The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (October 1, 1927)
The World's Smallest Railway.
The Romney, Hythe and Dynchurch Model Railway in Britain, described as the smallest public railway in the world, was opened by Earl Beauchamp on 16th July. This 15 inch gauge railway runs from Romney to Hythe. The engines (replicas of the Great Northern Pacific type) weigh approximately eight tons each.
Hauling twenty-five coaches, these miniature engines can attain a speed up to fifty miles an hour-which speed, whilst remarkable as indicating the efficiency of the engines is, however, not likely to be authorised on a 15 inch gauge railway. The promotors of the model railway are sanguine of the success of their enterprise for they anticipate an annual passenger traffic of 250,000.
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Whatever be the economic value of applying decorative colour schemes to locomotives, some companies expect a wholesome psychological effect to follow from seeing brightly painted and polished locomotives on the road.
Increasing attention is at the present time being given to this question in the United States. On some of the new Pacific types of locomotives recently turned out for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the boiler, tender, cab and other fittings are painted in an attractive shade of green, with lining in red and gold. The lining-out includes the spokes of the wheels. Other Pacific types of engines have been painted in “battleship” grey, relieved by black and aluminium colours.
Coloured monograms painted on the sides of the tender have also made their appearance on the Chicago and North Western Railway, whilst other roads have equally elaborate colour schemes in hand, such as the nickel plating of side rods and the use of aluminium paint for running boards and tyres. One of the most interesting innovations, however, is the painting of the enginedriver's name (if he had an excellent record) in red and gold, on the cab of his engine.
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The Safety of Railway Travel.
Some striking figures bearing on the safety of rail travel as compared with other modes of transport were given by Sir Felix Pole, General Manager of the Great Western Railway at the Hammersmith Rotary Club's luncheon some few weeks ago. Though the reference was specifically to British rail and road accident records, the fact (as published in our last issue) that the New Zealand Railways are regarded for safety insurance purposes as being better by 300 per cent. than the next safest mode of conveyance, gives Sir Felix Pole's words considerable local application. Of the fifteen hundred million passengers carried last year by the British railway companies only four met with fatal injury. During the previous year not one passenger was killed although seventeen hundred millions were carried-a number almost equalling the entire population of the world! In striking contrast to this great safety achievement of the railways, the risks of road travel in Britain during the same period were such that no less than 4,703 people were killed and 121,705 injured.
“Blacksmith” writes as follows:—
Having had considerable experience in dressing various kinds of tools I have frequently noticed that the cold sets used on the permanent way are in many cases returned chipped and broken soon after being sent out dressed.
The remark is often made that the blacksmith has not much knowledge of tempering tools, whereas the fault lies more often with those who use them.
I would suggest that users of cold sets (more especially on cold days) take the chill out of the tools by applying a torch to them for a few seconds-or by holding them over a fire, if near one.
We blacksmiths always give our steam hammer tools a warm before using them (and we are under cover) to lessen their chances of breaking.
If such a suggestion is carried out I consider that it would effect a great saving in time, labour and materials.page break