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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)

Britain's Huge Freight Traffic

Britain's Huge Freight Traffic.

Important schemes for the modernisation and extension of freight terminal facilities, at Manchester, Coventry and Derby are being carried out by the L.M. & S. Railway. A feature of these schemes is the introduction of electrically-driven machinery for use in connection with the unloading of wagons, in conjunction with other new equipment and methods. With a total trackage of about 50,000 miles, the Home railways handle about 45,000,000 tons of miscellaneous merchandise annually; 50,000,000 tons of minerals other than coal and coke; and 180,000,000 tons of coal, coke and patent fuel. In addition, approximately 11,000,000 head of livestock are carried. At strategic points, large hump marshalling yards are located, and between these, specially fast daily goods trains operate, giving “next morning” deliveries. One of the largest and most modern marshalling yards is that of the L. & N.E. line at March, Cambridgeshire. This is the “key” rail traffic centre for freight passing from London and East Anglian
Victoria station, Southern Railway, London.

Victoria station, Southern Railway, London.

points to the midlands and north, and vice versa. Some 10,500 wagons may be accommodated, and the total trackage runs to something like 50 miles. Outstanding among the items of equipment are mechanical wagon retarders, working on the Froelich hydraulic system, as originated by the German railways in their Hamm marshalling yard.