From the late 1860s there was a general hysteria about the notion of women travelling alone in railway carriages and the possible risk of them being attacked. Because of this, in October 1874 the Metropolitan Railway introduced dedicated 'Ladies Only' compartments on all their trains. They were infrequently used, and after a few months the company had dispensed with them. From then on, all that most companies offered was the reservation of compartments for women on request, and the label above, placed in the window of a compartment, would designate it as such. If you would like to read more about 'Ladies Only' compartments, I wrote a whole blog post on the whole subject in April last year.