Thursday, 5 August 2010

Great Northern Railway - 'General Instructions Relating to Merchandise Traffic' - 1899

Until I did an extended search on the web found me the answer, this book's origins were a mystery to me. It is rare to find an item from the Victorian Railway that has a complete lack of information on its origins. So, there is no company stamp on it, and even no details in the text as to what company it was from. This is simply weird, especially as companies in the period had their names emblazoned on almost everything. Eventually, I did find what I think is the answer through an on-line catalogue of documents.

It is, however, interesting that the Great Northern Railway (GNR) felt the need to issue a separate instruction book regarding goods traffic. It reflects the fact that the bulk of the GNR's income came from the flow of goods and that more regulations were required to monitor the service. Comparatively, I do not think that the London and South Western Railway ever felt the need to issue a separate booklet for merchandise traffic, reflecting its smaller role in the company's profits. It would seem that the what supplementary rule books companies issued, depended a great deal on the traffic and operational environment.

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