The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7 (October 2, 1939)
Some Impressive Figures
Some Impressive Figures.
Freight traffic now commences to loom large on the Home railways. Last year the four groups conveyed some 254,496,000 tons of freight, equivalent to 52 tons per head of the population. The distance covered by goods trains in a year aggregates 133,440,000 miles, while the average length of haul equals 58 miles. Average net freight train load is between 120 and 130 tons, and the average revenue to the railways for hauling a ton of goods for a mile is approximately lid. Some 1,250,000 wagons are in service, and there are 6,908 goods stations throughout 50,555 miles of railway lines. The average wagon load of traffic at starting points is between 5 and 8 tons, but the largest railway wagon in service can carry a load of 150 tons, spread over 56 wheels; 50,000 special wagons have been built to carry particular types of traffic, and more than 45,000 railway vehicles are in use with capacities of 20 tons and over. The largest covered goods station in Britain—and incidentally in the world—is at Bristol (Temple Meads), and the biggest group of sorting sidings in the country is at Whitemoor, in Cambridgeshire, on the L. & N. E. system. Nearly 700 regular express freight trains run every 24 hours at speeds of 40 and 45 m.p.h. These, of course, are in addition to the ordinary freight trains and pickups. Railway cartage services have been extended to 10,367 parcel and goods motor vehicles, and there are also 11,163 railway horses and 24,823 railway horse-vehicles. Country lorr services connecting railway centres with outlying country districts are now operated from 2,822 stations, while there are in regular service 15,521 containers of all types. Container movement, it may be noted, has increased by no less than 41 per cent. compared with five years ago.