When railways were first established, every living being gazed at a passing train with astonishment and fear; ploughmen held their breath; the loose horse galloped from it, and then, suddenly stopping, turned round, stared at it, and at last snorted aloud. As the train now flies through our verdant fields, the cattle grazing on each side do not even raise their heads to look at it; the timid sheep fears it no more than the wind; indeed, the hen-partridge, running with her brood along the embankment of a deep cutting, does not now even crouch as it passes close by her. On entering a railway station we merely mutter to a clerk in a box where we want to go ― say How much?
― see him horizontally poke a card into a little machine that pinches it ― receive our ticket ― take our place ― read our newspaper ― on reaching our terminus, drive away perfectly careless of all or of any one of the innumerable arrangements necessary for the astonishing luxury we have enjoyed.
At a time when agricultural labourers were supporting their families on between ten and fifteen shillings a week, at 2s.
This carriage is adapted to hold about thirty-two persons.In most cases the returns indicated that third-class passengers were conveyed by the same trains as other passengers, but upon the London and Birmingham Railway they were conveyed by a special train along with cattle, horses and empty return-waggons.The seats are so arranged that the whole space of the carriage is accessible by a single door.one train ― which became known as the parliamentary or government train ― with provision for carrying third-class passengers, should run on every line, every day, in each direction, stopping at every station; the fare should be 1d.(p) per mile; its average speed should not be less than 12 miles per hour; third-class passengers should be protected from the weather and be provided with seats; third-class passengers should be allowed to take up to 56 lbs of luggage with them, free of charge.Third class coaches carry four passengers on each seat, and are without covering.