The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 1890 THE MIDLAND RAILWAY.
It would appear from a letter from Mr Wilson, the Engineer of the Midland Railway Company, that while the Company intends to, complete the line through from Canterbury to the West Coast, there is no probability of its completing the branch to Nelson.] This was made an integral part of the work in the contract between the Government and the Company, but it looks as if tee Company had no intention of going farther than expending the sum of £60,(300 on the Belgrove > section, thus giving the colony only a price of useless line instead of the i through railway stipulated for. In the letter referred to, Mr Wilson writes :—" I consider the construction of the Nelson and Springfield sections at the present time a grave mistake from an engineer's point of view. The line to be made at Nelson will join the Government line at a point near Belgrove, the present terminus, and probably extend up Long Gully and terminate a short distance into & tunnel at the summit of Spooner's| Range. The topograpldcal features of i the country will unfortunately render this portion of line absolutely unre-i munerative to the company, and useless to either man or beast until the range is pierced and the line extended into the Motueka Valley. This cannot be done with the present available capital, the amount fixed in the contract. To show how adversely this part of the contract affects the interests of the company, I confidently state that from a financial aspect it| would be a gain to the shareholders to place the £60,000 required to be ex-, pended, on deposit, and hand the interest over to the people of Nelson to dispose of as they think best; because not only will these unremunerative works have to bear interest charges of about £3000 a year, which they cannot earn, but will also be charged by the Government with property tax, as well as charged with local rates. With such an unbusinesslike, not to use the stronger terms of unfair and unjust, arrangement attached to this part of the contract, I am not surprised that the thinking public, knowing the circumstances, doubt the fact that my directors have instructed me to carry out the works at Nelson." The " Post" remarks that this is " a pretty disclosure—-£60,000 to be expended in constructing a line Avhich leads from no place to nowhere, which, when completed, will be of no use to anyone, and which will in the mean- \ time end in a half-pierced tunnel," It is a pretty disclosure, indeed, but as the Company entered into a contract to complete the whole line, we want to know how it is that they can give up just so much of die work as they think unprofitable, and construct only that part which will best repay them. This is a matter which certainly needs looking into. Surely if one party to the contract performs less than is covenanted for, the other party thereto —the colony in this case—has a right to revise the concessions promised in respect of the fulfilment of the contract as a whole.