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ON THURSDAY, 19th JULY, 1956


With reference to minute 9/144, submitted memorandum dated 9th July 1956 as to the progress made in the Railway Regions towards the withdrawal of unremunerative railway passenger services and future prospects in this field.

In the discussion on this subject it was agreed that in the past year the possibility of making very large savings by the drastic withdrawal of branch line and stopping services had been over-emphasised. The contributory value of many of these services as feeders to the main line services must be taken into account. Serious efforts must be made to retain them by improving their economics through the introduction of new forms of motive power, smaller units of rolling stock, new operating methods, the substitution of halts for stations with staff, ticket issuing by train staff, and other simplifications designed to reduce the cost of the services to the minimum. Each case required careful examination on its merits. Such steps to reduce costs as were possible in the short term should be taken without delay. When it had been established that a service could not be made economic it should be withdrawn, and in such cases it was most desirable for consultation to take place between the Regions and the Commission's omnibus interests at an early stage.

The Commission directed that the attention of the Area Boards should be drawn to this matter. While desirous of correcting the over-emphasis previously given to the withdrawal of these services, they were anxious to avoid giving any impression that continued heavy losses on them could be accepted with complacency. A sustained and vigorous campaign to cut down these losses was of paramount importance.

The Works & Equipment Committee were asked to make a recommendation on a suggested purchase of a lightweight diesel car for use in rural areas as an experiment under minute 9/336.

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