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An Account of the Motor-Vehicle Organization which Helps to Furnish Transport Facilities of all Kinds in Many Parts of this Northern Railway Co.'s Rich Territory.
In order to assist us to emphasize the educational portion of the contents of the two special issues of this journal which have been dedicated this year to the adequate reporting of the Royal Agricultural Society's Show at Doncaster, we decided to include a description of some large user's fleet, of which the activities might particularly appeal to those many of our readers who either live in the North of England or whose interests would cause them to plan a visit to the Royal Show this year.
A Railway as an Example.
After some consideration of the many users of all classes of commercial motors in the north, we were led to the conclusion that we could not do better than seek the co-operation of the great railway company which provides means of transport for most of the counties which would be particularly interested in the Show this year. We therefore promptly approached the officials of the North Eastern Railway Co., with whom we have had friendly relations for a number of years past, in order to seek their co-operation in connection with the publication of a descriptive article concerning the many old-establisland services which are now forming an indispensable part of the company's passenger and goodsran sport. organization.
The Company's Persistence.
It was the good fortune of the writer to be associated, so long ago as 1903, with the earliest days of the N.E.R. Co.'s experiments with motor laitula•ge. He still remembers the pertinacity with which the chief mechanical officials of this concern fought through the early difficulties that were unavoidably associated with some of the first experiments which were made in this country in connection with public-service motor transport both on rails and on the tlimmon Toads. To those pioneers, Mr. (now Sir) George S.
Mr. Vincent L. Raven, Mr. William Murray, and their staff a great "need of credit is due. Long and Honourable Service,
Our readers will realize that the discovery that the first machines which were put into service—and that is now quite a long while ago, are still running satisfactorily for their owners, afforded us considerable gratification_ These first machines included two heavy settpropelled rail coaches, fitted witlt four-cylinder s,12 in. Wolseley engines. and Westinghouse electric transmission, and several early Stirling motorbuses. for which new designs of Wolseley engines were specially provided.
From many points of view, there• fore, the decision to place on record —provided, of course, the coin pany's co-operation could be assured—an account of the ramifications of the X.R. Co.'s motor department, was, we may congratulate. ourselves, a happy one. We have now to acknowledge our appreciation of the courtesy with which Mr. Vincent Raven, the chief engineer, readily welcomed our intentions, and promptly afforded us every facility to secure all Eh?, information we desired. We write, later in this article, of the interesting personal interview which this gentleman afforded to one of our representatives at the conclusion of a three-day tour over the company's system of motor services, His opinions, in view of his lengthy experience and his professional status are, of course, most valuable.
The Commercial Motor" Special.
Armed, therefore, with the necessary authority from the chief mechanical engineer, we presented ourselves to Mr. Frank Carr, who is in charge of the company's motor
department, and whose headquarters are at York. The company's organization soon produced the necessary facilities to enable us to undertake a comprehensive tour, if a somewhat hurried one, over the territory with which this department has specifically to deal. One of the company's latest design of geared rail cars was placed at the disposal of THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR, in order that, where time could be saved, our representatives could be hurried from depot to depot on special service. The necessary passes over the whole of the rail system, as well as on all the motor services, were soon forthcoming. In consultation with Mr. Carr a programme was arranged, and so effective did this prove that it was found possible adequately to examine the resources of the whole of the company's motor department in the course of two or three days' comfortable touring by road and rail.
The department controls the whole of the road motor transport belonging to the company, as well as having charge of the various motor rail vehicles, although certain of these are actually, once they are in service, operated by the locomotive department. and of course are in close association with the traffic organization of the whole company, A Complex Problem.
A big railway concern naturally comes across all sorts of problems in connection with the transport of both passengers and goods in various corners of its territory, and it is probable that more diverse conditions are brought to the notice of its officers than come within the ken of the smaller and more speeislized haulage concerns. It therefore follows that a company with the enterprise of the N.E.R. continually has a number of special problems to solve, both from the mechanical and the commercial points of view. A more comprehensive object lesson, therefore. for readers of this issue, and af that which will be published next week, it would be hard to find.
The Many Uses of the Department Amongst the special services which the company has found it can carry out with profit to the whole system are the running of all-theyear-round motorbus services On regular routes between towns and villages, where, had other methods been adopted, the light; railway might have held sway ; the running of special passenger services in districts where there is a seasonal increase in such traffic, and. indeed, in many cases where no demand of the kind exists at all in the winter ; rapid organization of special transport for pleasure parties of all kinds from point to point, in many cases in districts where no direct railway facilities exist, and where it would not pay to install them in the regular way ; the haulage of goods of all kinds to and from remote country districts, where some form of co-operation amongst the inhabitants has been possible for the accumulation of freights : the regular delivery from goods depots of parcels of all kinds : and the haulage of heavy special freights from dock and warehouse. Examples of all these various classes of service are forthcoming upon examination of the N.E.R. Co.'s system.
"Still at your Service."
We shall, in the course of the pages which follow, recount interesting instances of each type of undertaking. We repeat that it is in view of the comprehensiveness
of such a department as that possessed by a big railway company like the N.E.R. that an account of its activities has a special interest at the present time. The undertaking with which we are dealing is, moreover, particularly instructive in view of the fact that many of its machines have been in service for over nine years.
A Mixed Fleet.
The policy of the company in its early days of experiment was, to some extent, to "try out" various models which .were recommended to it by its technical staff after very thorough investigation. In consequence, therefore, the motor section has a fleet inrhich is distinctly mixed, as the result of these thorough-going investigations. The motor department has, however, now, on account of this policy, accumulated a vast store of data and first-hand information with regard to light and heavy petrol chassis, to petrol-electric transmissions, and to steam wagons and tractors. The day of such experiment, however, is nearly over for the North-Eastern, and it may be here stated that the
company's motor department will undoubtedly be extended very considerably in the near future. Earnest of this is available by virtue of the deliveries which are now taking place of the latest types of Leylands. In our next issue we shall describe in detail the various services which are maintained, and shall include a lot of interesting information with regard to the company's running since 1903. We shall, of course, be able to deduce many valuable lessons for our readers therefrom.
(To be confirmed.)