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The Vital SparkThe British Coastal Trade, 1700-1930$
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John Armstrong

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497308

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497308.001.0001

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Management Response in British Coastal Shipping Companies to Railway Competition

Management Response in British Coastal Shipping Companies to Railway Competition

(p.61) Chapter 4 Management Response in British Coastal Shipping Companies to Railway Competition1
The Vital Spark

John Armstrong

Liverpool University Press

This essay examines the way British coastal shipping companies handled competition from the rail industry. It explores the role of coastal shipping before the advent of rail; the impact of steam on short-sea shipping; the perceived minor threat of short-distance early railways; the direct threat of long-distance rail lines that began to appear in the 1840s; and the effectiveness of the attempts to address railway competition - the search for technological improvement, market segmentation, and re-pricing structures in particular. It concludes that the coaster and railway industries co-existed peacefully during the late nineteenth century as it served both of their interests, and assures that any serious threat to rail that the coastal industry could instigate would be met with swift and crippling retaliation, so they opted not to risk upsetting the balance.

Keywords:   British Railways, Age of Steam, Short Sea Shipping, Early Rail Technology, Humber Conference

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