Sir Robert Burnett, Bart v The Great North of Scotland Railway Co: HL 24 Feb 1885

Superior and Vassal – Irritancy – Railway – Private Right to Stop Trains
The proprietor of land through which a railway was formed feued to the railway company at a nominal feuduty land on which the company undertook to erect and maintain ‘a station for passengers and goods travelling by the . . railway, at which all passenger trains shall regularly stop.’ An irritant clause provided that in the event of the company discontinuing the use of the station as a regular goods and passenger station, the grant should be null, and the ground and all buildings thereon should revert to the granter. The company erected the station, which was called C, and for a time all passenger trains stopped at it, but there were established after the date of the contract certain trains subsidised in the public service by the Home Office and Post Office, in which ordinary passengers might travel, and which were regularly advertised as conveying passengers in the company’s time tables. These trains were not regularly stopped at C. In an action by the proprietor to have it found that the company were bound to stop at C, to take up and set down passengers, all trains not hired by individuals for their exclusive use, and in particular the trains above described- held ( rev. judgment of Second Division) that these trains came within the obligation, and that the company were bound to stop them.
There were also established certain Saturday excursion trains not stopping at C. The tickets for these trains were all return tickets only available to return the same day. Question, Whether these trains were passenger trains in the sense of the obligation?


Lord Chancellor, Lords Watson, Bramwell, and Fitzgerald


[1885] UKHL 456, 22 SLR 456






Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.637749