The Railways and Road Transport.
European railroads continue to engage very extensively in road transport, and throughout the continent large numbers of additional road motors have recently been acquired by the railways, with the idea of further co-ordinating rail and road services.
At Home, about 8,000 motor trucks are operated by the group railways for goods traffic movement. In addition, there are about 12,000 horse-drawn vans employed in city collection and delivery services. The motor wagons used on country cartage services open up areas removed from the railway, and enable combined road and rail services to be given such traffic as grain, potatoes, fertilisers, and feedingstuffs. The wagons run in many cases to a definite daily schedule. In many parts of the country, the railways have concentrated at one particular station “smalls” traffic, which was previously dealt with at a number of neighbouring stations, the traffic now being conveyed between concentration point and destination by road motor. Apart from their own road services, the railways hold all the ordinary shares and the majority of the preference shares of the two old-established firms of road carriers—Carter, Paterson & Co., and Pickfords Ltd. Smaller interests also are held in other road haulage companies. On the passenger side, the Home railways have not entered directly to any
Interior of 1st Class corridor coach of the “Royal Soot,” London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
extent in the field of road transport. The policy favoured has been to acquire a financial interest in existing omnibus and coach companies, resulting in much closer co-ordination between rail and road.