The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 1, 1932)
Our London Letter
Our London Letter
In his present contribution, our Special London Correspondent makes interesting reference to the impending completion of the London-South Coast electrification scheme of the Southern Railway, and to the up-to-date rolling stock being acquired for service over the newly electrified tracks. Particulars are also given of recent developments on other British railways, notably in the provision of amenities enhancing the popularity of rail travel.
A Red-Letter Year.
The present will be a red-letter year in the history of one of Britain's leading railways—the Southern system. In September, this go-ahead railway hopes to open its throughout electrified tracks between Victoria Station, London, and the South Coast resorts of Brighton and Worthing. Although Brighton is situated far outside the London suburban zone, the improvement of travel facilities in recent years has had the effect of making Brighton practically a suburb of the metropolis, and every day large numbers of businessmen travel to and fro between the South Coast resort and the city in the fast steam trains of the Southern Railway.
Electrification will materially reduce the journey-time on the London-Brighton route. With electrification, also, there will be introduced new passenger carriages of an exceptionally comfortable type. The new stock will take the form of Pullman cars and these will all be of the latest design.
By way of a start, the Southern system, in association with the Pullman Company, is acquiring thirty-eight new Pullman cars, fifteen of which will go into the world-famed “Southern Belle” London-Brighton service. The “Southern Belle” Pullmans will comprise six first-class cars, each equipped with kitchen; three third-class parlour cars; and six third-class Pullmans with motor-brake compartment. The cars will be marshalled in units of five, two of the units being in daily service, and one unit being held in reserve for use in case of emergency. Between Victoria Station, London, and Brighton, the “Southern Belle” (operated electrically) will make six trips daily, as compared with the existing four trips under steam operation.
The remaining twenty-three new Pullmans will be of composite design (first and third-class, with kitchen). They will be employed in various daily fast services in and out of London. The first-class kitchen-cars will each seat twenty passengers; the composite cars twelve first and sixteen third-class passengers; the third-class motor brake, forty-eight passengers; and the third-class parlour cars, fifty-six passengers. The cars will be of all-steel construction, and special page 20 attention is being paid to lighting, heating and ventilation. They will be the longest Pullmans in service in Britain, measuring 67ft. 6in. from end to end. This year third-class Pullmans also are being introduced into the Southern services between London and Hastings, while utilisation of Pullman cars is being considered between London and Folkstone, and London and Margate.
More Luxurious Services.
The carriage bodies are 60ft. long. Each carriage comprises one large and one small saloon, a coupé compartment, lavatory, vestibule, and enclosed accommodation for luggage. The coupé compartment has no windows on the corridor side, this with the idea of giving increased privacy. Outside panels on sides, ends and roof, are of steel, and there is fitted the latest type of suspension gangway. The carriages are luxuriously furnished inside. In the large saloon there are four chairs to each double table at one side of the gangway, and two chairs to a single table on the other side. The small saloon has two chairs to one table on either side of the gangway, and the coupé compartment has four chairs to one double table. This arrangement gives seating accommodation for seventeen persons in the large saloon, eight in the small saloon, and four in the coupé section. An additional fare of ten shillings, over the ordinary passenger fare, is levied for travel in these super-luxury vehicles between Plymouth and London.
Cinema and Radio Entertainment.
In the provision of passenger travel amenities, the railways serving Northern England and Scotland are just as progressive as those of the south. In addition to putting into traffic many fine new passenger carriages, the L.M. and S. and L. and page 21 N.E. Railways are leaving no stone unturned in the endeavour to popularise rail travel.
A World-famous Permanent Way.
The King's Cross authorities rightly pride themselves on the possession of one of the finest permanent ways in the world. Smoothness of travel on the L. and N.E.R. is a feature upon which everyone comments, and in connection with the upkeep of the permanent-way it is interesting to note the L. and N.E.R. are now giving immense attention to the mechanising of work on the track.
Extended use is being made of petrol-driven rail trollies for the conveyance of permanent-way gangs. The Morris track-layer, which lifts sections of old track off the ballast and replaces them with new, is being largely employed. A new rail-lifting and laying skid, used for guiding rails into chairs during relaying operations, has been introduced. On a recent test a squad of seven men guided into position by means of six skids forty-four 60ft. rails in seventy minutes, sufficient for a quarter of a mile of track. Another labour-saving appliance is a portable mechanical stone-ballast riddle, while a pneumatic sleeper tamper is proving useful in the consolidating of stone ballast under the sleepers. Yet another device is a portable machine for boring sleepers and fixing chair screws, capable of dealing with the re-sleepering of a quarter of a mile of track per day, only three men being required for its operation.
The Carrier Telephone System.
One of the most interesting developments in the telephone field, of which the Home railways are taking advantage, is the perfection of carrier wave transmission systems. The G.W. Railway has just completed the installation of a carrier wave telephone system between Reading and Swindon, on the main-line from London to the West. By means of this apparatus, known as the D-1 single-channel carrier telephone system, provided by Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd., it is possible for two conversations to be transmitted over one circuit at the same time.*
A different carrier frequency is utilised for transmitting at each end of the two terminal stations. In operation, the actual carrier frequency is suppressed at the sending station, and reintroduced locally at receiving point, where the original voice frequencies are reproduced. A clever arrangement of filters separates the “carrier” from the ordinary facilities. The carrier system terminates in the usual switching arrangements, thus rendering unnecessary any special tuition to switchboard operators. The whole of the apparatus at each terminal, excluding batteries, is erected on a 7ft. rack. It is, therefore, practicable for it to be moved without difficulty for use under emergency conditions, or to afford relief on temporarily congested telephone routes.
A New Zealand Railwayman's Hobby.
Flashlight photographs of an interesting model railway constructed by Mr. A. W. E. Smith, a member of the shunting staff at Dunedin Goods, in a cellar under his residence at 151, Carrol Street, Dunedin. The model railway has been built upon a platform giving 150ft. of track, which, together with the rolling stock, is operated electrically—the power being derived from the electrical system of the house and by the aid of a transformer. With the exception of a few of the “Hornby Series” of models used by Mr. Smith, the equipment—signals, stations, bridges, tunnels, level crossings, and some goods wagons, are all home made. Mr. Smith's son shares with his father the interest and enjoyment found in operating this unique model railway.
* It is interesting to know that the carrier system for telephone communication is already extensively used by the New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department. To the use of this much of the recent improvement in toll service may be attributed.
Mr. E. A. Shrimpton, of Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd., advises that his firm has supplied the P. & T. Department with twenty-two installations of the D.1 type referred to above. In addition it has in use three of the C.F.1 type (single channel for long distance) and one C.N.3 installation of three channels between Wellington and Auckland. The latter type permits of three conversations over one circuit in each direction at the same time. Simultaneously four outward and four inward telegrams are sent over this circuit by the machine printing telegraph.—Ed.