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for, loaded, conveyed, unloaded, delivered, and a receipt taken, besides
which there is the collection of the charges for the carriage. Goods and


general merchandise fall into the ordinary regular grove, although even
in their case there is an enormous amount of clerical work to be per-
formed and permanent records kept of all transactions from the time
that the goods are received from the consigner till their delivery to the

But in addition to this there are many branches of special traffic
which come under the designation of goods. Thus there are cattle
to be dealt with, and meat to be conveyed in refrigerating vans, armour
plates, guns, boilers, girders, which all require special and particular
arrangements to be made either for collection, conveyance, or delivery,

or for all three combined, and special
wagons have to be provided to
convey unusually heavy weights and
materials of exceptionally large size
the latter of which are only con-
veyed under special circumstances.

Great care has also to be exercised
at all points by the Goods Department
as to the "loading gauge" and the
secure loading of wagons under
ordinary and exceptional circum-

The enormous shipping traffic sent
to or conveyed from the docks at
great centres London, Liverpool,
Bristol, Gloucester, Swansea demand
great administrative ability, as the
goods come from and go to the
uttermost parts of the earth. Then
again, there is the exchange of

traffic with other companies, both sending and receiving, which re-
quires great care in its manipulation. The great complication of
accounts which is thereby entailed between the Midland and the other
railway companies as to carriage paid in advance and carriage col-
lected at the destination in both directions sending and receiving
and the proportion pro rata according to the fixed scale and regulations
of the charges due to each company is dealt with by the Clearing
House ; but at the same time it entails great care and accuracy in
registering the proportions due to the Midland account by the goods
clerical staff.

Once a month the goods agents from all parts of the Midland
system meet at Derby and have a conference with the Goods Manager



as to the general conduct of the traffic in their respective centres.
Each district agent lays before the head of the department the matters
which arise in his district, especially relating to traffic which the
Company may be losing or which they consider they might obtain,
and also the actual competition and threatened competition by other
companies. The main object of the conferences is for the Goods
Manager to ascertain that all sources of traffic are thoroughly tapped ;
also to discover the best means of looking after the growing trade and
the new business which is being constantly developed. How im-
portant this is may be gathered from the fact that during the last half
of the year 1899 the increased traffic receipts from merchandise alone
amounted to no less than ^73,296 over the corresponding six months
of 1898, while the total receipts from merchandise during the last six
months of 1899 amounted to ,2,484,023 los. $d., which practically
shows a revenue of about ^5, 000,000 per annum from this one

The Goods Manager has also to attend the conferences in London
of the Clearing House, which take place between all the goods
managers of the kingdom. Views are exchanged and united action
is decided upon by all companies as to rates for ordinary and
special traffic. Nothing is more complicated than the question of
railway rates, and even after the most careful arrangements, the matters
in question have frequently to be threshed out in a court of law before
certain traders will be satisfied.

There have to be special or preferential rates for shipping traffic or
else it would cease to exist. Special rates have to be conceded for
goods of comparatively small value or that traffic would be strangled ;
the competition with canals has also to be taken into account; and
practically all these important and complex questions have to be
determined by the goods managers in conference, and their decisions
finally confirmed by the general managers of each company and their
traffic committees. These conferences are to ensure joint and uniform
action, to fix a fair and reasonable rate for specified goods for given
distances, and to prevent a state of utter chaos and confusion and a
war of rates which would otherwise result.

In addition to all his duties in the effective superintendence of all
those great goods depots dealing with such an enormous traffic in all
parts of the country, the Goods Manager is also charged with the
supervision of a whole army of clerks, porters, shunters, loaders, and
carters; he has to arrange and is accountable for the purchase and
distribution of all horses for carting and other purposes their stabling,
feeding, doctoring, and re-sale when their railway days are over. The


horses owned by the Midland number 5,767, and as they are in-
variably powerful and costly animals of a high class, the Veterinary
Surgeons' Department, under the Goods Manager, has to be conducted
with great skill in order to obviate waste in the feeding or in the
utilisation in their very valuable horseflesh.

The merchandise traffic of the great railway companies of the
kingdom is in very deed and in very truth the daily bread of the
great mass of the population of our great towns London especially.
Without this great and ever-increasing inflow of what is known as
perishable traffic forwarded by express goods trains, some of which
run at passenger train speed, and arriving at the great centres of
population at fixed and regular hours early in the morning, conveying
meat, vegetables, fish, milk, and in fact all the necessaries of daily life,
so as to be available in the shops on their opening in the morning,
London and the great towns would be almost as bad as a beleaguered
city in forty-eight hours so close and hand to mouth has the supply
become owing to the great regularity of the railway traffic.

It will be seen from these facts and considerations that it would be
altogether impossible to close railways for all traffic on Sundays.
Efforts are made from time to time by certain well-meaning persons,
who would, if they could have their way, entirely close the whole of
the railways of the country upon Sunday. While being as strongly
opposed as anyone to the running of unnecessary trains upon that
day, and adopting the view that men who are obliged to work on
Sunday should be properly paid, and arrangements made to give them
a day of rest during the week, it is hardly necessary to point out that
a certain number of passenger trains and the mail trains must be run
upon the Sunday. Probably few persons will say that the workers in
our large towns, who are all the week shut up in factories and works,
have not the right to have special trains run to the seaside in order
that they may for a few hours on the Sunday have the benefit to
health of a change and the breathing of pure air. Some people will
perhaps say this is all very well, but why run Sunday goods trains?
Probably the general public does not know nor consider what is con-
tained in these goods trains, nor what would be the result if they were
delayed or stopped for twenty-four hours. The heavy "fast goods
trains," composed of covered vans or wagons sheeted over, which may
be seen making their way up to London on Sunday, consist almost
entirely of "perishable food traffic," such as fish, meat, milk, fruit,
game, eggs, butter, bread, and the like. London, with its five millions
of people, has practically no reserve of food on hand it relies from
hour to hour upon the arrival of these fast goods trains for its supplies.



If it were possible for one Sunday to stop these trains running for
twenty-four hours, the result would be that on Sunday and Monday
morning the people of London would be starving, The exact total
value of the food carried by all the lines into London on Sunday is
great, and taking that over the Midland only it is worth about ,30,000
each Sunday.

Now, in view of such facts as these, is it likely that the people in
large cities are to be starved, and many thousands of pounds' worth of
good food to be allowed to go bad and be unfit for the food of man
just to save the running of goods trains on Sunday? Then, again,
there is the cattle traffic. Many hundreds of wagons of cattle are sent


off on Saturday afternoon to London from Scotland, from Ireland via
Liverpool, and other parts ; and the trains do not arrive till Sunday. If
the lines were closed, what is to be the result ? Surely no one will wish
the poor animals to be shunted into sidings at twelve o'clock midnight
on Saturday, there to wait for twenty-four hours ! The fact of the matter
is that the more our large towns grow the more food they require ; con-
sequently the more they have to depend upon fast goods trains for their
supplies, and it is therefore clear that the fast goods traffic on Sunday-
is destined to increase rather than decrease. It is very easy indeed for
the advocates of Sunday closing of railways to bring forward a theory,
but the food-supply question is a very large and important one which
must be faced, and shows that the whole notion of shutting up railways
on that day is not a practical one.



The third section under the supervision of the General Manager is
the Mineral Department, which is under the control of Mr. Shaw.
Minerals include the conveyance of coal, coke, granite, ironstone, and
lime; and the conditions under which such traffic is worked are very
varied and rather complicated. For example, almost all collieries served
by the Midland Company have competing lines for their traffic ; there
is also the competition of canals in a great many cases, and in this
particular department it is very keen on account of their low rates and
their small expenses. Some of the collieries and quarries are close to
the Midland lines, whereas others have their own branch lines of con-
siderable length to connect them with the Midland. In some instances
the Midland send their engines to the pits to fetch the coal ; in others


the colliery owners provide their own locomotives. Then, again, some
collieries hire Midland wagons, while other collieries provide their own.
At the delivery end of the journey the arrangements are equally
varied. In some instances the Midland Company provide their own
coalyards and sidings from which the owners of the coal unload
wagons ; in other cases the Company has coal depots of its own fitted
with special drops, lifts, and shoots, and appliances for transferring the
coal into the various private owners' drays or carts, as the case may be.
Again, some of the large colliery firms have their own drops and do
their own unloading; and in the case of docks, the dock companies
and harbour boards frequently provide their own locomotives and staff
both for transferring and unloading purposes. All these different con-
ditions have to come under the review of the Mineral Manager, who
is responsible for full and adequate arrangements being provided under
each system, and he is further charged with the duty of seeing that
all the special rules which relate'to them are strictly observed.



Very few of the public have any conception of the difficulties in the
way of supplying such huge centres of population as London with coal.
The cost of land at the various points required is so enormous, and
the difficulties in the way of the expansion of the depots so great, that
the ordinary easy-going coalyards with wagons standing about for days
together is altogether out of the question. It is a case of getting in
and out again with the utmost rapidity,
so that the greatest amount of traffic
possible may be got out of the smallest
possible depot in the shortest space
of time. How stupendous these diffi-
culties are can only be adequately
conceived by those who have the
actual working of the traffic, which
has to pass, be it remembered, over
an intermediate or foreign line of
railway linking the depot with the
Midland system, and which link is
closed entirely for the receipt or
despatch of mineral trains during a
good many hours of the day.

As an example of working a coal \ ^W ^

depot take Walworth Road, London.
Here is the special rule which governs
its traffic : MR SHAW

"At Walworth Road only one mineral train can be dealt with at
the same time. The foreman on duty at Kentish Town will be held
responsible for taking care that a second mineral train is not allowed
to leave Kentish Town for Walworth Road at a less interval than
one hour after the preceding train."

This means that a previous train of sixteen wagons must be unloaded
and returned back within the hour from Walworth Road to Kentish
Town; and with 10 tons of coal in each wagon, this gives 160 tons
of coal which must be dealt with in the course of an hour, the wagons
cleared and shunted, and the depot clear for another train. This is
an example of not only what is possible, but what is absolutely neces-
sary to be achieved in order to ensure, by a happy combination, the
regular and smooth inflow of coal traffic to a depot.

Whilst these are the general surroundings, they are involved in a
mass of detail with hardly two cases alike, there being so many special
conditions of actual service rendered and distances covered, together


with a supply of locomotive power and wagons so very varied, and the
rates and charges governing them depending on so many special Acts
of Parliament which have been passed at various dates, and including
so many particular rates both regarding the class of traffic and the
divisions of the line over which it is carried, that the utmost care has
to be observed in working them out. The great and paramount duty
of the Mineral Manager is to secure a continuous flow of mineral
traffic all the year through and on all branches of the system; and
where there is so much competition and so many changes taking place
this requires constant watchfulness in order to conserve the Company's
interests. The arrangements and agreements made between the Mid-
land Company and its customers have to be most carefully considered.

The consignors of the minerals invariably load the wagons at their
collieries or quarries with their own staff and at their own cost. Where
the colliery owners provide their own locomotive power and sidings
they convey the traffic to a given point on the Midland line, where it is
handed over to the Midland Traffic Department, which comes under
the control of the Superintendent of the Line, who deals with it till it
reaches its destination. Where the Midland Company provide the
locomotive power on private owners' sidings the traffic is handed over
as the wagons are coupled up, when the Midland engine and guard
take charge of it. The Mineral Manager has not only to arrange for
obtaining traffic and the terms upon which it is to be carried, but has
also to see that an adequate number of wagons is provided at each
point, and he has to indicate to the Superintendent of the Line at which
point wagons are most urgently required in order that the Traffic
Department may adequately respond to the exigencies of trade.

The minerals having been conveyed to their destination by the
Traffic Department, they again come under the control of the Mineral
Manager, upon whom rests the responsibility of prompt delivery or
being promptly placed at the disposal of the consignee, and that the
wagons are speedily unloaded and again sent back for reloading. The
consignees have to be advised that the minerals have arrived, and in
cases of delay in unloading, demurrage on the wagons has to be
notified and charged for. The whole of the work of delivery is done
by the consignees as far as emptying the wagons and the taking away
of the minerals are concerned. The Company weigh the vehicles as
they enter the yards or depots and again as they depart loaded, and
these weights are checked by the weighing of the railway wagons and
their load at the most convenient weighing machine on the Midland
system near the collieries or quarries. The Mineral Manager is also
charged with the duty of seeing that the appliances, the coal shoots,


and the sidings are sufficiently large and adequate for dealing with the
Company's traffic, and that they are utilised to the utmost advantage.
Where new appliances or sidings are required he has to report to the
General Manager as to the necessities of the case and the best way of
meeting them. Of course, the General Manager has special district
agents at all convenient points and centres both of collection and

The mineral traffic on the Midland Railway yields a revenue of
practically ^3, 000,000 per annum.



WE now pass on to the second great division of the Company's
administration, namely, the Finance Department, which is
controlled by a committee of five directors. It is subdivided into
three separate divisions, namely :

(1) The Secretary's Department.

(2) The Accountant's Department.

(3) The Rating Surveyor's Department.

The Secretary (Mr. Alexis L. Charles) is the legal representative of
the Company, and as we read in the old Acts of Parliament, he is the
person to sue and be sued. His great business is to keep the minutes
of all meetings of the Board and various committees, as well as of all
meetings of the shareholders. He also has charge and is answerable
for the correctness of all the registers of stock, shares, debentures,
loans, and all transfers in the transfer department. He has as chief
officers an assistant secretary, a chief cashier, and a rent-collector, as
well as a large staff of clerks in the various departments of which he
has charge. When new capital is to be issued it is he who places it
upon the market under the general direction of the Finance Committee.
All transfer deeds come under his supervision, and he deals with all the
correspondence relating to the Financial Department of the under-
taking. He has to issue and sign all legal notices. He is, in addition,
one of the largest holders of licences in the kingdom, having, in his
capacity as Secretary, to take out year by year the licences for all the
hotels and refreshment-rooms at the various stations on the whole
system. His name, too, appears over the doors of these various
buildings, and it will likewise be found on every cart and delivery van
owned by the Company. All conveyances of land and property to the
Company are under his custody, as are also all the Acts relating to
lines purchased and all the agreements entered into between the
Midland and other companies.



The following is a list of the secretaries from 1844 to 1900 :

J. F. Bell Appointed May 24th, 1844 Resigned Oct. ist, 1853.

Joseph Sanders Oct. ist, 1853 Died Nov. I4th, 1856.

G. N. Browne Jan. 7th, 1857 Died June nth, 1868.

James Williams ., Dec. 2nd, 1868 Resigned May igth, 1899.

A. L. Charles ,, June i6th, 1899

MR. JOHN Fox BELL, who was the first Secretary of the Midland,
was originally Secretary of the Midland Counties Railway at Leicester.
Upon him fell a large share of the responsibility connected with the
carrying through of the amalga-
mation. He continued in orifice
until October ist, 1853, and he
subsequently became a director
of the Company.

had previously been Secretary
of the Birmingham and Derby
Junction Company before its
absorption in the Midland, was
appointed General Superinten-
dent of the management of all
trains in the coaching depart-
ment in July, 1849, and in 1850
he became General Manager.
But on October ist, 1853, he
gave way in the general manager-
ship to allow Mr. Allport to
assume the chief command as

General Manager at a very im- MR. CHARLES.

portant period in the develop-
ment of the Midland. On vacating this office he was appointed
Secretary of the Company, which he held until the time of his death
in 1856.

MR. G. N. BROWNE, his successor, was Secretary from 1857 till the
time of his death in 1868.

MR. JAMES WILLIAMS, who is a justice of the peace for the borough
of Derby, was born at Helston, Cornwall, on April gth, 1830. He
commenced his business career with the Bodmin and Wadebridge
Railway, now the property of the London and South Western
Company, in 1844, and joined the East Lancashire Railway in 1849,
remaining with that Company until 1852, when he entered the service
of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway shortly after


the appointment of Sir Edward Watkin as Chairman of the Board
of Directors. He severed his connection with the Sheffield Company
in 1856, having been offered the position of Accountant to the West
Midland Railway. Shortly after his removal to Worcester the
undertaking was amalgamated with the Great Western, and he
joined the executive staff of that Company at Paddington. In 1867
Mr. Williams was selected as one of the members of the Commission
appointed by the Treasury to inquire into the financial condition
of the Irish railways, with a view to their purchase by the Government,
under the Act of 1844. On the conclusion of the work of that
Commission, in 1868, he was chosen from amongst a large number
of applicants to succeed the late Mr. G. Newton Browne as Secretary
to the Midland Railway Company, and commenced his duties on
January ist, 1869. Mr. Williams' resignation was accepted at a
meeting of the Board on May iQth, 1899.

MR. ALEXIS LEON CHARLES, the Secretary of the Company, was born
at Nottingham on February 3rd, 1851, educated at the Derby Grammar
School, and entered the Midland Railway's service as junior clerk
in the Accountant's Department, September i2th, 1865, being
transferred to the Secretary's Department as clerk in charge of the
stations cash accounts, December ist, 1866. He was appointed
shorthand writer, July ist, 1869; chief assistant, January i8th, 1883;
assistant secretary, July iyth, 1891 ; and Secretary, June i6th, 1899.

Mr. Charles is well known as a public man at Derby ; and his
leisure hours are fully occupied in the promotion of various
philanthropic objects. Among the offices he fills it may be
mentioned that he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of
the Liversage Charity, which distributes about ,3,000 per annum
amongst the deserving poor of Derby; he is churchwarden of
St. Andrews ; he is a director of the Derbyshire Permanent Building
Society; member of the Council of the Institute of Secretaries;
member of the committee of the Railway Benevolent Institution;
member of the committee of the Railway Servants' Orphanage ;
Chairman of the Railway Servants' Orphanage Concert Committee;
Chairman of the Board of Managers of the Westhouses Railway
School; Chairman of the Litchurch branch of the National Deposit
Friendly Society ; Vice-President of the Midland Railway Temperance
Union ; and Vice-President of the Midland Railway Natural History

Mr. Charles is also Secretary of the Somerset and Dorset Railway
Company and Secretary of the Tottenham and Hampstead Railway



Upon the Accountant (Mr. John James Doughty) falls the care and
charge of the whole of the accounts of the undertaking ; and he signs
and certifies them in conjunction with the Chairman of the
Company. As these accounts deal with over ^100,000,000 of
capital and with a revenue of about ;i 1,000,000 per annum, and
a working expenditure of about ^6,700,000 per annum, which revenue
is obtained from many sources in great detail, and which expenditure
is laid out over a wide area and
in an endless variety of ways, the
Accountant's duties call for the very
highest administrative ability, care,
and accuracy. He has as chief of
his staff an assistant accountant
and a number of inspectors and
auditors. He is responsible for the
whole of the monetary transactions
of the Company, and the daily,
weekly, and monthly, and the final
half-yearly returns from all stations
and depots on all parts of the
system ; and the whole of these
complicated accounts from all these

Online LibraryClement Edwin StrettonThe history of the Midland railway → online text (page 26 of 36)