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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1 (April 21, 1927)

Commonwealth Railways

page 3

Commonwealth Railways.

The report of operations on the Commonwealth Railways for the year ended 30th June, 1926, is to hand. It shows that the losses on the Trans-Australian and Northern Territory Railways have been steadily reduced at the rate of about £20,000 per annum since 1921, so that in the last financial year the loss (excluding interest) amounted to only £8,462.

The Commissioner predicts that the current year will show an operating gain.

It is noted that the number of passengers on the Trans-Australian Railway by the triweekly services averaged 83 per train. This line, 1,051 miles in length, links up Kalgoorlie (the inland terminus of the Western Australia line from Perth) with Port Augusta at the head of Spencer's Gulf in South Australia. It is the inland way across the greater part of the Continent, but its utility, particularly for trans-continental goods traffic, suffers from the fact that its 4 ft. 8½ in. standard gauge connects at each terminus with a 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, while connecting lines bring it into touch with the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge of Victoria.

The passenger carnings of the Trans-Australian Railway amounted last year to £138,545 and the goods earnings to £51,370.

Although the line was originally construetructed—at the cost of £7,500,000—for the purpose of connecting Western Australia with the Eastern States, it opened up for settlement vast areas of land requiring only an adequate water supply to make them fertile. It is only recently, however, that boring for water, and water conservation has been taken in hand.