‘Keeping unbroken ways’: the role of the Railway Clearing House Secretariat in British freight transportation, c1923-c1947
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With the amalgamation of Britain’s rail network in 1923, the Railway Clearing House, (RCH), role in co-ordinating operating and commercial decision making might have been expected to diminish. Instead the Clearing House secretariat extended its involvement in pricing and co-ordination between the ‘big four’ railway companies and even became the basis for the new nationalised industry in 1947. The RCH offered a venue for discussion and negotiation, where routines of articulation and codification extended those of the individual railways. The evidence presented here confirms the existence of distinctive organisation solutions in the British economy outside of the centralised multi-divisional firm.
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