HC Deb 10 March 1947 vol 434 cc955-6
75. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent accumulations of coal traffic are held up by congestion, either at forwarding points or en route; and where the main difficulty lies.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)

I am not aware of any accumulation of coal traffic held up by congestion. The tonnage of coal in transit is, in fact, less than normal for the time of year.

77. Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements were made with the United Steel Corporation, Messrs. Hadfield, Limited, Messrs. Steele, Peech and Tozers, Limited, and other Sheffield firms, to use privately-owned locomotives to move coal on the main lines during the recent emergency.

Mr. Barnes

The United Steel Corporation were unable to assist, as eight of their engines were under repair. The other firms, with one exception, were not approached because the railways had sufficient small class engines of their own available.

78. Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that 65 empty coal wagons were standing at Sandal Street, L.M.S., for days prior to 16th February, 1947; that collieries in the area were in need of empty wagons; and why this delay to the working of the empty wagons occurred.

Mr. Barnes

I am informed by the Railway Company that they are unable to identify Sandal Street, L.M.S. If the hon. Member will furnish details I will have inquiries made.

79. Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that two locomotives belonging to Messrs. Firth Brown and Company, Sheffield, were on 18th February, 1947, guaged, tested and passed as fit for use on the main line; that Messrs. Firth Brown and Company were asked to supply two men with each engine and that the firm agreed to do so; that each engine remained in steam for a week ready to go into service but neither engine was used; and why the engines were not used.

Mr. Barnes

These locomotives are small and could have hauled only 8 or 10 wagons on the main line, while a third man would have been needed on the footplate as conductor. The employment of the locomotives was, therefore, considered by the railway company not to be justified. I am informed that the engines were employed by their owners and not held in steam out of use.

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