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Regional & Other Boundary Changes

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Signal Fact 71

In 1865 messrs Saxby and Farmer formed a company to manufacture and supply railway signalling.

Over time the boundaries of the various British Railways Regions changed which can sometimes make it difficult to locate and research signalling information. Privatisation did not stem this flow of change as Railtrack and Network Rail continued the ingrained habit of reorganisation.

On this page are recorded some of the implemented boundary changes that were published through the medium of weekly engineering notices and the amendments to the timetable appendices. Looking through these lists may well assist in determining where to look for information about specific places of interest at different time periods.

1948 Nationalisation

The bulk of the lines operated by the “Big Four” railway companies were divided into six British Railways regions:

London & North Eastern Railway lines in the Manchester area transferred to London Midland Region.

The former London Midland & Scottish Railway lines in Northern Ireland (Northern Counties Committee) intially remained under the control of British Railways and were then transferred to the Ulster Transport Authority in April 1949.


From London Midland Region to Eastern Region

London, Tilbury & Southend Lines.

London Midland Region internal

Langton and Sandon Dock stations from Midland to Western Division.


Cowley Bridge westward Southern to Western?


In 1958 the regional structure based largely on the big four company boundaries was amended to a geographic one. The nature of the change led to it being often referred to by the term “Penetrating Lines” as the lines that penetrated another geographic region were the ones transferred. The changes were implemented from 12.1 am on Saturday 1st February.

From Eastern Region to London Midland Region

Great Central Lines other than those in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

From London Midland Region to Eastern Region

Lines in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire.

From London Midland Region to North Eastern Region

Lines in North and West Yorkshire.

From London Midland Region to Western Region

Oxford to Bicester London Road
Banbury Merton Street
Leamington Spa Milverton to Leamington Spa Avenue
Fenny Compton to Broom Junction
Barnt Green (exclusive) to Bristol Temple Meads
Barnt Green (exclusive) to Ashchurch via Redditch
Ashchurch to Upton-on-Severn
Dursley Branch
Stonehouse Bristol Road to Nailsworth
Stroud Branch
Thornbury Branch
Mangotsfield to Bath Green Park
Wellington to Coalport
Wrexham Central to Gwersyllt

Also the London Midland lines in South Wales.

From North Eastern Region to London Midland Region

Kirkby Stephen East (Down Distant) to Eden Valley
Kirkby Stephen Junction to Tebay No.3

From Southern Region to Western Region

Cattewater Branch
Turnchapel Branch
Templecombe Junction (inclusive) to Bath Junction
Evercreech Junction to Burnham-on-Sea

From Western Region to London Midland Region

Wellington, Market Drayton and Nantwich Junction

From Western Region to Southern Region

Castle Cary to Weymouth
Yeovil Branch
Bridport Branch
Abbotsbury Branch
Weymouth, Portland and Easton


From 1st January 1963 all lines in the west of Wilton South were transferred from Southern to Western Region. On the same date more of the West Midlands and Mid Wales sections of the Western Region were transferred to London Midland Region.

From Southern Region to Western Region

Wilton South to Plymouth 87m40c
Yeovil Junction to Yeovil Town
Yeovil Pen Mill to Langport West
Chard Branch
Lyme Regis Branch
Seaton Branch
Sidmouth Branch
Exmouth Branch
Dorchester West - Grimstone & Frampton 160m20c
Maiden Newton to Bridport
Blandford Forum - Shillingstone 52m20c
Coleford Junction to Ilfracombe
Meldon Junction to Padstow
Barnstaple to Halwill
Halwill Junction to Bude
Bodmin to Wadebridge

From Western Region to London Midland Region

All lines north of the following locations:

Heyford - Aynho Junction 76m40c
Aynho Junction - Ardley 14m40c
Chipping Norton 94m00c
Stratford-upon-Avon - Honeybourne 7m15c
Alcester station 64m40c
Barnt Green to Stoke Works 52m40c
Hartlebury - Droitwich Spa 130m40c
Shrewsbury - Craven Arms 18m10c
Tenbury Wells 4m05c
Llanidloes - Builth Road 60m40c
Aberystwyth - Llanrhystyd Road 40m20c

1967 Merger

The Eastern and North Eastern regions merged back together.


From Western Region to London Midland Region

London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street


The commercial aspects of the railway were transferred to the new railway business sectors whilst operations remained regional.


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