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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 1, 1928)

Surmounting Difficulties

Surmounting Difficulties.

Notwithstanding the very considerable difficulties under which the Home Railways have been working during the past months, the general results of last year's working, as revealed in the recently published annual reports for page 19 1927, were satisfactory to a degree. The London, Midland and Scottish, and London and North Eastern lines both achieved greater financial success in 1927 than in any year since 1923. From the viewpoint of total net income the Great Western showed a better result than at any time since 1922, while the Southern secured the second best total net income of any year since its inception as a group undertaking. In practically every instance the 1927 figures exceeded the average annual total net income of the railways since the introduction of the grouping scheme in 1921.

Engine Cleaners at work at King's Cross Locomotive Depot, London & North Eastern Railway.

Engine Cleaners at work at King's Cross Locomotive Depot, London & North Eastern Railway.

One alarming feature alone stands out in the annual reports for 1927. This is the serious fall in passenger business experienced by all the railways at Home. Passenger train mileage in 1927 was 232 millions, as against 219 millions in 1923, yet the number of passengers handled last year was only 795 millions as compared with 875 millions in 1923. On one of the largest of the Home railways—the London and North Eastern—only 189 million passengers were handled in 1927 as against 227 millions in 1923, and this line, like the other big systems, is now making determined efforts to combat the road competition which is chiefly responsible for the fall in passenger business.