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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 7 (October 1, 1934)

The Railways And The Trade Revival

The Railways And The Trade Revival.

Trade continues to improve in Britain, and the railways are reaping the benefit of the all-round business betterment. Transportation is still confronted with many difficulties peculiar to the times, but there has never been a period since the boom of the postwar years when the railway situation as a whole was so happy as at present. With a continuance of the trade revival. 1934 should prove a red-letter year in transportation's varied story.

Statistics are apt to be a trifle wearying, but the recently issued preliminary statement of annual Home railway returns for 1933, prepared by the Ministry of Transport, certainly calls for passing mention. In 1933 the net revenue of the British lines was £29,600,000, as compared with £27,194,000 in 1932 On the expenditure side, the capital account at £1,174,200,000 showed an increase over 1932 of £3,194,000. Expenditure on railway working was £123,100,000 in 1933, as against £125,228,000 in 1932. The statistics of operation show an increase in engine mileage in 1933 of 2,776,837, mainly accounted for by the addition of 4,401,984 coaching train-miles. Coaching train-miles per train-hour were 14.85, as compared with the 1932 figure of 14.71; and per engine hour 11.58, as against 11.45 in 1932. On the freight side, freight train-miles per train-hour were 9.49 in 1933, and 9.58 in 1932. Freight train-miles per engine hour were 3.69 in 1933, and 3.70 in 1932.

Passenger journeys on the Home railways in 1933 increased by 16,587,594. The introduction in 1933 of cheap “summer tickets” accounted for the conveyance of 19,503,005 additional third-c'ass passengers. In 1933 some 251,102,000 tons of goods and minerals were handled, as against 249,611,864 tons in 1932.

Holiday Time in Britain.

In Britain, the holiday season is now at its height. With improved business conditions, and the re-opening of works and factories in the North and Midlands, workers everywhere are once again in a position to enjoy a well-earned summer vacation, and from all the popular seaside and country holiday haunts come reports of record crowds. The principal London and provincial passenger stations have presented the most animated pictures these summer days, and for many weeks the leading holiday expresses have been operated in duplicate and triplicate to dispose of the immense numbers of travellers making for vacation-land.

As a spur to the hesitating vocationalist, the Home railways have this season issued a wonderful range of attractive pictorial posters and alluring travel literature. The bulky holiday guides annually issued by the Home railways,
A holiday crowd at Liverpool Street Station, London.

A holiday crowd at Liverpool Street Station, London.

each run to nearly a thousand pages, and these are backed up by innumerable smaller booklets, each having reference to some particular corner of holiday-land. The “Holidays by L.M. & S.” handbook issued by the biggest group railway runs to 974 pages, of which 144 are in photogravure. In the “Holiday Blue Book” of the L. & N.E. line there are contained 816 pages of useful data, including 6,000 hotel and boardinghouse announcements, and 192 pages printed in photogravure. These annual holiday guides are each priced at sixpence, and they easily rank as best sellers in the Home publishing world.

Continental tours are being widely patronised this season. The two British railways mainly concerned in this business are the Southern and the London and North Eastern. The Southern continental services are centred on the south coast ports stretching from Dover to Weymouth, page 10 page 11 while the L. & N.E. services are operated through the east coast ports from Harwich northwards. Eight express services a day are operated from London to Paris by the Southern, the service-deluxe being the “Golden Arrow Pullman” by the Dover-Calais short-sea route.

Summer Services on the Continent.

Across the Channel, the summer services include many new and faster long-distance trains, some of the all-Pullman type. There is the famous “Blue Train,” covering the 891 miles between Calais and Ventimiglia, on the Franco-Italian frontier, in 21 hours 55 minutes. Popular among experienced travellers is the “Simplon-Orient Express” (Calais-Paris-Lausanne-Milan-Venice - Trieste - Bukarest - Belgrade-Stamboul-Athens). This 2,178 1/2 mile journey is the longest through passenger run in Europe. Another notable train is the “Sud Express,” between Paris and Madrid, a 904 mile trip occupying 22 hours 35 minutes. The “Rome Express,” the “Nord Express” to Berlin, and the “Orient Express” to Vienna and Budapest, are other famed trains out of Paris which this season report record bookings.

New Locomotives for the L.M.S.

New steam locomotives introduced in Britain include a batch of three cylinder, 4—6—0 type, superheated engines for passenger haulage, acquired by the L.M. & S. Company. An interesting feature is a tapered boiler barrel until recently foreign to L.M. and S. practice, but for a long time greatly favoured by the Great Western designers. Working pressure is 2251b. per sq. in., and the three cylinders are of 17in. diameter by 26in. stroke. Total heating surface is 1,625 sq. ft., and tractive effort at 85 per cent. B.P. 26,6101b. Total wheel-base of engine and tender is 54ft. 3 1/4 in., and total loaded weight 134 tons 17 owt.

In all, some 113 new locomotives of this particular design are being acquired. Sixty-three are being built in the railway shops at Crewe and Derby, and fifty are being constructed at the North British Locomotive Company's works in Glasgow. The railway-built engines have tenders carrying 3,500 gallons of water, and the Glasgow-built tenders have a capacity of 4,000 gallons.

The long non-stop runs accomplished by the modern steam locomotive have only become possible by the introduction of special water troughs along the track, from which water may be picked up while travelling at speed. The L.M.S. & S. and L. & N.E. mainlines between London and Scotland are especially well-equipped in this respect, and the “Flying Scotsman,” out of King's Cross picks up something like 11,000 gallons of water from six track troughs between London and the Scottish capital.

The troughs generally favoured are from 600 to 700 yards in length, and each time the hinged scoop is lowered by the fireman of a passing train between 2,000 and 3,000 gallons of soft water are forced into the tender tank. Some fifteen to twenty seconds are occupied in the operation, and the normal water level in the trough is regained in less than five minutes. Each trough is equipped with its own valve and auxiliary tank apparatus, so designed as to prevent the passage of a train on the “Up” line reducing the level of water in the “Down” line trough, and vice versa.

The Pioneer of Ticket Printing.

Nearly a century ago, a go-ahead stationmaster on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway—Thomas Edmondson—revolutionised ticket printing, dating and issuing arrangements, and laid the foundations of the present ticket issuing system favoured by railways all over the world.

The pioneer railways employed paper slips for passenger tickets, and these were laboriously written out, dated and numbered in pen and ink. It was Thomas Edmondson who devised the cardboard ticket, and the efficient and simple ticket numbering and dating machines, and Edmondson's successors at their works in Manchester to-day supply ticket printing, numbering and dating plant to railways throughout the globe. It is a big jump from the early ticket printing machines to the modern electrically-driven equipment that turns out 10,000 perfectly printed tickets per hour. Almost equally marked are the improvements effected in ticket-dating and issuing machines, yet the basic principle of these remains the same as that of the pioneer equipment of Thomas Edmondson's time. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Britain, in the Lancaster Museum there is a well-preserved specimen of an original Edmondson wooden dating-machine, with unprotected jaws—a feature of early presses that disappeared in 1862.
Lausanne Station, Switzerland, on the route of the “Simplon-Orient Express.”

Lausanne Station, Switzerland, on the route of the “Simplon-Orient Express.”