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Volume Ten - Pre-Victorian to the Present Day - Even more aspects - 1911 - The Penarth Dock of the Taff Vale Railway - Railway News Article . . .

The following article was published on the 11th February 1911 within The Railway News periodical and was penned By Our Special Correspondent. It formed part of a series of detailed articles entitled 'Railway Companies and Port, Dock and ship Owners. - No. XXIII.' A photocopy of the original article is held within the archive of the Welsh Railway Research Circle of which I am a member. - The Railway News [435] 11th February 1911 - [WRRC Resource : TV 125] [737]

                              The Penarth Dock of the Taff Vale Railway.

Amongst the many and vast benefits conferred upon the community by the railway companies of this country, a high place must be given to the invaluable work they have done in providing harbour and dock accommodation for the shipping and manufacturing interests. In other countries this class of work has been done by the State, but in the United Kingdom it has been generally left - whether wisely or not we need not now discuss - to private enterprise, and railway shareholders have liberally found the money for docks and harbour works round our coast, after Parliament has, after the most careful enquiry, sanctioned the outlay. The public has little idea of the extent to which the country is indebted to railway companies for its facilities or carrying the foreign trade and meeting the demands of cross-Channel communication, and we propose, therefore, in a series of articles, to indicate the extent of the docks and harbours and steamers owned by railway companies.

The great docks of the Bristol Channel are types of what such docks should be, and the equipment of the various Ports is typical of modern practice where the rapid shipping of coal is concerned. It is true, as shown, in a recent issue, that there is tendency on the part of certain docks, particularly in Scotland and on the Northeast Coast, to give the preference to electric over hydraulic machinery for the shipment of coal. Into the vexed question of the relative efficiency and cheapness of the electric and hydraulic coal hoist it is not proposed to enter here, but in South Wales, where engineers have had unrivalled experience of hydraulic appliances is still reposed in such plant, and although the next few years may witness a change of fashion, the time for discarding the hydraulic machine is not yet, and it still remains the cheapest, the most reliable, and the most efficient for the handling of constant loads such as are involved in discharging coal into ships.

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