The Development of Rates and Fares
The earliest railway rates were tolls charged for the use of the permanent way and were based on mileage, or on a combination of mileage and tonnage. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway had three sets of classifications, namely: tonnage rates or tolls, mentioning 37 commodities, tolls on passenger vehicles and on cattle, and rates for conveyance. The Railway Clearing House was the instrument used to evolve a uniform and developed classification applicable to all the railway companies, at least as regards through traffic. In 1888 the Railway and Canal Traffic Act of that year established a new principle of maximum rates beyond which the companies were forbidden to charge, and provisions were made for a revised and uniform classification. The Act of 1919, which set up the Ministry of Transport, provided for the formation of a Rates Advisory Committee to give advice and assistance to the Minister on questions relating to railway rates.