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Railhub Archive
1996-07-18 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Railway Heritage Bill achieves Royal Assent

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Railway Heritage Act 1996

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Department of Transport

Railway Heritage Bill achieves Royal Assent

18 July 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 231

The Railway Heritage Act 1996, which will safeguard historical
railway records and artefacts, received Royal Assent today.

The Bill, introduced by Mark Robinson, MP and Lord Finsberg will come
into force on 18th September and will:

- extend the powers of the Railway Heritage Committee to protect
artefacts and records in private sector ownership and;

- simplify procedures, including freeing the Committee to delegate to
subcommittees so that it may work more effectively.

John Watts, Minister for Railways and Roads, said:

This Act has been welcomed by railway heritage and railway industry
interest alike. It is vital for the railway that records of
historical significance are preserved so that industry and future
generations can benefit from the lessons of the past.

I congratulate and thank my Hon. Friend for bringing forward this

Mark Robinson said:

I believe strongly in the importance of learning from the past. To
do that effectively, we must ensure that historic railway materials
are preserved and made available to the public so that it is possible
for our children to learn about the railways and and their great
contribution to our industrial revolution.

Welcoming the Act, Lord Finsberg said:

As a lifelong railway enthusiast, I was delighted to steer the Act
to its terminus.

Sir Gordon Higginson, Chairman of the Railway Heritage Committee
warmly welcomed the Act and congratulated Mark Robinson and Lord
Finsberg for their hard work in bringing everything to a successful

The Railway Heritage Committee is made up of eminent figures from the
railway industry and the railway heritage community. It has the
powers to nominate railway artefacts and records belonging to the
British Railways Board, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Board or
certain Government owned successors to the Board, for transfer to
museums or other collecting institutions at the end of their working


1. The Act deals with moveable items, records and artefacts.
Buildings and other permanent structures fall within the scope of
planning legislation.

2. The Committees remit cover the former BR network only, not the
London Underground or pre-1994 private railways. London Underground
is covered by section 144 of the Transport Act 1968. The owners of
records and artefacts covered by the Railway Heritage Act are:

- The British Railways Board; its wholly-owned subsidiaries; any
company which was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary to the Board;

- Any publicly owned railway company or any company which was
formerly a publicly owned railway company;

- any company owned by the Franchising Director, the Franchising
Director, franchisees and franchise operators.
# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-07-18 DoT-001


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