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AUCKLAND AFFAIRS.

(From Our Own Correspondent.)

RACE TpAIN RUCTIONS.

Dost, Discomfort, Dirt, and Danger.

Though the northern racing headquarters is most conveniently situated, the disabilities attendant on reaching . it are so great that thousands of people who would ordinarily picnic on the spacious grounds on race days are deterred from risking the journey. The course adioins the railway line, and is only four miles from the central station, and half the distance from Newmarket, yet it takes from 25 to 30 minutes after starting from the city to cover the journey, 'ihe Electric Tramway .Co. carry thousands to their Remuera terminus, where the people transfer into brakes and 'buses, or pad the hoof to the course, a mile distant. Though this trip is both more expensive and troublesome than it should be, so shocking are the railway arrangements that people prefer to reach Ellerslie m this way rather than brave the train journey. 'Ihe extension of /the tramway' system to the grounds win kill all railway race traffic, as it has already ruined the ordinary suburban railway business, unless something -be done to reasonably provide accommodation. lot the traffic, offering. ,v In spite of. complaints, loud and long, - implication of the Onehungs line, and improved accomrrodation at the city terminus, the dissatisfaction expressed during the recent Cup meeting was greater;, than ever. v The first scraruDle is to get a ticket, which costs 2s, and includes admission to the coarse. These are sold from portable boxes about sue feet square, and they are occupied by two clerks, who have to see through windows the stae of pigeon- holes. Twenty people make a crowds round one of these disreputable cabins, and when hundreds axe striving to get near each little window, the chaos can be better imagined than described. Sixpences ate not ■ part- of tho equipment of the booking clerks, and many hundreds of people part with halter-crown for the two bob fare, and feel that they, are rocky to get a ticket at all, while to plank down a sovereign and not count your change, then and there is a most risky proceeding. The writer counted his change and, found it short, and demanded, restitution, which was •= tardily made; : but bis action, was : the exception, and not the role. Having got a ticket, the next thing is to reach the nondescript train, 0f .... open goods waggons, covered .trucks, and three or four carriages labelled, "ladies only.". This clothes-tearing act is oXen made worse than it should be by the locking of the entrance gates, thus resulting m a block, and the herding together of hundreds of people, whose language is not such as is heard m the precincts of a Sabbath school. After getting m the train a delay. Of ten wiiutes before starting Is quite the thing, and then the ordeal of passing through the Parnell tunnel has to be faced. This is the worst of the journey, the smoke being sulphurous and thick, and the pyrotechnic effect of the live sparks from the funnels of usually two engmes. play havoc wnu light clothes of any" description. It is pitiable to see the destruction caused by the hot ashes falling oh one's new season suit. On Cup day; one young fellow had all bis pleasure spoilt by having his coat burnt through m no less than four distinct places/while' ladies muslins and chiffons bore evidence of the risk attendant on riding through the tunnel m open, coal . trucks. At every station the train pulls up, not. because there are passengers to get m, or room for mem if there were, but for the reason that ihe block sections are inordinately long, and that, notwithstanding that the line has only just been duplicated, no proper provision has been made to expeditiously -clear the empty trains out of the way of the following ones. Thus while a- train is standing at the racecourse platform one is similarly blocked at every station m the rear of it. The Auckland station staff are growled at, but they are not responsible for the serious -outys, and though they managed to fill up the trains promptly, they cannot despatch, them till the section ahead is clear. Unfortunately, the primitive provisions made by the Department do not allow of better being done m this direction. •.-... It is not unreasonable to ask people to travel m covered waggons on occasions when traffic is abnormal, but the use of open coal trucks is a grave pnblio scandal, and there would be no need for them if the continued unnecessary delays were avoided, ihe single line through the Parnell tunnel is undoubtedly a great drawback, and it is a big hurdle for the traffic people to jump, bat it cannot be wholly blamed for the muddle that always occurs at holiday times. For sonre extraordinary reason, the section between the south entrance to the tunnel and! Newmarket has never been duplicated ; there isn't even a crossover at Rcmuera, Green Line and EOersMe racecourse, and it is quite impossible to shunt 1 a down .train clear except at Newmarket or JBlr lerslie stations. While facilities remain as they are, the management and not the men most accept the blame. The. working staff are well aware of the true cause of the trouble, and it Win be ; worth Mr Mi» lar's while to inquire fully into the management of the EilersHe traffic how he is m the northern city A v good traffic officer could ma&e it^clear :to him m half an hour, and put his finger on the weak spots, the principal of which are pointed out herein. . j

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZTR19100108.2.60

Bibliographic details

AUCKLAND AFFAIRS., NZ Truth, Issue 237, 8 January 1910

Word Count
939

AUCKLAND AFFAIRS. NZ Truth, Issue 237, 8 January 1910

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