BRB (Residuary) Limited

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BRB (Residuary) Limited (BRBR) was the successor to the British Railways Board. It was created in 2001 as a private company limited by shares, with 100% of the issued share capital owned by the Secretary of State for Transport. As part of the Public Bodies Act 2011, the company was abolished in 2013.


Starting in 1994, as part of the Railways Act 1993, British Rail was divided up and privatised. By November 1997, British Rail had been divested of all its operating railway functions. However, the British Railways Board (BRB) remained in existence to discharge residual functions, mainly relating to liabilities, pensions, and responsibility for non-operation railway land which had not passed to Railtrack upon its formation in 1994. It also had responsibility for the British Transport Police (BTP).

In 1999, the United Kingdom Government decided to create the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), which would incorporate the BRB and the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising. Both these bodies began acting together, under the trading name of the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority. In 2000, primary legislation, the Transport Act 2000, was enacted to place the SRA on a statutory basis. In accordance with this Act, the BRB was abolished in 2001 and its remaining functions transferred to the SRA. Those functions which directly related to the old BR were placed in the charge of a wholly owned subsidiary of the SRA, BRB (Residuary) Limited (BRBR), which was incorporated in January 2001. Responsibility for the BTP passed temporarily to the SRA itself pending the creation of the British Transport Police Authority in 2004.

Upon the dissolution of the SRA under the Railways Act 2005, ownership of BRBR passed to the Department for Transport.

In 2010 the government announced its intention to abolish BRBR as part of its plans to reduce the number of public bodies and it was included in the Public Bodies Act 2011. On 30 September 2013, the company's assets and responsibilities were split between the Department for Transport, Highways Agency, London and Continental Railways, Network Rail and the Rail Safety and Standards Board.[1] Following these transfers, BRBR was abolished.[2]


As a residuary body, the company was responsible for discharging a variety of functions, including obligations in respect of liabilities acquired by British Rail as a major employer over nearly half a century (such as pensions) and as a direct result of the privatisation process. The company was responsible for the continuing disposal of non-operational railway land and also became the owner of the closed Waterloo International railway station in 2007, when the Eurostar service moved to St Pancras railway station.

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