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Railways—Railway Passengers' Communication—Questions

Volume 217: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1873

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asked the President of the Board of Trade, Upon what grounds the Board of Trade have further extended for one month the period of use of the rope system upon the Railways of the United Kingdom; and, if this extension is not intended to be final, what course the Board or the Government will pursue to ensure a compliance with the Act of 1868 as to a proper means of communication between passengers and guards, which it was the intention of Parliament should be provided for the safety of travellers?

in reply, said, he had extended for a month the period of use of the present rope system, in order to give time for the expression of opinion by railway companies upon a very different rope system in use in the United States, in which the rope is conveyed through the carriages inside under the roof. On the 1st of August he should withdraw absolutely the sanction of the Board of Trade to the ordinary rope system, and would leave, as he was bound to do, the companies to propose other means of communication, instead of it. For the present he should be ready to sanction the American rope system.

asked the right hon Gentleman, Whether his attention has been again drawn to the failure of the cord system of communication between passengers and guards on Railways; whether he has, in accordance with his statement on the 13th June, 1872, withdrawn the provisional approval given by the Board of Trade to that system; and, whether there is any hope that the electric communication will soon be established on all Railways?

in reply, said, the electric system of communication had succeeded upon some of the lines on which it had been tried, and it was equally true that it was attended with difficulty in its application on lines where the trains were frequently separated. He could not say how far the withdrawal of the old rope system would bring about a larger adoption of the electric system.