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

Points from the Transportation Conference

page 16

Points from the Transportation Conference

In the course of considering the heavy agenda dealt with at the above Conference the following decisions and recommendations were made:—

Train Loading:

The principle of using only second class accommodation on secondary branch lines was affirmed—such cars to have chair seats. The matter of using only second class accommodation on suburban trains will be decided on the merits of each case, taking into consideration such points as desirability and economy. To reduce goods tranship work, weights of over 10 cwt. are to be loaded into wagons direct to destination as circumstances warrant, while wagon economy is made possible by loading. quantities up to 25 cwt. for any attended station in “roadsiders.”

Engine Miles:

There is now close co-operation between the traffic and locomotive officers when timetables are being compiled in order to obtain the best possible results from the engines used to work train services. The Conference was of the opinion that economies could be effected by running engines through to destination instead of to sub-terminals as at present.

Through Goods Trains:

These trains were greatly. extended under the re-organisation of train services effected last year, and through running has been satisfactory. By their use yard congestion has been avoided and quicker transit has been given to goods. Where possible, local goods trains have been suspended when the running of through goods trains has reduced the loading.

Separation of Passenger and Goods Trains:

Already action has been taken to separate the mixed trains by providing distinct passenger and goods services. The arrangement will be extended as opportunity offers. The Conference was also of the opinion that reduced engine loading for certain mixed trains should be continued in order to quicken the journey as much as possible.

Tablet Sections:

It was felt that substantial improvement in train working could be effected by shortening existing long tablet sections by either providing for new intermediate crossing places, or by installing tablets where stations already existed. The longest section it is most necessary to divide at an early date is that between Puketutu and Porootarao (North Island Main Trunk). Here opportunity offered for the institution of an intermediate tablet station at Kopaki. Other Main Line tablet sections which it was proposed to reduce were To Kuiti-Puketutu, Owhango-Raurimu, Ongarue-Waimiha, Shannon-Tokomaru and Maheno-Waiareka.

Rail Cars:

The suitability of the “Sentinel” rail car for use on the Westport section and of the “Clayton” on the Kurow and Tuatapere branches would be investigated.

Goods Shed and Yard Operation:

Shed and yard costs could be reduced by the installation of up-to-date mechanical appliances and devices at a number of stations. Provision is being made at Auckland new goods shed for electrically operated traversing cranes. Mechanical appliances for handling goods and wagons are necessary at Christ church goods, Timaru, New Plymouth, Dunedin, Wanganui, Greymouth, Wellington, Invercargill (yard), Palmerston North, and Frankton. The electric overhead cranes at present in use in the Invercargill goods shed and in the “D” shed Christchurch have been found to be very successful and economical.

Carriage of Goods Traffic by Mail and Goods Trains:

It was recommended that goods conveyed by mail and express trains should be charged parcels rates.

Motor Competition:

The Conference approved of a thorough investigation of the position being made regarding motor competition with the Railway with a view to the Department placing vehicles on the road in suitable localities to combat private services. Among the localities suggested were Napier-Hastings, Wellington-Khandallah, Wellington-Lower Hutt. Auckland-Papatoetoe, Christchurch-Southbridge, Christchurch-Rangiora and Oamaru-Ngapara.

Lighting Main Trunk Cars:

The provision of a night light in each compartment of cars on North Island Main Trunk trains in order to facilitate the exit and entrance of passengers was recommended, the light to be adjacent to the emergency brake lever now being fitted to Main Trunk cars.

Hand Luggage:

A new arrangement for the convenience of passengers who desire to store their luggage at officered stations where they break their journey will be brought into operation shortly.