One of the features of the 19th century railway company was that the departments became institutions in their own right. Of course, within this framework the smaller departments conformed to the paradigm of being independent as they were surrounded by the bigger ones who also were in the same organisational position, even if it was on a grander scale. Therefore the Accounts department of the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) was an independent operating unit and as such conformed to paradigms of action laid down by the other departments. What is shown above and below is an Accounts Department circular sent out in 1912 by the department. It is almost identical to the other departments' circulars of the period and therefore suggests that across the departments there were norms of organisational behaviour. However, the fact that it was sent out from the department, but with some input from the Superintendent of the Line, suggests that the traditional barriers that had been established between departments were, in some cases, broken down when required.