Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2 (June, 1926)

Beautifying the Railways

page 44

Beautifying the Railways

The Institute of Horticulture, which held its Conference at Dunedin recently, has been taking an interest in the question of beautifying railway stations, and at the Conference it was stated that about £150 was spent in Oamaru last year on horticultural improvements to portions of the railway at the entrance to the town.

The interest displayed by the public in the appearance of railway stations is gratifying, and at those places up and down New Zealand where the railway staff have realised the opportunities which the precincts of their station offered for the effective cultivation of flowers and shrubs, and have put that realisation into practical effect, the general improvement in the appearance of the premises has been most marked.

A well laid out station garden with abundance of flowers abloom is particularly pleasing to the eyes of train travellers on some of the longer runs, but everywhere it attracts attention and elicits favourable comments.

People are influenced by their surroundings, and a place that is made pleasant and picturesque by an artistically conceived and well tended garden “with borders, beds and shrubberies, and lawns and avenues,” is more likely to attract their custom and hold their interest than one at which there is nothing to relieve the intolerable drabness of bare utility.

Hamilton Railway Bridge.

Hamilton Railway Bridge.

The effect of orderliness combined with beauty, which decorative efforts of this kind have on members of the staff, must also be taken into account when considering the matter even from a purely utilitarian standpoint.

Pride in the appearance of one's station is a reinforcement to pride in the quality of one's work. It tends towards a natural harmony, a unity of action and outlook likely to result in better regulated attention to business, a brighter view of duties to be undertaken, a greater kindliness and courtesy towards the public and fellow-members, and the rendering of more efficient all-round service.

Members are in-invited to forward photographs and notes on the progress made at or about their station (whether officered or tablet) in the direction of horticultural improvement, for publication in the Magazine.

All About the Railways

We have heard very little about the railways lately (says the “N.Z. Observer”). At one time there was a constant outcry against the methods of the Department. To-day there is very little adverse criticism and what is said by way of complaint against the running of the services is taken note of and an attempt made to remedy matters. The New Zealand Railways were probably never in a more efficient state than they are to-day, and we doubt if, jointly, there has ever been a Minister and a staff more keen to meet the wishes of the public. The evidence of a desire on the part of the Railway Administration to anticipate needs of the users of our railways is indeed a very healthy sign.

New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition

Referring to the Easter rush to the Exhibition at Dunedin, the Otago Daily Times described the exodus of trains and passengers from Christchurch as “A Monster Cavalcade.” On April 1st, about 5,000 passengers were conveyed by the eight trains southward bound with visitors from the North Island and Canterbury. This was the largest number of through trains ever despatched to Dunedin in one day, and their combined length would extend over a mile and a quarter.

* * *

“Is this play going to be one of those improper dramas?” inquired the discreet friend.

“I don't think so,” answered Miss Cayenne. “The audience is exceptionally small.”

page 45

Suggestions and Inventions

Monetary Awards Granted.

T. B. Ball, Turner, Petone, £5.—Suggested method for grinding link motion.

H. Neill, Turner, Newmarket, £2.—Multi tool holder.

M. J. O'Connor, Leading Coppersmith, Petone, £5.—Suggested method for annealing copper pipes of locomotives whilst undergoing overhaul.

E. W. Smith, Leading Lifter, Petone, £20.—Sleeve on drawgear of “La” wagons.


S. A. I. Taylor.—Carpenter, Newmarket.—Suggested improvement to “P” wagons.

M. Coutts, Stationmaster, Waimangaroa Junction.—Suggested set of books for dealing with inward shipping traffic.

L. A. Sharpe, Leading Fitter, Napier.—Suggested improved nipple for water gauge columns.

A. McQueen, Casual Fitter, Dunedin.—Suggested template for boring stiffeners on girders of bridges.

Promotions Recorded during April


I. W. Blackmore, Te Kuiti, Grade 4.

S. R. Stedman, Feilding, Grade 5.

C. J. Symonds, Assistant Relieving Officer, Grade 6.


M. L. Chappell, Pukekohe, Grade 6.

Foreman of Works:

R. A. Hopkirk, East Town, Grade 4.

Porters to Shunters:

T. Turner, R. H. Blackmore, I. G. Smeaton, R. V. Fox, T. H. Metcalf, F. G. Molesworth

Painter (Maintenance Branch):

J. P. Vincent to Leading Painter.

Ganger, Sub-class 10:

E. R. Moore to Inspector Permanent Way, Grade 6.


J. Friel, T. Woodward, J. Johnston, to Gangers Grade 2.



A. E. Harmans to Leading Fitter, Hillside, Grade 2.

K. J. Hollis to Fitter, Petone, Grade 1.


D. O. Scorgie to Forgeman, Addington.


M. J. Earley to Train Examiner, Christchurch, Grade 1.


R. C. Mayne to Striker, Addington, Grade 2

Topical Notes

Mr. F. C. Widdop, Chief Engineer, who is at present abroad, sends word from Australia regarding various matters which have come under his observation. He has secured a number of plans which may be useful as a guide in carrying out the programme of works upon which our own engineers are engaged. Commenting on the tracks of the various systems he states that generally speaking they are not so well maintained as ours. Motor competition is rife in the Australian States, and the Departments are meeting the position by putting on their own motor buses. He visited all the large workshops, finding them up-to-date, but in some instances they were cramped for room. The method of lighting with sawtooth roofs was common, but Mr. Widdop could see no advantage over the New Zealand ridge type. Other features inquired into were coaling appliances, round-houses, and gang lengths. The use of motor trollies has enabled gang lengths to be extended, and the cost of maintenance has thus been reduced. It is probable that this economy may be found practicable in parts of New Zealand. South Australia is now landing some fine engines from England weighing 200 tons, and with a tractive effort of 54,000 lbs.

* * *

An informative article on the subject of automatic and power signalling in New Zealand, with particular reference to the above section, appears in the March issue of the “Railway Engineer.” It is from the pen of Mr. G. W. Wyles, Assistant Signal Engineer, N.Z. Government Railways.

* * *

Over quarter of a million passengers (226,576) were carried by South Island Mail and Express trains to Dunedin during the great Exhibition.

The Administration invites ideas likely to effect economies or improvements in any phase of Railway operations.

To the keen, observant employee, methods for improving the service sometimes suggest themselves in the course of the day's work.

Your suggestion or invention may be valuable both to yourself and to the Department. Do not hesitate to send it along to the Secretary. Suggestions and Inventions Committee. Head Office, Railway Department, Wellington.

Note—Although the suggestions and inventions listed have not all been adopted, the enterprise of the members concerned is greatly appreciated.