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Royal Railways With Uniform Rates (Classic Reprint)

Royal Railways With Uniform Rates (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Royal Railways With Uniform Rates

This pamphlet has been printed and published with the assistance of friends who share my opinion that the scheme proposed will solve the railway problem-now at an acute stage.

A rough outline of the Scheme has been submitted to Sir Charles Cameron, Bart, (on whose initiative sixpenny telegrams were adopted), and while reserving his opinion as to the advantages of State ownership and the difficulties of purchase, he has been good enough to write that this scheme is the boldest and best reasoned plea for the Nationalisation of Railways that he has come across.

The scheme has also been submitted to, among others, Mr. Emil Davies, Chairman of the Railway Nationalisation Society, to Mr. L. G. Chiozza Money, M.P., and to Mr. Philip Snowden, M.P., all of whom have expressed their approval subject to the figures and estimates being correct. These figures and estimates are based on the Official Board of Trade returns for Railways of 1911 and 1912.

I also had the temerity to submit my draft to Mr. W. M. Acworth, the well-known Railway expert, who very courteously gave me his views generally, although refraining from any detailed criticism. I deal with his remarks at the end of Chapter IV., but may here mention that Mr. Acworth called my attention to an article by himself on Railways in "Palgrave's Encyclopaedia of Political Economy" published in 1899. In such article he referred to a suggestion which had then been made for uniform fares on the Postal system, and he dismissed the idea in a sentence as impracticable, because no one would pay for a short journey as much as 8d., then the average fare for the whole country.

It is therefore evident that the principle of a flat rate is not novel; yet I can find no reference in any books or pamphlets on railways to any practical scheme for carrying it into effect. Apparently it has been assumed that there can be only one uniform rate, equivalent to the average rate, and that therefore the proposal is quite impossible. The simple expedient of dividing the traffic into the two kinds of "Fast" and "Slow,"

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