The Great War Part 86, April 8th 1916

142 The Great War United Kingdom or any of them, or the plant belonging to any raik way company apart from the railway itself while the directors, officers and servants of the rail­ways concerned were to “obey the directions of the Secretary of State as to the uses of such railroad or plant for Her Majestys service." Down to 19x2 however there existed no executive body to which, in the event of their taking control of them under the provisions of this Act the Government could entrust the operation of the rail­ways though the need for such a body as an essential link in the chain of organisation was obvious. Hence the appointment in that year of a Railway Executive Committee consisting of general managers of the leading railway PELE HAN TIN WAR RA-H N E ASS. Sheffield munitions firm hired an elephant finding that it could do the work of five horses. need for creating in time of peace, some practical organisation which would ensure the efficiency of military rail-transport in the event of war was first brought under inconsideration i860 as the result of reports concerning French plans for the invasion of this country. Five years later there was formed an Engineer and Railway Volunteer Staff Corps which composed of general managers and other officers of the principal railway companies, eminent civil engineers and leading contractors Was to collect infor­mation concerning the facilities offered by the railways of the United Kingdom for dealing with the transport of troops and military necessaries and to pre­pare such plans as the War Office might Indirect. 1896 this corps was supplemented by a smaller body known first as ”the “Army and afterwards as the “War,” Railway Council and constituted of railway managers, military officers naval officers and aBoard of Trade inspector of railways. This new body Was to takeover some of the duties already discharged by Our War Railway the above mentioned corps and others Council besides though it was to act in a purely advisory capacity. Among the duties it discharged was that of drawing up rules for the working of a system of Railway Transport Officers— that is to say military men who were to act as intermediaries between the troops and railway-station staffs in ensuring the efficient conduct of military rail-transport without hampering or interfering with those staffs in the actual working of the traffic. The War Railway Council did good work in this and other directions but it was in turn superseded by another body known as the Railway Executive Committee. Under the Regulation of the Forces Act 1871 the Government was empowered in the event of a national emergency arising to take control over the railways of the During 'the Allies companies presided over by Sir Herbert A. Walker general manager of the London and South-Western Railway Company such committee being charged in the first instance with the duty of preparing plans with a view to facilitating the Working of the Act of 1871. On the outbreak of war in 1914 the Government duly took control over the railways of Great Britain by authority of an Order-in-Council and it was then announced that such control would be exercised through the Railway Executive Committee. A notification issued by the- committee explained that the action taken by the Govern­ment was designed to ensure that the railways locomotives, rolling-stock and staffs should be used as one complete unit in the best interests of the State for the movement of troops stores and food supplies though the staff on each railway would remain under the same control and receive their instructions through the same channels as before. Under the arrangements made with the Government,, the railway executive sat en 'permanence at its head­quarters in London (some members being in attendance both day and night) and there acted as a sort of clearing,house in regard to matters affecting the railways of Great THE ANCIENT AND MODERN IN LOCOMOTION. Primitive oxen-drawn carts with a motor-car at the railw ay-station at Mirovtze. campaign in the Balkans such contrasts were common.
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