The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 1, 1932.)
Signals and Safety — Electricity And Efficiency. Operations Of The Signal And Electrical Branch, N.Z.R
Signals and Safety
Electricity And Efficiency. Operations Of The Signal And Electrical Branch, N.Z.R.
The Signal and Electrical Branch is, numerically, a small branch of the Railway Service, but the scope of its activities is large. Its work, embracing as is does, signalling, communications and electrical work, interlinks with almost every form of activity in the Service. Included in its operations are three distinct divisions of engineering: signals and interlocking —for the control and safe working of traffic; communications — whereby cooperation in the business of the Department is attained; and electrical work— embracing the installation and maintenance of lighting, heating, power for machinery and railway electrification.
The Signal and Electrical Branch has grown from very small beginnings, dating from the appointment of Mr. A. H. Johnson as Signal Engineer in 1898, but its wider activities were really commenced in 1900, when Mr. H. J. Wynne was appointed Signal and Electrical Engineer. Prior to this time there was practically no signalling nor interlocking on the Railways and the other activities of the Branch were only in the early stages of development. Since that date, however, great strides have been made, until at the present time New Zealand is well abreast of the latest practice in the various phases of signalling and electrical work.
Control and Organisation.
The organization of the Branch consists of a Head Office where the various schemes are prepared and details of work are designed, the clerical division (under the Chief Clerk) being responsible for the accounts and correspondence. Supervision of construction and maintenance is carried out by the engineers, technical assistants and chief inspectors, and frequent inspections of apparatus are made in order to ensure that the requisite standard of maintenance is observed. In the Districts different railway sections are under the control of Signal and Electric Lines Inspectors. Under these Inspectors are the electricians, automatic signal maintainers, signal adjusters and linemen who carry out the detailed work of keeping the apparatus in working order, and attending to faults.