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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 8 (February 1, 1931)

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page 17

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Passing of Distinguished Engineer.

The death occurred at Christchurch, on Saturday, 8th November last, of Robert Julian Scott, emeritus professor of engineering at Canterbury College.

Professor Scott was director of the Canterbury College School of Engineering from its foundation in 1889 until his retirement in 1923, and he was absolutely outstanding among New Zealand engineers. He was the son of Rear-Admiral R. A. G. Scott, and was a cousin of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, the South Polar explorer. He was born at Plymouth in 1861, and was educated at the Abbey School, Beckenham, at the Rural School of Mines, and at King's College, London. The deceased took a position with the New Zealand Government Railways in 1881, and was draughtsman, office engineer, works engineer at Addington and Hillside, and locomotive superintendent. In 1889 he took up his position at Canterbury College, and he was a fellow of the University of New Zealand from 1903 until 1923. He served on many advisory bodies and commissions, and was chairman of the Addington Workshops Commission, of the Royal Commission on Transport, and also on railway rolling stock, and chairman of the Munitions Commission. He was a member of the council of the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers, and a fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Professor Scott was well known in yachting circles, as he was one of the founders of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. He had a wide reputation as a designer and critic of yachts, and took a considerable part in racing and cruising himself.

Main Trunk Railway.

Twenty-two years ago, on 6th November, 1908, the last spike on the North Island Main Trunk Railway was driven by the then Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, near the Manganui-o-te-ao viaduct, half-way between Auckland and Wellington (states the New Zealand Herald). The ceremony was witnessed by about 400 people, who arrived in special trains from the two cities. The trains afterwards proceeded to Auckland, where a banquet was held that evening in honour of the event. Earlier in the year the whole length of the line had been traversed by a special train, which took a Parliamentary party to and from Auckland on the occasion of the visit of the American fleet. The completion of the railway ended twenty-three years’ work, the first sod having been turned on 15th April, 1885, on the boundary of the King Country, near Te Awamutu, by the then Premier, Sir Robert Stout.

Railway Educational Facilities.

With the provision of improved terminal accommodation, the Great Western Railway, England, is providing special educational facilities for its staff on the subject of scientific goods traffic movement. As in other branches of railway activity, the “human element” plays an all-important part in freight traffic handling. Backed up by modern machinery, keen goods station staffs can do much to quicken and improve goods traffic movement, to the mutual benefit of the railway undertaking, its employees, and the great public they serve.

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