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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

The Education of Railwaymen

The Education of Railwaymen.

While New Zealanders have been experiencing the varied joys and discomforts of winter, railwaymen in the Homeland have been enjoying the most delightful summer weather. Winter time is essentially the period of the year when greatest attention can be turned to the subject of the education of the railwayman, and during the winter months classes and lecture courses on railway topics are conducted at leading Home centres for the benefit of railwaymen of all grades. In the summer time, however, education is not altogether forgotten here in England. The regular winter meetings of the various railway educational organisations and engineering societies are supplemented page 19 in summer by conventions which are often held on the Continent, where opportunity is afforded members to study at first hand, working ways and methods of foreign railway systems. Recently the members of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers paid an educational visit to the railways of Holland, and the Institute of Transport arranged a conducted tour of Switzerland for the benefit of members. The Dutch railways offer an interesting study. In all, there are about 2,400 miles of railway track in the land, and of this mileage, about one-half is Government-owned.
A British Railway Road Motor Unit. Cross-London Motor Bus operated by the L. and N.E. and Southern Railway.

A British Railway Road Motor Unit.
Cross-London Motor Bus operated by the L. and N.E. and Southern Railway.

Leases of Stateowned lines are held by two private undertakings —the Holland Iron Railway, and the Company for the Exploitation of the State Railways, both of which themselves also own and operate long stretches of track. As regards signalling in Holland, every danger point is protected at a distance of 110 yards by a home signal. The semaphore has a bulbous arm, and is placed on the right of the post. In a horizontal position, displaying a red light by night, the indication is “stop.” When inclined at 45 degrees upwards, with a white light at night, the indication is “all clear.” The distant signal has a square-ended semaphore, and is situated 770 yards in advance of the home signal. It gives two indications additional to the ordinary horizontal or “danger” indication. At an angle of 45 degrees downwards, with a green light at night, the indication given is “slacken speed—home signal at danger.” When inclined upwards at an angle of 45 degrees, with a white light at night, the indication is “line clear—home signal at clear.” Points and signals in Holland are worked on the double wire arrangement, and by this means points are operated up to a distance of 437 yards.