1941 London & North Eastern Railway Company



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Stock Code LNE01

  Certificate dated 9th August 1941, for 100 of 4% second preference stock in this British railway company. The London and North Eastern Rai!way was formed by the Railways Act, 1921, and came into existence on January 1, 1923.

Issued to Dorothy Margaret Bond, widow, of Hillside, 38 Kitsbury Road, Berkhamsted.. Yellow certificate.

Certificate size is 21 cm high x 15 cm wide (8.5" x 6"). It will be mounted in a mahogany frame, with gold inlay, size 31 cm high x 39 cm wide.

The certificate is shown unframed as all items are mounted to order.

About This Company

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About This Company

The second largest of the groups created by the Railways Act, 1921, it linked the partners in the East Coast route to Scotland - the Great Northern, North Eastern, and North British Railways, as well as the small, isolated Great North of Scotland Railway. Radiating from London it also joined the 'Three Greats' (Great Northern, Great Western, Great Central Railways) that had once sought had been refused amalgamation. The small Hull & Barnsley Railway had already been absorbed into the NER in 1922.

The LNER was more dependent upon freight than any other main line and should have prospered; but it relied upon heavy industry in the north east, Scotland, and Yorkshire, where there was long term depression, and it had the weakest financial position of the 'Big Four'. So caution dominated the board, where the chairman, William Whitelaw, had come from the thrifty NBR, and the deputy chairman, Lord Farringdon, from the chronically hard-up GCR. Economy and productivity were sought with some success, staff falling from 207,500 in 1924 to 175,800 in 1937, though more train miles were being operated. But investment had to be financed from internal resources, mainly renewal funds built up from revenue, instead of by borrowing.

Managerial salaries were lower than on the other main lines in general, but even so the LNER had probably the best resources of able young managers owing to the Traffic Apprenticeship Scheme which the chief general manager, Sir Ralph Wedgwood, brought with him from the NER, attracting graduates and backed up by career planning personally supervised by the assistant general manager Robert Bell, also ex-NER.

On organisation, Wedgwood originally favoured a straight departmental pattern, but the board adopted a strongly decentralised system of three Areas with headquarters in, respectively, London, York, and Edinburgh (with a temporary sub-Area in Aberdeen). Each Area was placed under a divisional general manager in charge of the principal departments, except for certain 'All-Line' officers, notably the chief mechanical engineer. There were also three Area Boards dealing with purely local questions. The effect was to leave the chief general manager free to concentrate upon board matters, major policy, and if necessary ruling in cases of disagreement between DGMs. Wedgwood was masterly in handling external relations.

With the financial constraints, the LNER can be considered well managed. Strenuous efforts were made to retain the freight traffic, especially against road competition; fast overnight traffic, especially against road competition; fast overnight services between major centres were operated and modern mechanised marshalling yards were built at Whitemoor, Cambridgeshire, and Wath in Yorkshire.

On the passenger side, there was a sharp difference between the principal express services and the London suburban network. The CME, H.N. (Sir Nigel) Gresley, had come from the GNR, a line with a tradition of high speed. He built a range of handsome and effective express locomotives, and new carriages for the Anglo-Scotish and other prestige services that caught the public eye, and which the LNER's very efficient publicity department was able to exploit. Imaginative developments included the not stop London-Edinburgh run of the Flying Scotsman, the introduction of all-Pullman trains such as the Queen of Scots, and the novel concept of train cruising as a luxury holiday, with the Northern Belle.

Strongly supported by the management, Gresley took the LNER into the era of high speed trains with steam (instead of diesel traction then being tried out in Germany and the USA). His streamlined Silver Jubilee set of 1935 was followed in 1937 by the coronation and then the West Riding Limited. A world speed record of 126 mph momentarily attained on a test run enhanced Gresley's prestige.

At the other end of the spectrum, the steam suburban services in north and east London were overcrowded, slow, and often dirty. They were heavily criticised, though ingenuity was shown in working an intensive service over crowded routes, particularly on the Great Eastern section; and the maximum number of seats for any given train length was achieved by the principal of 'articulation' introduced by Gresley, whereby adjacent carriages were brought close together by sharing one bogie.

Like all the grouped companies, the LNER was a conglomerate. Its continental shipping services based on Harwich (Parkeston Quay) were served by fine modern vessels; its hotels, mostly less grandiose than those on the London Midland & Scottish, were well patronised; and its investments after 1928 in bus companies were significant, with the LNER in several cases sharing joint boards with local authorities. But, alone among the grouped companies, the LNER was not interested in the development of air services.

When in 1933 government loans at low interest were offered for approved railway schemes, the LNER embarked at last upon electrifying the heavily used freight main line from Manchester to Sheffield and Wath Yard, and lines in the London suburban area. The latter involved the transfer of several routes to London Transport. Work on these schemes had to be suspended after the outbreak of war and most were not completed until after nationalisation.

Owing to its geographical position, the LNER suffered heavily from enemy action in 1939-45. It had also seen new men at the top. Whitelaw was followed by Sir Ronald Matthews in 1938 and Wedgwood by C.H. (Sir Charles) Newton in 1939. Although Whitelaw had once upset his fellow chairmen by suggesting that nationalisation might not be disastrous, the board now only went so far as to suggest a 'landlord and tenant' scheme as a half-way house to nationalisation. The government quickly rejected this, and on 1 January 1948 the LNER was divided up between the Eastern, North Eastern, and Scottish Regions of the new Railway Executive. The relatively high proportion of senior positions in British Railways subsequently occupied by ex-LNER men was an eloquent tribute to the policies of management development pursued by Wedgwood and Robert Bell.

The North Eastern, Eastern & East Scottish Group (London & North Eastern Railway) consisted of the following constituent companies :-

The LNER was also made up of the following subsidiary companies :-

Bracken Hill Light Railway

Colne Valley & Halstead Railway

East & West Yorkshire Union Railway

East Lincolnshire Railway

Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway

Forcett Railway

Forth & Clyde Junction Railway

Gifford & Garvald Railway

Great North of England, Clarence & Hartlepool Junction Railway

Horncastle Railway

Humber Commercial Railway & Dock

Kilsyth & Bonnybridge Joint Railway

Lauder Light Railway

London & Blackwall Railway

Mansfield Railway

Mid-Suffolk Light Railway

Newburgh & North Fife Railway

North Lindsey Light Railway

Nottingham & Grantham Railway

Nottingham Joint Station Committee Railway

Nottingham Suburban Railway

Seaforth & Sefton Junction Railway

Sheffield District Railway

South Yorkshire Joint Railway

Stamford & Essendine Railway

West Riding Railway Committee

 Source: www.trackbed.com


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