it shall pass on the Line:

The Carriages in which Passengers shall be conveyed by such Train shall be provided with Seats, and shall be protected from the Weather...

The Fare or Charge for each Third Class Passenger by such Train shall not exceed One Penny for each Mile travelled:"

Timeline:
Third class passenger reform

1st January 1841
Print of Sonning Cutting

25th December 1841
Accident Returns: Extract for Accident at Sonning on 24th December 1841

9th August 1844
Railway Regulation Act

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