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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

Railway Progress in New Zealand — General Manager's Message — In Times of Difficulty

page 10

Railway Progress in New Zealand
General Manager's Message
In Times of Difficulty.

Railway work on the operating side is an exacting employment even when all the conditions are favourable, but when Nature throws difficulties in the way, those engaged in the running of trains and allied work of track and signalling maintenance are often placed under additional stress of which the public can have little conception.

Such an occasion occurred in June when floods and snow storms were experienced on the principal lines in the South Island.

Flood waters covered portion of the main line south of Dunedin for several days and washouts occurred at two points, while train services on several of the branch lines were dislocated by storm conditions. In the Canterbury District heavy falls of snow, to a depth of 14 inches on portions of the North and West Coast lines and the Oxford and White Cliffs branches, and affecting the main line from Christchurch to beyond Ashburton, interrupted communications, produced automatic signalling failures, and caused telephone poles to foul the track.

Controlling officers had to devise promptly suitable expedients to overcome these serious temporary interferences, and they report that all connected with the working of the trains and the repairing of the track and signalling equipment, rose to the occasion magnificently, working long hours under the most trying conditions. The Board and myself join with the controlling officers concerned in paying a special tribute to the work done by the staff during the period under review, and desire also to express our sincere appreciation of the manner in which the restoration work was carried out. It appears fitting that this public acknowledgment should be made of good work well done by the men of the Railways in the interests of the public.

General Manager.