Abbildungen der Seite

Railway com

England and Wales, 279 for Scotland, and 159 for Ireland. The numbers in each year, showing the progressive extension of this network of legislation, are exhibited in the annexed table“, compiled from the statute-book.

Within nearly the same period of time, the extent of Rail- Extent of way communication in the United Kingdom, has increased from munication. about 32 Miles, the length of the Liverpool and Manchester line, in 1830, to 9,116 Miles open for traffic at the end of 1857, besides nearly one-fourth of the latter number in course of construction or authorized. And more than 130 millions of Passengers travel over these Railways in a year, or in other words so many individual journeys are made. It has cost an outlay of nearly £3 per head on this number of passengers, to provide them with this accommodation, as the following statement will show.

The amount of Capital invested in these undertakings bas Capital. increased from £1,692,600 (the capital, on amalgamation, of the parent Railway from Liverpool to Manchester, above alluded to), to the vast aggregate of £377,767,907, authorized to be raised, up to 1st January, 1857, and of which £308,775,894 had actually been raised at that date", leaving £68,992,013 then to be raised :—the total amount (which has since been increased for additional lines and additional works), being equal to half the National Debt,sufficient, according to recent statistics, to pay off the entire debt of the French Empire and leave a surplus,—and nearly equal to the debts of the two great powers, the Austrian and Russian Empires, combined,--and to the debts of all the remaining European States put together. The interest on this amount, if it were invested at 5 per cent., may be stated as more than equal to the annual revenue of the United States - Page xiv.

On 31st December, 1857, according to last Board of Trade Return, the amount of capital raised was £314,989,826, out of £387,051,735 authorized, leaving £72,061,909 to be raised.

Railway interests in

of America; or in Europe, of Prussia or Spain, or of many of the European States combined ;-and would therefore be safficient to meet the entire annual cost of the Government, or Civil, Military and Naval Establishments, of those States, without any taxes whatever.

The Railway system, in its almost endless ramifications, Parliament. and the construction and management of Railways, from

their importance as an instrument of civilization and commerce, no less than the magnitude of the interests at stake, have become not unworthy to occupy the active and practical attention of many of the leading minds of the day. These interests now contribute a large quota of Members to the Legislature; the proportion of Members of the House of Commons who are Chairmen, Directors, Engineers, or Constructors of Railways, being nearly one-fifth of the whole House, and the proportion in the House of Lords nearly one-tenth: the total number in the two Houses of Parliament is about 150,not taking into account, of course, the far larger proportion, who, without being office-holders, are proprietors or shareholders and otherwise interested in Railways.

More than 130,000 persons are employed as Paid Officers employed by Railways. and Servants on Railways in the United Kingdom, not includ

ing Directors and Auditors". The numbers of the latter, appointed by the shareholders themselves, average about eleven Directors and two Auditors, which for 243 Railway Companies in the United Kingdom, would give 3,159 more Paid Officers of Railway Companies,-namely, 2,673 Directors and 486 Auditors,—making in all, more than 133,000 paid employés of Railways. And these numbers are of course


• Of 654 Members (4 seats being in abeyance) of the House of Commons, from 110 to 120 are Railway Directors, Engineers, &c.; and of 437 Peers, from 30 to 40 are Chairmen or Directors of Railway Companies.-See Dodd's Parliamentary Companion, Bradshaw's Railway Manud, &c.

This number had reference to the return for 1856, the last published at the time this was written, The number in 1857 was 153,697; estimated number of Directors and Auditors, 3,300 ; total, 156,997, in 1857.'

of Railway

wholly irrespective of the vast numbers of persons besides, to whom these undertakings furnish habitual employment in private establishments, in iron-works and factories, in the construction and building of engines, carriages of various kinds, in the supply of coals, coke, oil, clothing, printing and stationery, and in the various other trades and manufactures engaged in supplying the multifarious requirements of Railways.

These general facts are sufficient to show the importance of the subjects dealt with by the statutes contained in this volume.

It is not to be wondered at, that the vast mass of “Private Bills" under the system of exceptional and costly legislation Development still maintained, as well as the necessity of protection for the system. public, in regard both to personal convenience and safety, and to the pecuniary interests concerned to so serious an extent, soon led to attempts to make some approach to uniformity of procedure and regulation of the huge machinery of these and kindred projects; and hence the general and “Public Acts” of 1840, 1845, and subsequent years, on the subject. The variety and repeated alteration of the Railway laws at once attest the difficulty of dealing with the various and often conflicting interests concerned, as well as necessarily the little light that could be drawn from experience in the earlier years of Railway legislation.

The object of the present publication is not, however, to Design of discuss the provisions, policy, or operation of the law, but to publication : furnish a convenient means of access to its enactments, rather ties. as a book of reference, more especially for those immediately and practically connected with Railways, and a guide to their statutory duties, obligations, and responsibilities, with such aids as may be afforded by the Index (which is an alphabetical analysis of the whole), Notes of reference and explana. tion, &c. The want of such a compilation has suggested itself to me by the inconvenience arising from the necessity

the present

its special.

the present


Design of of referring to various and less accessible sources, in the publication: absence, so far as I am aware, of any similar and equally

convenient compilation, brought down to the present time, and unembarrassed with legal incumbrances and disquisitions, for which, where required, recourse can be had to more bulky and costly technical treatises, intended rather for the law courts and legal practitioners than for the classes of persons practically interested in or connected with Railways, for whose use the present volume may suffice and is chiefly designed

In this volume, those provisions which have been repealed or superseded are indicated by a distinguishing type or otherwise. Though no longer operative, I have not thought it right to omit altogether these provisions; but the arrangements adopted show at once the state of the law both before and since its alteration in each instance, and it is hoped may tend to the avoidance of error in this respect, as well as save time and trouble.

Some provisions, which were for the most part of temporary operation, and may now be regarded as generally obsolete, but to which there is occasional need of reference, are placed separately in the Appendix. I have not considered it necessary or convenient to encumber the Index with more than brief general references to these temporary or obsolete acts.

Some freedom has been used with regard to the Marginal Notes or references, which fortunately are not accepted as an integral part of the statutes to which they are attached. As printed in the statute-book, they are sometimes at variance with the enactments to which they are annexed, and are more frequently not very expressive, or even applicable, as

For instance, amongst many others, the marginal note to $ 65 of the Railway Clauses Act (VII. 65), is in the statute-book “Construction of Bridges;" whereas the section relates not to construction, which was the subject of distinct provisions in previous sections, nor to bridges alone, but relates to keep

its special

guides to the subject or purport of the enactment; owing, Design of

the present no doubt, in some degree, to the alteration which measures publication : often undergo in the course of their transition from “ Bills” ties. into “Acts,” without corresponding alteration of the marginal references of the original Bill.

The phraseology is also shortened and simplified in all the earlier acts, by the omission of unnecessary introductory verbiage at the beginning of sections (since condemned as surplusage, by the Legislature itself, in Lord Brougham's Act of 1850), and otherwise ; but wherever such omission occurs, the place and precise words omitted are indicated by marks or references. In this way, and in all other respects, the ipsissima verba of the statutes are preserved, while space is saved.

The present volume does not include acts applying exclu- Scotland. sively to Scotland. The differences between the institutions and procedure of that country, and those of other parts of the United Kingdom, have rendered necessary separate legislation; and that for Scotland on this subject is sufficient for a separate volume, and would make the present volume (already sufficiently large) too bulky and unwieldy. It is to be borne in mind, in using the volume, that some Construo

tion: special of the provisions in the general acts are not unfrequently Acts. varied by those in the special acts of particular companies or undertakings; and the “special act” is frequently referred --- -----

-------- ing in “repair any bridge, fence, approach, gate, or other work," and would appear therefore to be more properly described as relating to “Repair of Works."

The marginal note to § 66 of the same act is also in the statute book quite at variance with the text and intent of the section.

Again, the marginal note on one of the definitions in § 1 of the Cardwell Act, (XV. 1,) consists in the statute book of the word “ Stations" alone (where the word “ Wharf” or “Terminus" would have been not more applicable, nor less so); the definition to which that word is so applied being, however, a definition ot the word " Near," and applying not only to "stations," (a term commonly used in relation to Railways, while the provisions in question are equally applicable to Canals), but, in the words of the act, to “ stations, termini, or wharves." It is perhaps unnecessary to multiply examples, which could easily be done.

« ZurückWeiter »