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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)

A Train-controller's Activities

A Train-controller's Activities.

In various ways the train-control system works to advantage with passenger and goods traffic, as the following extract from the instructions to officers dictates:

“The Control Officers will undertake the following duties:—

Direct the movement of all trains, rearranging crossings when necessary.

Direct the movement of all tonnage offering, attending specially to the prompt transit of live stock, perishables, or other urgent goods.

Check engine arrangements to ensure that power ordered is sufficient to meet requirements.

Cancel unnecessary trains when anticipated tonnage does not eventuate, and make provision for additional trains when necessity arises.

Early Attempts at Train-Control. A humourist's impression.

Early Attempts at Train-Control.
A humourist's impression.

Advise adjacent districts how connecting services are running, and supply particulars of the outward tonnage being landed. Obtain similar information in respect of inward trains and tonnage affecting their own district.

Keep in touch with stations and terminals with a view to obtaining full information regarding tonnage offering.

Advise stations in good time particulars of tonnage to be detached.

Obtain particulars of any important arrangements being made by Wagon Supply Office, and see that such arrangements are duly carried out.

Keep a check on trainmen's hours, with a view to seeing that they are kept within the prescribed limits, and advise Locomotive Depots concerned promptly of any variations made to drivers' runs or to engine runs.

Make suitable arrangements in connection with all train failures, train mishaps, or other emergency situations that may arise.”

So much for instructions, which show wide swathes of work for the Train Controllers, but in practice the scope of service is still greater, for in the managing of many trains an old proverb asserts itself: “Circumstances alter cases.” A glance at a file of a month's charts satisfies a peruser that boredom and sluggishness cannot enter that little room off Bunny Street.

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