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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Cost of Line

Cost of Line.

In the first instance, the line will not be so expensive as you may imagine, because it will chiefly run through land belonging to the Crown and thickly timbered, and, therefore, neither the land nor the timber for the bridges and sleepers will cost so much as on other lines, and there is plenty of metal the whole way. Mr. Wrigg's estimate of the line did not show it to be so very costly, and it is notorious that the calculations of Mr. Rochfort, who made the only working survey, were loaded after their arrival in Wellington, and increased, some say, to afford an excuse for postponing the construction of the line. The estimate of the Inland Communication Committee is, however, far too low, as they propose a page 10 very cheap line with 30lb. rails, such as was not suitable for part of the trunk railway. The only heavy works are the bridge and tunnel at the Lyell Gorge. It may fairly be estimated to cost about the same sum per mile as the Amberley and Brunnerton line, on which the tunnel through the crest of the dividing range will be longer than the Lyell tunnel, viz., £8500 per mile for 143 miles—£1,215,000.