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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 7 (December 1, 1930)

A Monument of Progress — The Men Who Built The Auckland Station

page 57

A Monument of Progress
The Men Who Built The Auckland Station.

The completion of the Auckland Railway Station marks an epic addition to the architectural beauty of the city, and adds additional achievements to the credit of J. T. Julian and Son, Ltd., as contractors, Messrs. Gummer and Ford, architects, and Mr. James Stewart, quantity surveyor for the building. The supervisor of works, Mr. A. J. Good, a director of the firm of J. T. Julian and Son, Ltd., attended to the constructional work, and is to be commended on the expeditious manner in which the building progressed. The building was available and handed over to the authorities on the day specified, which reflects dual credit on Mr. T. G. Julian's (managing director of J. T. Julian and Son, Ltd., contractors) estimate of the time for the construction of the building, and Mr. A. J. Good's capacity in carrying the work through.

Mr. T. G. Julian, Director, J. T. Julian & Son, Ltd.

Mr. T. G. Julian, Director, J. T. Julian & Son, Ltd.

Many difficulties were encountered and overcome during the laying of the foundations for the new railway station. The first job to be tackled was the draining of the site, which resembled a miniature lake. This was achieved by the co-operative labour of 200 men.

When driving the piles, many strange relics were encountered and obstacles met with, including a solid concrete breastwork of an old reclamation, also steel girders used for the foundations of some demolished building. The pile driving operatives were once astonished at seeing the ground rise some distance away from a pile being driven. On investigation it was found that the pile had pierced the end of a buried steel girder causing the earth to rise as the pile was being driven home. The piles were driven by an automatic steam hammer, specially imported from London. The seven hundred piles would, if placed end on end, reach a distance of between seven and eight miles. The piles penetrate to solid papa at an average depth of 45ft. Outstanding among the relics discovered during excavation were the remains of two old sawmills, a road, and the solid concrete foundations of one or
Mr. A. J. Good Director, J.T. Julian & Son, Ltd.

Mr. A. J. Good Director, J.T. Julian & Son, Ltd.

page 58 two old furnaces and chimneys. The piles were manufactured on the site, eliminating the expense of transport.

Progress of Constructional Work.

Up to seven hundred bags of cement were used in an eight-hour day. Five concrete towers were in use on the job, one an invention of Mr. J. N. Ramage, general foreman of works, employed by Messrs. J. T. Julian and Son Ltd. The remarkable quality of the concrete work is shown in alignment and finish of the platform verandahs balancing on their single line of supporting pillars.

The plans supplied for the job numbered 480, and their interpretation was largely the task of Mr. A. C. Bettany, engineer for the contractors.