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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)

Railway Speeds — 3ft. 6in. Gauge

Railway Speeds
3ft. 6in. Gauge.

Some interesting comparisons of long-distance speeds over the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge appeared in a recent issue of “The Railway Circle Record” of Capetown. Japan and Java jointly hold most of the records for narrow gauge running; over the 373 miles between Tokyo and Kobe and the 512 miles between Batavia and Soerabaja respectively there is a dead heat in the overall speeds, stops included, of the best trains, which in both cases are 41.5 m.p.h. The Java Limited makes both the longest and fastest runs at present operative over either 3 ft. 6 in. or metre gauge track, the former being a non-stop journey over the 133.5 miles from Batavia (Weltevreden) to Cheribon in 172 min. east-bound and 171 min. (46.8 m.p.h. average) westbound, and the latter the run from Solo to Madioen, 60.8 miles, in 77 min., at 47.4 m.p.h. An earlier report that a 50 m.p.h. schedule had been introduced in Java proved to be without foundation, the distance between Batavia and Buitenzorg having been over-estimated. The best long-distance running on the South African Railways is over the 455 miles between Johannesburg and De Aar, covered at 35.6 m.p.h., inclusive of stops; after that comes the New Zealand Government Railways, with average speeds of 29.7 m.p.h. over the 369 miles between Invercargill and Christchurch, in the South Island, and 29.6 m.p.h. over the 426 miles between Wellington and Auckland, in the North Island. The best that the Rhodesia Railways can produce is to run from Bulawayo to Salisbury, 296 miles, at an average speed of 27.5 m.p.h.—From the “Railway Gazette” of 3rd August, 1934.

Mt. Egmont from Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, North Island, New Zealand. (Rly. Publicity photo.)

Mt. Egmont from Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, North Island, New Zealand.
(Rly. Publicity photo.)

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