Trackbed Consolidation Limited

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

By 1983 a number of members of the Welsh Highland Railway (1964) Company Limited ('64 Co.) had come to doubt that company's plan to support Gwynedd County Council's (GCC) intention to buy the trackbed from the Official Receiver (OR) of the Welsh Highland Railway (Light Railway) Company ('22 Co.) would result in all or any of the WHR being rebuilt. They wanted to pursue a different strategy to reconstruct the original '22 Co. by getting 75% of the debts by value and 75% of the creditors by value and number to accept an offer for the '22 Co.

They began to search for holders of debenture shares and ordinary shares in the '22 Co.

They formed Trackbed Consolidation Limited (TCL) on 27th October 1983 as a vehicle to hold the shares. Most members of TCL had been or were members of '64 Co. and several had been directors. The main instigators were Ernie Preston, Cedric Lodge, J H Ewing, J E Preston, and R F Preston. They were successful in buying a number of blocks of shares belonging to National Westminster Bank, The Dept of Transport and descendants of Henry Joseph Jack. Another organisation buying shares with the same ultimate objective was a second group of '64 Co. supporters called West Co. There were two creditors meeting of '22 Co. on 23rd July 1984 and in January 1986. At these TCL and West Co. narrowly failed to get the 75% of votes needed for the company reconstruction to pass its first hurdle.

In late 1989 it became known that the FR Co. had bid £16,000 compared to £10,000 bid by TCL to acquire the WHR trackbed from the Official Receiver of '22 Co. in competition with GCC bid of £1. Bob MacGregor and Mike Hart were instrumental in reaching agreement between TCL and the FR Co. to transfer TCL shares to the FR Co. (free of charge) so that the FR had standing to approach the High Court for a hearing to prevent the sale of the trackbed to GCC, to have the shares registered in the FR Co.'s name and to get leave for the Official Receiver to sell the trackbed to the FR Co. Although only partially successful this was a crucial step in the FR obtaining the critical proceedings which made the rebuilding of the whole WHR possible.


Preston E (2015) Trackbed Consolidation Limited, 52 pages. Available from FR Shop.