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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 7 (December 15, 1926)

Current Comments

page 57

Current Comments

Business Methods Applied To State Railways.

The Indian Government recently decided to separate the Railway finance from the General Government finance as has been done in New Zealand. In congratulating the Assembly on the wisdom of the decision arrived at His Excellency the Viceroy said:—

“The railway administration will possess a real incentive to economy in working on commercial lines. Proper arrangements can now be made for depreciation, and for building up railway reserves. Continuity and regular growth in railway policy has become possible; and it is hoped that in due course the public will pay less for the existing service of the railways, while railway facilities will be largely increased without addition to the burden of general taxation.”

Similar remarks to those of His Excellency have already been made in regard to the New Zealand Railways by the Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates.

Connecting Northern Italy With Central Europe.

The question of transport between Northern Italy and Central Europe occupied the attention of a meeting held recently in Milan over which Signor Mussolini presided. The following resolution was passed:—

The parliamentary, political, provincial, commercial and economic representatives of Upper Italy, called together by His Excellency the head of the Government to discuss the general problem of traffic between Central Europe and the gates of Northern Italy, affirm the utility of a great railway line through the Stelvio Pass and the district of Resia to connect in the shortest and quickest manner the port of Genoa with the capitals of East Central Europe, also the port of Venice through the Resia Pass with the capitals of East Central Europe, and respectfully request the Government to institute the study of the ways and means of executing this great work.

It is anticipated that the projected lines would draw to Italian ports all the “rapid” traffic of Central Europe.

The Toll Of The Motor.

According to a report which has been made public by the National Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriters, based on statistics from prominent cities, with estimates for the rest of the country, there were killed in automobile accidents in the United States, in 1925, no less than 22,500 persons, which number is about 10 per cent, above the total recorded in 1924. The present total includes 1,784 fatalities at grade crossings of railroads. It is estimated that of the victims reported in 1925, over 6,000 were children under fifteen years of age. A representative of the American Road Builders' Association supplements the foregoing with an estimate that in the whole world the total number of persons killed in automobile accidents in 1923, was 30,400; and 868,000 were injured.

Honours For Railway Presidents.

Recent honorary degrees conferred by Syracuse University included one of a Doctorship of Laws on Sir Henry W. Thornton. Sir Henry is recognised as one of the greatest authorities in the railway world, and controls the destinies of that great transport system—the Canadian National Railways. A similar degree was conferred by Yale University on Brigadier General Atterbury, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In presenting General Atterbury's name Professor W. L. Phelps observed that he had received decorations and orders from Great Britain, France, Belgium and Servia, as well as the distinguished service medal from his own country. “He is one,” said President Angell, “who is recognised at home and abroad as a courageous leader in a field of service upon which the very existence of modern civilisation largely depends.”

It is reported that a balloonist has been able to hear a man's shout at an elevation of 1,600 feet; the croaking of frogs in a marsh at 3,000 feet; the roll of drums at 4,500 feet; the pealing of church bells at 5,000 feet; the rumble of a train at 8,200 feet; and the shriek of a locomotive at an altitude of 10,000 feet.