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

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page 17

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Hope For The Colour Blind.

The eye expert of the Swedish Railway Board has succeeded in producing two signal colours—one for red and one for white—which are said to be distinguishable with equal certainty by the colour blind and the non-colour blind.

Concrete Floors For Railway Wagons.

Successful experiments have recently been conducted in Germany, in the use of a reinforced concrete composition in the construction of floors for railway goods wagons. The first wagon made of this substance (in 1919 at Heidelberg), withstood most exacting concussion tests, and still remains, after six years, in perfect service condition. In appearance the new type of wagon resembles the ordinary iron one, though slightly heavier, which disadvantage is offset by rust elimination. Moreover, the concrete floor wagon means a vast saving in repair expenditure as compared with those of wood or iron. Railway administrations in Germany have been so favourably impressed with the new type of wagon that a company has been formed at Darmstadt for their manufacture.

Protect Your Eyes.

The use of goggles for the protection of the eyes is availed of in but very few instances in our workshops and on the locomotive footplate where eye injuries are daily occurrences. The best evidence confirms the wisdom of their adoption by all employees exposed to eye injuries as the simplest and safest method of protection. In commenting on the use of goggles for this purpose the Chicago Great Western “R.R. Magazine” reports thirty-three cases where they had prevented damage to the eye, and in several instances the goggles prevented the loss of an eye. In a seven months period, moreover, fifty-four eye injuries were revealed as having been prevented by the wearing of goggles, and nine injuries that goggles would have prevented had they been worn. This is an excellent record and its lesson is plain, “Wear goggles and save your eyes.”

Coal For The Railways.

Dealing with the question of coal for the railways and the report thereon of the Board of Inquiry, “The Dominion” sums up as follows:—

The subject has been exercising the New Zealand coal industry for a long time past, but it has remained for the present Prime Minister to take the matter up in a practical and decisive way, and for this he is to be complimented. It is noteworthy that the locomotive drivers and firemen of the service, to whom was entrusted the task of carrying out the tests with the different qualities of New Zealand coal, have rendered a very real service. On their shoulders and on those of their fellow-workers will fall the burden in the event of the fuel supplied them proving inferior to that now so largely used. It says a good deal for their public spirit that they entered so whole-heartedly into the experiments made.

The World'S Longest Tunnel.

The greatest engineering enterprise since the building of the Panama Canal, involving the expenditure of £75,000,000 is now in progress in California. The demand for electrical power for the cities and farms of California, has necessitated the driving of a series of tunnels eighty-six miles long near the summit of the lofty Kaiser Range, and the diversion of the San Joaquin River and Big Creek, the waters of which will be stored in twelve reservoirs covering 734,000 acres a foot deep. The water will be dropped down the mountains through a chain of nineteen power stations able to generate 1,400,000 horse power of electricity. The Florence Lake tunnel, the first instalment of this tremendous task, has been practically completed. It is the longest tunnel in the world (fourteen miles) and has employed 1,700 men for four years in its construction. The tunnel has been driven through a mountain of granite 9,000 feet above the plains, and is a mighty tribute to engineering skill, as well as to the endurance of the tunnellers who have spent long winters shut in by snowdrifts.