HC Deb 15 July 1878 vol 241 c1471

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, with the view of establishing uniformity in the brake system on the great lines which interchange traffic, he would invite the Railway Companies to agree to a competitive trial of the several brakes now in use, the trial to take place under the superintendence of the Board of Trade, so that a definite decision may be come to on the subject?


Sir, I do not think it would be within the functions of the Board of Trade to initiate a competitive trial of the brakes now in use; but if the railway companies should agree to institute such a trial, we shall be prepared to give them every assistance in our power, with the view of aiding them to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion with as little delay as possible. So many experiments have now been made, and so full an experience has now been gained, both at home and abroad, on this subject, that I cannot but express the opinion that the time has arrived for the railway companies to take immediate steps to come to a decision respecting the brake system; for there can be no doubt that the general adoption of a satisfactory system of continuous brakes is a matter of the greatest importance to the public.