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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3 (July 24, 1926)

Maintenance Progress

page 46

Maintenance Progress

The Auckland new station yard is rapidly taking shape. A very good idea is gained of its extent and stage of progress by a climb to the top of Campbell's Point, the face of which is fast crumbling under the onslaught of a high powered steam navvy. Looking from the Point, one views a scene of great activity. In the foreground stand the abutments and piers of the Campbell Point overbridge, which will eventually carry heavy road traffic over the new yard. The foundations of this bridge have had to be sunk fourteen feet through water-logged ground to the solid reef. On the left of the view is the carriage yard, which is at present used as a dump for permanent-way materials. In the centre of the picture is the most interesting feature, the new passenger sidings. These are now in place ready for the construction of the platforms. The sidings even as they stand give a good idea of the capacity of the new station. The plans for the platforms and the connecting subways are ready, and the work of construction will be put in hand shortly. It will be no easy task, as the site is all made ground, requiring extensive foundations and careful timbering.

The plans for the new station building and offices are now approaching finality, and it is hoped to erect a building in keeping with Auckland's fine standard of architecture. Foundations forty-seven feet deep are required and will demand very serious consideration.

A long stone wall is seen stretching down the middle of the yard. This represents the dividing line between the passenger and goods yards and is occasioned by a slight difference in level between the two yards. The passenger sidings are rising so that they may eventually cross Beach Road to the Morningside Tunnel. The goods yard layout is very fragmentary at present, owing to ordinary operations having to be maintained and the goods sheds blocking the ground.

The site for the great outward goods shed and offices on Breakwater Road is cleared ready for building to start. Tenders closed on the 10th July.

The engine shed and depot are undergoing a considerable change, their direction and operation being reversed. Whereas ingress and egress for engines was from Breakwater Road it will in future be from Campbell's Point. A seventy foot turntable has been erected near the over-bridge and promises to be a very satisfactory equipment in view of the increased length of our engines. Accommodation for locomotive coal is being provided in two largo paddocks each with a storage capacity of several thousands of tons.

Campbell's Point stands as a dividing line between two rival forces-Railway men on one side and Public Works men on the other. Both are making good showings with their respective jobs, but whereas the Westfield deviation is clear going, the work in the railway yard is hampered in many ways by the necessity for keeping all railway traffic operations at full capacity. Conditions in respect to this will become more intense as the work nears completion, and will demand very wise foresight and careful planning on the part of those in charge.

Accident At Blackball Bridge
(Grey River.)
A Plucky Rescue.

On the morning of 2nd June, an accident which might have had a fatal termination, occurred at the Blackball Bridge. Bridgeman H. W. L. Wisdom and Casual Bridgeman J. S. Furness were working on a stage under the gantry removing temporary waling from the pier, when, as a result of the waling slipping and causing one of the needles to release itself, the stage on which the men were working fell into the river, throwing both men with it.

Furness was stunned by the fall and drifted about 150 feet below the bridge. Carpenter W. T. Ryan, of the Maintenance Works staff, Greymouth, dived into the river from the gantry (a distance of 25 feet) and saved Furness who was drifting down stream just under the surface of the water. The latter was in a very exhausted condition when brought ashore, and medical aid was summoned. After artificial respiration had been successfully applied the unfortunate man was taken to his home.

Bridgeman Wisdom swam down the river and was picked up by the Department's boat.

From inquiries made from those who witnessed the accident, there is no doubt that, but for the plucky and prompt action of Carpenter Ryan, Furness would have been drowned. It is understood that Ryan's workmates and a few local residents have collected about £10 for presentation to Ryan who is a widower with a young family.

The Board has granted Carpenter Ryan a reward of £10 to mark the Department's appreciation of his heroic action. It is understood that particulars of the rescue have been sent to the Royal Humane Society of New Zealand.