The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2 (June, 1926)
Highly commendatory references to the new sheep trucks recently put into commission, reach us from Invercargill. These deckers embody many new features of design and are superior to any previously built by the Department. Improvements in the height of the compartments, in the construction of the doors, and removable grating floors which admit of thorough ventilation under the gratings, are all new features and render these trucks ideal vehicles for their purposes. “It is difficult to find a fault with these wagons,” writes J. A. Stewart, Esq., to Mr. W. I. Hessell, District Traffic Manager at Invercargill.
The stock have now about a foot more clearance in each compartment; the doors being consequently higher, enable the sheep to come out without lowering their heads. The floor gratings are now let in in sections and can be removed and the floors cleaned out. The diagonal iron stay so long the cause of doors jamming has been done away with, and the doors (fitted with handles) now run smoothly on a round iron rod. Altogether the trucks are a credit to the Department and will greatly facilitate the discharge of stock.
The Department is about to undertake the construction of three new main line express corridor semi-steel cars. These will be of a design entirely new to New Zealand. A full description will be given in a later issue of the “Magazine.”
Addington Workshops have completely adopted electric in place of gas power for working machinery. The change-over was made last month and is proving a decided improvement. The power is supplied by the Lake Coleridge installation.
To meet the need for better sleeping accommodation on trains, and in order to provide this necessity at the earliest possible date, it has been decided to build five new sleeping cars in our own workshops. These will be similar in many respects to the sleeping car which created so much favourable comment at the Dunedin Exhibition. The cars will be built to the design of the Chief Mechanical Engineer (Mr. G. S. Lynde).
Ten “A” class superheated loco boilers have recently been ordered from Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Company, Ltd., Darlington, England.
It is understood that the Early Settlers Association of Otago is interested in the old locomotive “Josephine,” and it is possible, when arrangements have been made for suitably placing it, that this ancient engine may be preserved as an interesting relic of the early days. The Josephine meantime is being housed at the Hillside Workshops.
Mr. G. S. Lynde (Chief Mechanical Engineer) has been elected Hon. Vice-President of the Railway Rifle Club and in that capacity has presented a handsome challenge cup to be competed for annually. The cup will be held by the member with the highest aggregate of points in twelve inter-club matches during the year. The Club will also present a medallion to the winning member each year and his name will be engraved on the cup.
Two new “Ab” engines have recently been built and put into traffic at Addington.
The two new Ford rail cars recently built are being sent to the South Island for use on the Switzers and Glenham Branches.
The chassis of the Edison Battery Car is being dismantled for transhipment to Christchurch. When the car body which is being built there is completed, this car will be tried out on the Christchurch-Lyttelton run.
At the present time coal tests are being carried out in connection with the use of New Zealand coal on the Railways.