RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY
Birmingham Daily Post
THURSDAY, 2nd., SEPTEMBER, 1858
MANAGEMENT OF THE OXFORD, WORCESTER
AND WOLVERHAMPTON RAILWAY
To the EDITOR of the DAILY POST.
Sir,—It may not be out of place at this time—the eve of an investigation into the working machinery, &c., of the line in question—to offer few remarks from personal observation.
My own observations have been more particularly called to the Dudley station, an of it I must first speak. Open, miserable, and exposed to all weathers, passengers and luggage doomed to await the uncertain arrival of a train, no responsible party to whom to apply, no inspector, superintendent, or station-master, porters few and far between—such is the Dudley station of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway. Contrast that with opposite side, or South Stafford, a dry platform, with seats for the weary, and a station-master ever at his post, aiding and assisting by his presence and courteous demeanour, both gentle and simple.
I said there was no station-master to the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton. This I maintain, for can it be possible that the man who has the responsibility of the goods department of such a station can spare time for the attention and requirements of such a passenger station? though he should be possessed of thrice the ability of the gentleman who bears the title of station-master.
Having occupied so much space with my remarks of the Dudley station, I beg now to suggest the following hints to those who may be concerned in the investigation:—
1. In what state is the rolling stock of the Company?
2. Where were the shackles made?—the quality of the metal used,—and the price paid?
3. How many times in the last month have the ordinary trains come to a stand on the incline between Netherton and Dudley from incompetent engines?
4. What remuneration or the pay the guards and others, in whose hands the lives of so many individuals are placed, receive, and if in the ratio as those of other Companies, or such as to secure the service of competent and experienced men?
5. Whether it be conducive to the attention and safety of the public, that the services of the so-called station-master should be divided between goods and passengers, and thereby reduce his responsibility to the public.
6. The cut and carve system adopted on that line, whether with a view to any personal pecuniary benefit, or otherwise, that third class passengers are cramped into the carriages in total darkness, not even being allowed a roof light to see where they are going, or what company they are in?
If you will please insert this, and at a future time allow me the privilege, I doubt not I can lay a few more observations before you suggestive of radical change.
I am, yours respectfully,