The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)
Traffic Pooling Arrangements
Traffic Pooling Arrangements.
The grouping of the individual railways of Britain into four big systems has enabled valuable economies to be effected, and has also resulted in an all-round improvement in the services offered the public. The Grouping Bill was, of course, a compulsory Government measure, but it is interesting to find that the Home railways are themselves supplementing compulsory grouping by a voluntary arrangement of traffic pooling which promises to prove far-reaching.
All the four group lines are concerned in these voluntary pooling schemes. Under the new plans, receipts from passenger business between points served by two or more lines are placed in a common fund and divided equally between the systems concerned. Passengers enjoy the privilege of being able to make the outward journey by one route, and return by the route of the second railway. Appreciable savings are being effected by the combination of office staffs at many points. Frequently it is being found possible to appoint a single station or yardmaster to supervise operations at stations or two or more railways in one city, where separate supervision was the rule formerly. Other economies are being secured by relegating to one railway the shunting, warehousing and delivery of traffic, formerly performed by two or more companies in a particular area. Whether all these working arrangements will ultimately end in the fusion of the four British group lines to form one compact system, remains to be seen.
Across the Channel, the railways of France are experiencing much the same difficulties as those of Britain in respect of road competition, unduly high taxation, and general trade depression. Many French branch-lines have been closed, staff reductions have been common, and everywhere the most rigid economies are being enforced.
The latest move takes the form of the amalgamation of the Paris-Orleans and Midi Railways, under which there are being pooled the financial, technical and commercial interests of the twin undertakings.page 44