Thursday, 8 July 2010

History continues

In todays age you often hear about compulsory purchase schemes etc in conection with road improvements. But did you know that this was happening in the 19th centuary only for railway rather than road construction.

In the mid 1880's when the London Chatham and Dover Railway wanted to open a branch from its main line at Herne Hill to the City of London it decided to build the line entirely on viaduct rather than an embankment to save on land costs. When the parliamentary bill for the line was being discussed in Parliament the LCDR offered to run trains at cheap prices for the workmen and artisans displaced. This they did and they ran trains at Workman's times and charged minimal fares. Needless to say other companies were forced to follow this example and trains were shown in the timetable as 'parl' for parliamentary.

Even today the railway is forced to run trains under similar conditions although with out the cheap fares. Todays examples are more to do with keeping lines open with just a token service. An example of this can be seen in London where Cross Country trains withdrew there Birmingham to Brighton service. We now have to run a daily train from Wandsworth Road to Ealing Broadway which carries no passengers whatsoever! The reason for running it is to keep the Latchmere South curve open for passenger traffic and not have to go through the statutory closure procedures which are very long winded and even if accepted causes problems if it was decided to re open the line at a later date.

I wonder if any other industry has to put up with this kind of idiosyncrasy?



Angie said...

I never knew that! Actually I didn't know I wanted to but I'm finding it facinating.

love, Angie, xx

Liz said...

Are there no other possible sources of revenue?

Couldn’t this line carry parcels or freight at more than a competitive price?
Since it obviously runs at a loss it should be easily able to undercut any competition the road can offer.

Any other industry does not put up with this kind of ‘idiosyncrasy’ for very long because it is very soon bankrupted.

Talking of idiosyncrasy how about organised trips for rail enthusiasts to experience the ‘Latchmere South Curve’ while they can.
Offer printed T shirts, sweat shirts, and of course anoraks with the words
“I leaned into the Latchmere South Curve”

Sometimes a highly eccentric idea can save the view.

Jeanie said...

Liz's ideas are well though out and workable Andy.
Someone should employ her for all the idiosyncracies that languish in the doldrums of industry.
I am learning a wee bit more with each of your entries.
Hope you are keeping 'hunkey dorey'?
Take care

Jeanie said...

Oops! It looks like the word verification has clung onto my signature. lol

Ally Lifewithally said...

Andy Didn't Dr Beeching kill off a lot of the railways ???? I do agree with what Liz has said sounds like good sense to me ~ Ally x