1 MARCH 1873, Page 1

What has happened to the Railway Oligarchs ? They seem

to have lost their power in the House of Commons. It is not many days since the temporary Chairman of the London and North-Western denounced Mr. C. Fortescue for "listening to clamorous individuals who are not disinterested ;" and Sir E. Watkin, Chairman of the South-Eastern, complained of the "insolent interference of the officials of the Board of Trade,

yet on Thursday they dared not divide against the second read- ing of Mr. Fortescue's Bill for making the power of control over railways more effective. All parties in turn denounced the Rail- ways for giving so little convenience to the public, and Mr. Ward Hunt gave a decided opinion that the State must take them over, while member after member, particularly Sir H. Croft and Mr. Walter, showed that it paid the Railway Boards to neglect whole tracts of country and make their people travel long distances. Hereford is almost cut off from the sea—it takes nine hours to get there—and in Berkshire there is a loop line expressly and even angrily ordered by Parliament, which has been built, but has never had a carriage on it except for the Queen. If the House will only keep in that temper, we shall be rid of the "Railway Interest" in five years.