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Scheduled Times

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that many main line trains are unable to keep to their scheduled time for obvious reasons; and whether he will consider the re-scheduling of such trains?

The schedules for passenger trains and regular freight trains are drawn up with the object of ensuring the maximum use of locomotives and track capacity, and of providing connections with other services. They are based on timings which the railway authorities can reasonably hope to maintain and which, in fact, are normally maintained. Delays inevitably result from various causes, including, in particular, the provision of special service trains, of which large numbers are required every day. If a train were regularly the same amount behind schedule, at each point on its journey, it would obviously be desirable to alter its timing, but in practice this rarely happens. As I have said, delay occurs for different reasons; it occurs at different places, and varies in extent from day to day; it does not, therefore, provide a good reason for a general slowing-up of the main line schedules.