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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10 (February 1, 1930)

Europe's Preference for the All-steel Passenger Carriages

Europe's Preference for the All-steel Passenger Carriages.

All-steel passenger carriages continue to hold favour in Europe, and nowadays, as the old wooden stock becomes obsolete, all-steel construction is usually adopted. The subject of the all-steel passenger coach is one of the many topics to be discussed at this year's International Railway Conference, to be held at Madrid, Spain, in May. For submission to this Congress, two French railway officers—Messrs. Lancrenon and Vallencien—have prepared a most readable report on the advantages of the all-steel carriage, as demonstrated in Belgium and France and their respective colonies.

From this report we learn that the leading French and Belgian railways are agreed that all new passenger stock should, as far as possible, be of metal construction. This construction holds many advantages from the point of view of safety, and the replacement of wooden joints by riveted or welded joints gives page 22 the carriage body a rigidity adding greatly to passenger comfort. Metal construction also facilitates the utilisation of interchangeable standardised parts, and enables much costly labour to be dispensed with in the shops. All-steel carriages promise to enjoy a longer life than wooden stock, while the metal carriage does not call for such frequent general overhauling. In order to reduce the tare weight of the steel carriage, the report recommends that the body be made to contribute to the strength of the complete structure by the use of a box girder or lattice girder design. It is stated there is room still for improvement in heat insulation methods, and with further development under this head, the all-metal coach should be well adapted for employment in any climate.