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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9 (January 1, 1928)

Automatic Train Control

Automatic Train Control.

One of the most interesting of annual reports relating to Home railway operation is that on the subject of accidents, prepared by the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways. In his recently issued report for the 1926, the Chief Inspecting Officer, Sir John Pringle—a name to conjure with in railway circles—states that there were 374 persons killed and 23,433 injured on the Home railways in 1926. These figures cover passengers, employees and trespassers, and they represent a decrease of 91 fatal mishaps and 2,960 injuries as compared with the previous year.

Discussing means of accident prevention, the Chief Inspecting Officer remarks that it cannot be stated that the case for the wholesale adoption of automatic train control, regarded from the point of view of the train accident record during 1926, is stronger than it was in 1925. Justification for calling upon railways to incur the expenditure is, therefore, still lacking. The general question of automatic train control was examined by the technical committee appointed by the Home railways. Their investigation revealed that there would be great difficulty in selecting one standard form of automatic train control of the type recommended owing to variation of under-clearances. The matter is to page 20 receive further close consideration, and in the meantime the extended employment of detonator-placing machines on main-lines has been advocated.