The British Railway Clearing House (RCH) was an organisation set up to manage the allocation of revenue collected by numerous pre-grouping railway companies. These companies all operated their own railway lines, but gained revenue from fares charged for passengers and goods travelling over the lines of more than one company.
When passengers travelled between two stations on the same railway, using trains provided by the same company, that company was entitled to the whole of the fare. Similarly, when goods were consigned between two stations on the same railway, using wagons provided by the same company, that company was entitled to the whole of the fee. However, when coaches or wagons owned by a different company were used, that company would be entitled to a proportion of the fare or fee. If the commencement and terminus of the journey were on different railways, a more complicated situation arose: if the two companies involved did not provide through-ticketing, the passenger or goods would need to be re-booked at a junction station; but if through-booking was provided, the receipts collected by the first company would need to be divided between them, usually on a mileage basis. The Railway Clearing House was founded as a means by which these receipts could be apportioned fairly.
The Railway Clearing House commenced operations on 2 January 1842, in small offices at 111 Drummond Street opposite Euston Station, London.<ref... Read More