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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)

By Those Who Like Us

page 59

By Those Who Like Us

From the Secretary, The National Dairy Association of New Zealand, to the General Manager of Railways, Wellington:—

At a meeting of my Directors held recently, I was instructed to write thanking you and your staff for the satisfactory arrangements made in providing special train accommodation for our delegates who attended the Association's annual conference at Whangarei last month.

I would like to state that, not only was a special train arranged from Auckland to Whangarei, but also from Dargaville to Aranga. In the running of this latter train provision was made whereby the train was stopped at various places to give our delegates an opportunity of gaining a better knowledge of the country in the North, and also of taking various interesting photographs. The service was very much appreciated.

* * *

From Mr. R. F. Baird, Napier, to the General Manager of Railways, Wellington:—

I would like to express to you the thanks of Mrs. Baird and self to the members of the Railway Service connected with the Napier-Wellington train and those stations for the great kindness shown Mrs. Baird's mother and her nurse when they travelled recently to Wellington.

Mrs. Baird's mother is an invalid, and it was no mean task to shift her, but the nurse has written that she suffered no inconvenience whatsoever, and actually enjoyed the trip.

Everything that could be foreseen to lighten the difficulties was done by he Stationmaster, Foreman and others at Napier, and the nurse says that the whole way down, and at Wellington, every possible kindness and courtesy that could be conceived was shown by the Railway employees. The nurse had had many years of experience in English military hospitals and I am not without experience of being a cot case on a train, and when we were both struck by the ability as well as the care shown, it says much for the consideration received.

* * *

From Abraham and Williams Ltd., auctioneers, Taumarunui, to the Stationmaster, Taumarunui:—

We desire to express to those of your staff who were responsible, our sincere appreciation of the excellent manner in which the arrangements for the despatch of stock were executed on the occasion of our Ewe Fair.

We can safely say that we could not wish for better service than was rendered by your staff on this occasion.

While we hesitate to mention individuals in particular, not knowing all who were responsible, we are particularly grateful to your Transport Officer, Mr. Coleman, for the earnest attention he gave to our requirements.

The fact that 116 trucks of sheep ex the Ewe Fair alone were loaded and despatched within twenty-four hours is testimony of the excellent work done under conditions which could not be considered of the best.

* * *

From Anderson's Ltd., Christchurch, to the Editor, “New Zealand Railways Magazine,” Wellington:—

We should like to put on record our appreciation of the excellent service rendered by the Railway Department in assisting us recently to despatch from Auckland to Hamilton some very heavy machinery that was required urgently. It was very wet at the time, and, but for the assistance given us by the Railway Transport Department and, in particular, the representative on the Auckland wharves, serious delays must have occurred.

Exactly the same applies to Frankton Junction and Hamilton, and, had we not received the co-operation from the staffs at these two centres also, we would have been put to very considerable inconvenience.

page 60

Express Speeds Eighty Years Ago.

In an interesting letter dealing with the high speeds attained by British express trains in the ‘fifties, a correspondent writes in a recent issue of the London Times as follows:—

“In the year 1848 one of the G.W.R. London-to-Bristol expresses was booked to leave Paddington at 9.50 a.m. and to arrive at Didcot at 10.47 a.m., thus allowing 57 minutes for running the 53 miles, but this stage was frequently run in 47 to 48 minutes. In the records of the late Mr. Rous-Marten, who was one of the most experienced and reliable timing experts of railway speeds, some particulars are given of a run he made with one of the semi-expresses between Paddington and Reading in the year 1856. The train consisted of nine carriages and was hauled by the engine Crimea, which was one of the famous broad-gauge 8ft. single-wheel engines. The distance of 18½ miles from Paddington to Slough was run in 22 minutes. Four carriages were taken off at Slough, and the 17½ miles from there to Reading were covered in 17in. 22sec. As regards the run from Slough to Reading, allowing three minutes for running the first two miles, by which time a speed of about 70 miles an hour had to be reached, and allowing 2½min, for running the last 1½ mile, the intermediate 14 miles had to be covered in 11min. 52sec.—that is at an average speed of over 72 miles an hour.

The Dawn Of The Railway.

Under the heading “The Dawn of the Railway,” we published, in our October issue, a letter giving the impressions of an eye-witness (John Dixon) of the famous Rainhill trials of a century ago. Another letter worthy of reproduction was that written by Thomas Creevey (an opponent of the railway). Writing from Knowsley to Miss Ord, on 14th November, 1829, he said:—

“To-day we have had a lark of a very high order. Lady Wilton sent over yesterday from Knowsley to say that the Loco Motive machine was to be on the railway at such a place for the Knowsley party to ride in…. I had the satisfaction of taking a trip of five miles which we did in just a quarter of an hour, that is 20 miles an hour…. The machine was occasionally made to put itself out, or go it, and then we went at the rate of 23 miles an hour and with the same ease as to motion or absence of friction…. But the quickest motion is to me frightful, it is really flying…. It gave me a headache which has not left me yet. Sefton is convinced that some damnable thing must come of it… Altogether I am extremely glad to have seen the miracle and to have travelled in it.”