I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether, having regard to the extraordinary collapse of a portion of a tunnel at Guildford on the London and South Western Railway on Friday, the 22nd of March, any steps, and, if so, what, are taken by the Board of Trade, or otherwise, to periodically ascertain as to the safety of tunnels on railways; and whether the Board of Trade will, at an early date, hold a more formal investigation as to the causes of such collapse, and of the circumstances attending the same, as provided in the Railway Regulation Amendment Act, 34 and 35 Vic., c. 78, s. 7?
asked, whether it was not the fact that the South Western Railway were able, by their exertions, to reopen the line in eight days after the accident occurred?
It was opened very soon, though I am not prepared to state the exact time. As regards the question on the Paper, the duty is not devolved upon the Board of Trade of making periodical inspections of the permanent way of railways. That is a responsibility which rests on the railway companies themselves. As at present advised, I see no reason for thinking that the causes of the accident have been insufficiently ascertained by Major Marindin, the Inspecting Officer, whose Report I have only just received to-day, but have not yet had time to peruse.