February 1859: Our remarks touching the policy of railway companies

We have received a letter from the general manager of the South-Eastern Railway in reference to our remarks on the anomalous system of fares adopted by the company, and what we regarded as, in point of fact, a deception of the public by the advertised scale of charges – a system that must operate to the disadvantage of the South-Eastern, and that of railway property generally.

Mr Eborall, courteously thanking us for “former friendly notices”, and regretting that we should have reason to complain of fares charged on the South-Eastern, states that, in general, the fares on that railway “contrast favourably with the fares on any other metropolitan line”, that the returning fare between London and Blackwater is a “special cheap rate to encourage the London traffic”, the “intermediate fares” being “on the ordinary scale”; that it “would be impossible to make the local fares as low as the fares from London”; and that if the gentleman referred to on our staff “was returning the same day and had taken a return-ticket at London for Blackwater, he would have been allowed to retain his ticket on alighting at Redhill on paying the single fare, 4s., from London to Redhill, the entire journey thus costing him 13s.” – that is to say, instead of the 18s., which was the actual cost by alighting at Reigate town, making use of a Reigate town return-ticket, and paying the charge demanded between Reigate and Blackwater. The difference between 13s. and 18s., Mr Eborall offers to return.