Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Great Western Appendix to the Rule Book - 1936

Now as some of you might be aware I am not the world's biggest fan of the Great Western Railway. I dunno what it is, but I have never really warmed to the company. It's nothing personal, I suppose it's like my feelings about boiled potatoes, I don't hate them, I can tolerate them, but I wouldn't choose them. However, yesterday I received this item through the post, a GWR 'General Appendix to the Rule Book' that came into force on the 31st of August 1936. I bought it off ebay so I could compare it with the Southern Railway's Appendix from 1934.

While I have not had time to really digest the document, it is clear that it is very, very different to the the Southern Railway's product. They are about the same length, but what is interesting is that the Southern railway's offering is peppered with instructions regarding single locations or stations, something that is very absent from the GWR appendix. Indeed, remove this material from the Southern Railway Appendix, and the book is much smaller. Therefore, the GWR is much denser in content, with far more rules and regulations. Perhaps the GWR was a much stricter railway to work for? Now, it could be argued that because the GWR was a larger network that it required more regulations. But what the GWR Appendix presents are rules for general and universal consumption irrespective of location. Therefore, this to an extent eliminates the argument that there are many more rules because of its size. Of course this is a only an opinion formed with a few glances through, but it is an interesting proposition, especially when considering that many elements of the railway operation and procedure had by this time had been standardised across all the companies.

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