HC Deb 31 December 1916 vol 88 cc1611-2
35. Mr. HOGGE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that the North British Railway Company's trains leaving Edinburgh for Aberdeen frequently fail to catch their Great North of Scotland connection at Aberdeen, and that passengers although booked through to destinations beyond Aberdeen are often stranded there for nights; that such occurred on Saturday, 18th November last, to the 3.10 train leaving Edinburgh; that in that case the passenger authorities at Aberdeen of the Great North of Scotland Railway Company were advised by telegram from Dundee that this train would be three-quarters of an hour late; that they declined to keep back their train although it was the last one on that night; that thirty passengers were in the Edinburgh train booked through to stations north of Aberdeen. a large proportion of them being soldiers and sailors on brief furloughs who had travelled continuously from Friday morning; and that these passengers were forced to spend Sunday in Aberdeen; and whether he will bring pressure to bear on this railway company to prevent men on short furlough being so treated in future?


I have communicated with the railway companies concerned and have received a reply, from which it appears that the occurrence of 18th November, to which the hon. Gentleman particularly refers, was the first of the kind for many months, and was due to a combination of circumstances, including exceptionally bad weather, which delayed the 3.10 express from Edinburgh on its journey to Aberdeen by fifty-eight minutes. A rearrangement by which the train now leaves Edinburgh at 3 p.m., instead of 3.10 p.m., has been made, which should ensure the maintenance of the connection, except under abnormal conditions.


Will the hon. Gentleman impress upon the railway companies the importance of avoiding delay in reaching home, in view of the very short time which these soldiers have? Does the hon. Gentleman know what a punishment it is to spend a week-end at Aberdeen?