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The published returns of Expenditure are not complete : Expenditure. and the total annual expenditure of all the Railways cannot therefore be given.
The general results, however, of such returns as are printed, Working including the average working expenses of nearly all the Railways in Great Britain and Ireland, have been stated as follows in the Board of Trade Annual Report. The results exhibited by these figures speak well for the economical management of the Irish lines, as compared with the other portions of the United Kingdom. It is to be borne in mind that the Irish lines are exempt from some charges (such as the passenger tax, &c.) to which the English lines are subject; but this alone would not be sufficient to account for the difference in working expenses.
The current Expenditure chargeable on Revenue, has been Analysis of distributed under the following beads :
Total,. . . 100.00 100.00
Some instructive tables, illustrating the effect of the Rate of Fares on the traffic, have been published in the Board of Trade reports, showing the average F:ares and Receipts for each Class. The following is a summary of them for the last six years published :
The result of a comparison of the Fares per Mile, with the
Receipts per Mile, on the Mean of the United Kingdom in Low Fares. the foregoing Table, for the respective classes (especially in
regard to the second and third classes, which make up threefourths of the passenger traffic), tends, like the results of the penny postage system and other branches of business, to support the principle of small remunerative charges and large
returns, little units and great totals, multitude and magnitude. The cheap excursion trains, for the accommodation of the multitude, form no inconsiderable or unprofitable element in the aggregate of Railway passenger traffic ; and on the third class, the lowest fare (0.84) gives the highest receipts (£413) per mile, while the increased fare of the next and last year (0.88) gave only £409. On the second class there was, on a comparison of 1854 and 1855, a diminution of receipts with an increase of fares, little altered and never recovered by later variations : the low fare in 1854 of this class (ld. 42) gave its highest receipts (£416,) while the higher fares (ld. 43 and 1d. 44) in 1855 and 1856 gave the lowest receipts (£402 and £404.) The rise or fall of fares is probably felt by the first class in a less degree ; but the lowest rate of fares for this class (ld. 97) gives the largest receipts per mile (£356,) while the highest fare per mile (2d. 15) gave the lowest receipts (£326). The lowest average fare of all classes (1d. 24) gives in 1856 the highest receipts per mile (£1,169), and the highest average fare (1d. 30) gave in 1852 the lowest receipts (£1,074.) The dividends on ordinary share capital, according to the same report, (after payment of interest and preference dividends, &c.) were in the year of highest average fare and lowest mileage receipts (1852,) at the average rate of 2:40, as against 3:40 in 1856, the year of lowest average fares and highest mileage receipts. These facts tend to show that in this, as in other instances, moderate remunerative charges are most consistent with profit, and that the real interests of the railways and of the public are alike.
The increase of postal communication, from its increased Cheap cheapness and convenience, is exhibited in the fact that the Postage:
It is probably unnecessary to say that this observation, notwithstanding the wholesome effect of legitimate and rational competition as opposed to stagDant monopoly, is not intended to apply to the unremunerative charges induced by inconsiderate rivalry, which have been shown by experience to result in anything but increased returns.
Postal Service by Railway;
number of letters sent by post in a year has increased from 75,908,000 in 1839, the year before the great reduction of postage, to 504,421,000 in the year 1857,-an increase of 428,513,000, or nearly seven-fold, under the penny postage system. At the same time, the revenue of the Post Office has increased from £2,346,278 in the former year, to £3,035,713 in the latter,—an increase of £689,435.
The first act in this volume is one of the year 1838, for the conveyance of Mails by Railways. While the two modes of communication, that by Post and that by Railway, may be regarded in some respects as rivals, they may in others and in a more important degree be looked upon as auxiliaries : the one affording the means of quick and cheap written communication, often serving as a substitute for the other, which affords the means of still more rapid personal communication; the Railway the right hand and most efficient instrument of the Post, and the latter often inducing and increasing personal communication : both yielding to the telegraph in rapidity and brevity, as well as in the power of passing where no other agency yet known can traverse.
The following are some particulars of the extent and general results of the postal service by Railway:
These and the following particulars as to the postal service are obtained from the annual report of the Post Office, whicha
does not, however, show how the returns are made up, or the Total postal causes of the very wide differences of charge, varying from one-eighth of a penny to four shillings and sixpence per mile, nor does it state to what extent the low rates prevail.
The Post Office expenditure for conveyance of mails by Railway, properly appertaining to the service of each year, is stated for 1857, at £420,000 ; and for the previous year (1856), at £419,000.
The total number of letters, &c., delivered by post in the United Kingdom in the last year is estimated as follows:
Total Letters, .,
504,421,000 Average weight,* under 1 oz Newspapers, ...
71,000,000 Average weight, over 2} oz. Book Packets,.
6,000,000 Average weight, 55 oz. Total of Letters, News
s ** Excluding official packets,"
$* } 581,421,000 | papers, and Book Packets, }
R in this estimate of weight.
The numbers carried by Railway are not distinguished from the rest; and there are, therefore, no means of ascertaining from the annual Post Office report how much of these 581,421,000 letters, papers, and parcels,—weighing in the aggregate, according to the above averages, 12,081 tons and 14 cwt., -was, with their guards, sorters, &c., carried by Railway, for the £420,000 paid to the Railways for the Mail service of the year in question.
The proportion of letters to the population of some of the large towns in
In Liverpool, .. 29
Glasgow, . , 27