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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)


Track Noises Reduced
(From Our London Correspondent.)

The railway traveller in the past was often worried a good deal by irritating noises associated with track faults, rolling-stock vibration, and so on. Now-a-days on most trunk routes travel noise has been reduced to a minimum, but an interesting field of study still remains in this direction. Several of the leading European railways are experimenting with various devices calculated to reduce noise, the principal of these taking the form of sole plates fixed under the flat-bottomed rails.

The sole plates first utilised were of wood, chiefly poplar. While these had the effect of giving the rails a better seating and lengthening sleeper life, the plates themselves did not prove serviceable, for the wood deteriorated under the iron and cutting in of the rail still occurred. Elastic pads of impregnated felt, rubber, composition, etc., were next tried out, but in time these pads lost much of their elasticity, resulting in changes in rail level leaving a bad top on the road. Recently success has attended the employment of what is known as a “Contis” pad, composed of resistent hemp tissue. This pad has great durability, adjusts itself to the sleeper surface, prevents rail displacement through sleeper cutting, reduces shocks especially at rail joints, and eliminates much of the noise associated with the ordinary rail track.

In connection with the opening of the Addington Workshops Social Hall, referred to on page 15, the following committee, a hard-working happy band, were responsible for the arrangements on the opening night:—Messrs. J. Dickson (chairman), H. G. Heyward, W. J. McCullough, C. D. Boyd (chief cook), A. W. Kitchingham, F. Orchard (second cook), D. H. Robertson, J. S. Cummings (M.C.), S. Atkinson (asst. M.C.), E. J. Wilson, J. D. Moore, and E. S. Stringleman (hon. sec.).

Special mention should be made of Messrs. A. Owen and A. Miller, the former for his valuable services as cooks' batman, the latter for his admirable firmness as O.C.

A strong orchestra, under the able leadership of Mr. A. W. Kitchingham, had been got together from the works staff, and provided excellent dance music.