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Dewsland Brewster Sessions.

Railway Allies.


Railway Allies. South Western and Great Western. Railway alliances, a leading feature of our commercial history to the last few years ,have reached their culmination apparently in the announcement on Friday by the chairman of the London and South Western Company (Sir Charles Scotter),that he expects soon an agree- ment with the Great Western Railway. Speaking at the half yearly meeting of the former corporation, Sir Charles said that he had lately had three or four very friendly interviews with Viscount Churchill, the chairman of the Great Western Railway Company, in connec- tion with their relations with that company. They had discussed the broad outlines upon which an agreement could be made between the two companies in order to do away with wasteful competition and to enable them to work as allies instead of as rivals. (Hear hear). Although, up to the present time, nothing had been definitely decided upon, he would be very much dissapointed—as, indeed would all the directors—if, before the end of the current half- year, a satisfactory agreament had not been concluded (Cheers). He believed that a good time was coming for the railways of the coun- try. As negotiations fwere at that time pro- ceeding it would probably be in the interests of both companies that the subject should not be further discussed at that meeting. He moved the adoption of the report which was seconded by Mr H W Drummona. Mr R W Lawson, speaking on behalf of the Railway Shareholders Association, said he had heard with very great pleasure the Chairman's remarks in regard to the negotiations which were proceeding with the Great Western Rail- Company. The report was adopted. THE TWO COMPANIES. Relations between these companies have not always been so cordial. The Great Western regarded its rival as an interloper when it pro- posed to reach Exeter via Salisbury and Yeovil, and later stretched out to Plymouth, North Devon, and North Cornwall. But an agree- ment in 1884 gave the public increased facili- ties, while another made the railway and stea- mer bookings of both lines to the Channel Islands interchangeable. A few years ago "return halves to many of the principle com- petitive stations were made available by either route. CAUSE OF ALLIANCE. The present negotiations follow the altered conditions brought about by the opening in 1906, of the Castle-Cary and Langport line, which by saving twenty-one miles to Eaeter and Plymouth put the Great Western on an equality with the South Western. The latter then pro- posed a comprehensive "pooling" arrange- ment, when the Great Western declined on any such basis as the traffic of several years preded- ing 1006, without allowing for the future development of the new lines. At last, apparently, an equitable arrange- ment is in sight. We understand that it will mean a liberal throwing open of the respective system to one another. For example, the South Western will have the right to issue tickets from Waterloo and intermediate stations, via Exeter and the Great Western stations between Exeter and Plymouth and the Great Western to issue tickets from Paddington and intermediate sta- tions via Basingstoke, to Portsmouth, South- ampton, jBournmouth, etc., also via Exeter to stations between Lyme, Regis, and Exeter, and again, via Exeter and Taunton to North Devon stations. It is improbable, however, that the agreement will lead to any curtailment of existing passen- ger train services. MORE SOUTHAMPTON LINERS. Sir Charles Scotter also announced that the London and South-Western Company had ordered two turbine steamers for its Southampton service, and that he hoped that the port would be used by a new line. The last reference is understood to be to the new Canadian North- ern Railway's steamers.