Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 9 (February 25, 1927)

Current Comments

page 35

Current Comments

King Chats With Old Railwaymen.

When the King and Queen arrived at Euston Station, back from Scotland recently, nine grey-haired men, retired engine-drivers of Royal trains, were presented to their Majesties by Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the L.M.S. Railway Company. The average age of the nine old engine-drivers was 73, and between them they have driven Royal trains 20,000 miles. In charge of other trains of the ordinary services they have travelled 20,460,000 miles without an accident of any kind.

The Perils Of The Highway.

The figures recently published of motoring fatalities in the United States during 1926, when in seventy-eight of the larger cities no less than 6,128 persons lost their lives, will no doubt rouse the authorities to definite action in the direction of ensuring safety on the public highways. In New York alone there were nearly a thousand fatalities, whilst in Chicago and Detroit there were 622 and 325 fatalities respectively.

Safety Of Railway Travel.

From the returns of railway accidents just issued, it appears that only one passenger was killed in a train accident in Great Britain in 1925, Since the opening of the present century there have been two years—1901 and 1908—without a single fatality to passengers in accidents to trains, and in 1909, as in 1925, only one fatal accident occurred; whilst in each of the years 1916, 1919, and 1923 there were only three. When it is considered that over 1,700,000,000 passenger journeys by train are made every year on the railways of Great Britain, involving the running of 262,000,000 passenger train miles, it will be seen that a passenger's risk of death on the railway is so infinitesimal as to be negligible—a one in seventeen hundred millionth chance. Compared with the ever-present peril of the London streets, in which 840 persons were killed in 1925, or the heavy death-roll of 3,631 for a year on the roads of Great Britain, a journey by train to hundreds of millions of people is practically without risk. To the elaborate precautions taken to ensure the safety of the traveller by rail, may be attributed the fortunate position occupied by Great Britain. It is stated in the annual report of their Chief Inspecting Officer, that as the chances of passengers falling out of trains in motion were so small (about one in every twenty-eight million journeys) there was no justification to warrant pressure on Railway Companies to adopt a device for controlling the unlocking of carriage doors.

Otira Tunnel Traffic.

The predictions made at the opening of the Otira tunnel in August, 1923, that there would be an ever increasing volume of goods traffic conveyed by rail between Westland and Canterbury have been fully justified by results. Despite interruptions caused by floods and washouts each year, the volume of traffic continues to increase.

The gross tonnage of traffic through the tunnel from west to east in 1926 was 409,200 tons, an increase of 57,077 tons compared with 1925. Since the tunnel was opened for traffic on 4th August, 1923, the electric locomotives have hauled a total of 1,151,577 tons weight of east-bound goods trains through the tunnel.

The New South Wales Legislative Assembly has passed the first reading of the Transport Bill, which is framed on the lines of the English and New Zealand Acts, and provides for the appointment of a Transport Board (consisting of Railway Commissioners), which will be empowered to operate motor-buses in competition with privately owned services, and to order the insurance of passengers in public vehicles by the owners.