Some Postcards of Former
British Railway Companies
On 1st January 1948, Britain's railways were taken into public ownership under the auspices of
British Railways. Nationalisation lasted until the late 1990s when the railways were once again
privatised. In 1947, there were four major rail companies, the "Big Four", viz the Great Western
Railway (
GWR) :  the Southern Railway (SR) :  the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)
: and the London and North-Eastern Railway (
LNER). These companies had been formed as a
result of the Railways Act 1921, in a process known as "The Grouping", which came into effect
on 1 January 1923. In turn, each of the "Big Four" was built by amalgamating many smaller
companies. As well as the British Rail regions, our train postcards bear the names of the Big
Four and of many of the smaller companies. We have listed below the companies which were
amalgamated into the Big Four in 1923, whilst you will find that our postcards are on four
pages, one for each of the Big Four.
London and North
Eastern Railway




Great Eastern Railway
Great Central Railway
Great Northern Railway
Great North of Scotland Railway
Hull and Barnsley Railway
North British Railway
North Eastern Railway
London, Midland and
Scottish Railway




London and North Western Railway
Midland Railway
Caledonian Railway
Highland Railway
Glasgow & South Western Railway
North Staffordshire Railway
Furness Railway

There were also a couple of dozen smaller
companies which were absorbed into the LMS.
Southern Railway




London and South Western Railway (LSWR)  
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
(LBSCR)
South Eastern Railway
London, Chatham and Dover Railway

In addition there were about 20 smaller
companies - for example, the
Isle of Wight
Railway - included in the amalgamation
Great Western Railway




Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway
Shrewsbury and Chester Railway
South Wales Railway
West Midlands Railway
Bristol and Exeter Railway
South Devon Railway
Cornwall Railway
Rhymney Railway
Taff Vale Railway
Cambrian Railway
Midland & S W Junction Rwy
I have to thank an old school friend with whom I used to collect engine numbers in the 1940s and 50s (and who wishes not to be named here !) for scanning a large number of his
train postcards collection and emailing them to me for inclusion in these pages. Cheers J, it brought back a lot of happy memories !
1
Postcards of the Past
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All our postcards are at least 50 years old !
In conjunction with Zazzle, we have produced an extensive range of gifts, using images from
these old postcards. The items available include many reproduction postcards, coffee mugs,
greetings cards, key chains, fridge magnets, watches etc. Many images on these pages have a
direct link to a reproduction postcard - just click on the image to see and buy it ! (They are only
about £1 each !) Or, to view gifts based on our old Railway postcards, follow
this link.
Birthday Card - Great Eastern Express
Birthday Card - Great Eastern Express by Postcards of the Past
Make a card online at Zazzle
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Souvenir Mug - GWR - the "Bristolian".
Souvenir Mug - GWR - the "Bristolian". by Postcards of the Past
See more Souvenir Mugs
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