British Railways in War and Peace, 1914–1939
The First World War marked a turning-point in the fortunes of Britain’s railways. Until then the railways retained a near monopoly of inland transport, particularly over medium- and long-distance routes. As yet competition from other forms of inland transport, namely the tram and motor vehicle, was marginal and at the most it affected only the short distance routes. Hence the railways were the main beneficiaries of the rising demand for transport facilities, and throughout the period 1870–1914 the traffic they carried expanded almost every year. Although it was in this period that diminishing returns began to set in, most companies still managed to earn a reasonable if not spectacular return on their capital, and the railways continued to be a fairly attractive outlet for investors’ funds.
KeywordsPrice Policy Road Transport Rolling Stock Freight Rate Railway System
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