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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

Railways as Road Carriers

Railways as Road Carriers.

While the Home railways are endeavouring to retain business to rail, they are also setting out on a big scale as road carriers. As month succeeds month, the number of motor omnibuses operated by the Home railways increases, and fresh agreements are being reached for joint operation with leading firms of road carriers.
Transporting Mails Underground. The route of the Post Office Tube Railway in London.

Transporting Mails Underground.
The route of the Post Office Tube Railway in London.

As yet, Britain cannot boast of any railway-owned coach stations such as are operated by certain of the American railways, for example, the enormous Forty-second Street Depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, in New York City. By degrees, however, a network of railway-owned road services is being built up throughout Britain, and the closest co-ordination is aimed at between rail and road. As a matter of fact, road transport was indulged in by the Home railways long before the menace of road competition was dreamt of. The Great Western Company was a pioneer of railway-owned motor services, its road transport department having been originally established a quarter of a century ago. The first road service to be operated was that between Helston and the Lizard, in Cornwall. To-day, the Great Western Railway operates sixty-two passenger services by road, the route mileage covered totalling 1,600. In a single year as many as 10,000,000 passengers are conveyed by these road services, and now that working partnerships are being concluded with outside road transport undertakings, the carryings by road vehicles operated by the Great Western Railway will materially increase. Road transport for both passenger and freight has definitely come to stay, and there is no agency better equipped to handle road business than the railway.