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Regulation of Railways Act 1873

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Explanation' and Amendment of Law

Explanation of 17 & 18 Vict. c.31 s.2 as to through traffic.

11Whereas by section two of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1854, it is enacted that every railway company and canal company and railway and canal company shall, according to their respective powers, afford all reasonable facilities for the receiving and forwarding and delivering of traffic upon and from the several railways and canals belonging to or worked by such companies respectively, and for the return of carriages, trucks, boats, and other vehicles; and that no such company shall make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to or in favour of any particular person or company, or any particular description of traffic, in any respect whatsoever, or shall subject any particular person or company, or any particular description of traffic, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever; and that every railway company and canal company and railway and canal company having or working railways or canals which form part of a continuous line of railway, or canal or railway and canal communication, or which have the terminus station or wharf of the one near the terminus station or wharf of the other, shall afford all due and reasonable facilities for receiving and forwarding by one of such railways or canals all the traffic arriving by the other, without any unreasonable delay, and without any such preference or advantage or prejudice or disadvantage as aforesaid, and so that no obstruction may be offered to the public desirous of using such railways or canals or railways and canals as a continuous line of communication, and so that all reasonable accommodation may by means of the railways and canals of the several companies be at all times afforded to the public in that behalf:

And whereas it is expedient to explain and amend the said enactment: Be it therefore enacted, that—

Subject as herein-after mentioned, the said facilities to be' so afforded are hereby declared to and shall include the due and reasonable receiving, forwarding, and delivering by every railway company and canal company, and railway and canal company, at the request of any other such company, of through traffic to and from the railway or canal of any other such company at through rates, tolls, or fares (in this Act referred to as through rates). Provided as follows:

(1)The company requiring the traffic to be forwarded shall give written notice- of the proposed through rate to each forwarding company, stating both its amount and its apportionment, and the route by which the traffic is proposed to be forwarded:

(2)Each forwarding company shall, within the prescribed period after the receipt of such notice, by written notice inform the company requiring the traffic to be forwarded whether they agree to the rate and route; and, if they object to either, the grounds of the objection:

(3)If at the expiration of the prescribed period no such objection has been sent by any forwarding company, the rate shall come into operation at such expiration:

(4)If an objection to the rate or route has been sent within the prescribed period, the matter shall be referred to the Commissioners for their decision:

(5)If an objection be made to the granting of .the rate or to the route, the, Commissioners shall consider whether the granting of the rate is a due and reasonable facility in the interest of the public, and whether, having regard to the circumstances, the route proposed is a reasonable route, and shall allow or refuse the rate accordingly:

(6)If the objection be only to the apportionment of the rate, the rate shall come into operation at the expiration of the prescribed period, but the decision of the Commissioners as to its apportionment shall be retrospective; in any other case the operation of the rate shall be suspended until the decision is given:

(7)The Commissioners in apportioning the through rate shall take into consideration all the circumstances of the case, including any special expense incurred in respect of the construction, maintenance, or working of the route, or any part of the route, as well as any special charges which any company may have been entitled to make in respect thereof:

(8)It shall not be lawful for the Commissioners in any case to compel any company to accept lower mileage rates than the mileage rates which such company may for the time being legally be charging for like traffic carried by a like mode of transit on any other line of communication between the same points, being the points of departure and arrival of the through route :

(9)The prescribed period mentioned in this section shall be ten days, or such longer period as the Commissioners may from time to time by general order prescribe. Where a railway company or canal company use, maintain, or work, or are party to an arrangement for using, maintaining, or working steam vessels for the purpose of carrying on a communication between any towns or ports, the provisions of this section shall extend to such steam vessels, and to the traffic carried thereby.

Powers of Commissioners as to through rates.

12Subject to the provisions in the last preceding section contained, the Commissioners shall have full power to decide that any proposed through rate is due and reasonable, notwithstanding that a less amount may be allotted to any forwarding company out of such through rate than the maximum rate such company is entitled to charge, and to allow and apportion such through rate accordingly.

Provision for complaints by public authority in certain cases.

13A complaint of a contravention of section two of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1854, as amended by this Act, may be made to the Commissioners by a municipal or other public corporation, local or harbour board, without proof that the complainants are aggrieved by the contravention: Provided that a complaint shall not be entertained by the Commissioners in pursuance of this section unless such complaint is accompanied by a certificate of the Board of Trade to the effect that in their opinion the case in respect of which the complaint is made is a proper one to be submitted for adjudication to the Commissioners by such municipal or other public corporation, local or harbour board.

Publication of rates.

14Every railway company and canal company shall keep at each of their stations and wharves a book or books showing every rate for the time being charged for the carriage of traffic, other than passengers and their luggage, from that station or wharf to any place to which they book, including any rates charged under any special contract, and stating the distance from that station or wharf of every station, wharf, siding, or place to which any such rate is charged. Every such book shall during all reasonable hours be open to the inspection of any person without the payment of any fee. The Commissioners may from time to time, on the application of any person interested, make orders with respect to any particular description of traffic, requiring a railway company or canal company to distinguish in such book how much of each rate is for the conveyance of the traffic on the railway or canal, including therein tolls for the use of the railway or canal, for the use of carriages or vessels, or for locomotive power, and how much is for other expenses, specifying the nature and detail of such other expenses. Any company failing to comply with the provisions of this section shall for each offence, and in the case of a continuing offence, for every day during which the offence continues, be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds, and such penalty shall he recovered and applied in the same manner as penalties imposed by the Railways Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, and the Railways Clauses Consolidation (Scotland) Act, 1845, (as the case may require,) are for the time being recoverable and applicable.

Power to Commissioners to fix terminal charges.

15The Commissioners shall have power to hear and determine any question or dispute which may arise with respect to the terminal charges of any railway company, where such charges have not been fixed by any Act of Parliament, and to decide what is a reasonable sum to be paid to any company for loading and unloading, covering collection, delivery, and other services of a like nature; any decision of the Commissioners under this section shall be binding on all courts and in all legal proceedings whatsoever.

Arrangements between railway companies and canal companies.

16No railway company or canal company, unless expressly authorised thereto by any Act passed before the passing of this Act, shall, without the sanction of the Commissioners, to be signified in such manner as they may by general order or otherwise direct, enter into any agreement whereby any control over or right to interfere in or concerning the traffic carried or rates or tolls levied on any part of a canal is given to the railway company, or any persons managing or connected with the management of any railway; and any such agreement made after the commencement of this Act without such sanction shall be void. The Commissioners shall withhold their sanction from any such agreement which is in their opinion prejudicial to the interests of the public. Not less than one month before any such agreement is so sanctioned, copies of the intended agreement certified under the hand of the secretary of the railway company or one of the railway companies party or parties thereto, shall be deposited for public inspection at the office of the Commissioners, and also at the office of the clerk of the peace of the county, riding, or division in England or Ireland in which the head office of any canal company party to the agreement is situate, and at the office of the principal sheriff clerk of every such county in Scotland, and notice of the intended agreement, setting forth the parties between whom or on whose behalf the same is intended to be made, and such further particulars with respect thereto as the Commissioners may require, shall be given by advertisement in the London, Edinburgh, or Dublin Gazette, according as the head office of any canal company party to the agreement is situate in England, Scotland, or Ireland, and shall be sent to the secretary or principal officer of every canal company any of whose canals communicates with the canal of any company party to the agreement; and shall be published in such other way, if any, as the Commissioners for the purpose of giving notice to all parties interested therein by order direct.

Maintenan of canals b railway companies,

17Every railway company owning or having the management of any canal or part of a canal shall at all times keep and maintain such canal or part, and all the reservoirs, works, and conveniences thereto belonging, thoroughly repaired and dredged and in good working condition, and shall preserve the supplies of water to the same, so that the whole of such canal or part may be at all times kept open and navigable for the use of all persons desirous to use and navigate the same without any unnecessary hindrance, interruption, or delay.

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