THE CATLIN RAILWAY
At a special meeting this afternoon of the, Oatiin' R,a,ihvay League, al which there "ivafi a good attendance. The, Acting President (Mr M. Cohen) said it was very noccisary that the league should take some firm and immediate action, otherwise it was quit* probable that the handing; over of th" lino to the Working Railways Department might be indefinitely hung up. As members were aware, there was an implied understanding that the, line should be officially opened and thereupon pass automatically to the Workim: "Railways Department in the early part of December, but. for uni'or.seen .seasons that promise could not be carried into effect. And here at the outset he wished it to be clearly understood that the. Minister of Public Work? was in no way responsible for the present hitch, lor the, Hon. 'Mr Fraser had gone out of His way to facilitate matters in order that this line might be transferred from his control and be included in the category of dividend-earning lines. He was given to understand that the I'nblie .Department was perfectly .satisfied that train.s could be run over the t'atlin line up to a maximum .speed of 15 miles per hour. It had, as a matter of fact, been doing so for some time past, and the settlors and users of the hue were quite content therewith. Rut the other department stepped in and refused to take the line over unless it wa.s put into such a state that it could carry any class of engine that the Working- Bcifways deemed it, necessary to employ; in other words, the Gaflins line, had first, to be. brought up to the running- standard of the arterial lines before it could be regarded as safe for traffic. This. he
ventured to say, wa.s not only bordering or. the absurd, but would seriously retard —if such an attitude were maintained- - the prosecution of all lines that were (classed as feeders of the arterial lines. He v.-as one. <vt iW, sr . s,vVir> Wiat an new railways should be constructed on economical lines that would make for reasonable cflicieney of -vvoikitijg. with an unbroken vauge, but with rolling stock that would serve all public requirement., if a. uniform speed of 15 to 18 miles wine ■ ni.tinta.iued. till it was proved to the satisfaction of the authorities that a higher speed could be attained without unduly increasing the margin of expenI diture towards levcnue. it seemed to him that any other policy must tend to arrest the development, of the baekbloeks by means of railway communication. The. matter was so serious that, he had not hesitated to call them together, in order that the position might be clearly understood, and, if need be. pressure should, be 1 brought to bear on the Government to induce them to order the. .Railway Department to take a. common-sense view, so that the line should be in working order by the beginning; of next month. it might, be, that the Tahakopa .section, by rcci.son of it traversing a. certain extent of swampy ground which might, have to be made im ;if»ain. could not, be worked by a heavy engine, but he failed to M>e any valid reason why the other section -bo'uld not carry foil passenger and freight, trains in accordance with the Working- "Railways conception of what constituted public safc-tv. Tic Tahakopa section might i\>maiif on it, present footing till the. road was thoroughly consolidated, but, according to Im information it was quite capable of bearing any engine that would not run more than 1.5 miles an hour, which would fully answer the business requirements of the" settlers in the Vallev. ]lc therefore moved that the attention'of the Right Hon. the Prime Minister he called to the delay | that is taking pi are in declaring the Cat- j lin Railway open for traffic to its tor- j minus, that if should be -o opened without j any further delay, and that "Mr A. S. Mai- i colm, M.P. imember for the district:, be j invited to make similar demands upon the I Government.
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THE CATLIN RAILWAY, Evening Star, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915