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DUNEDIN, PENINSULA, AND OCEAN BEaCH RAILWAY.

His Honour the Superintendent performed the ceremony of cutting the first sod of the Dunedin, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach Railway on Dec. 23rd. Ths first section surveyed was between the Tolhgate and that portion of the Anderson's Bay Iload where the line will cross. The line to the Ocean Beach is expected to bo completed before the annual race meeting of the Dunedin Jockey Club in March next, and this will be immediately followed by a line to Portobello and the Heads. The works are to be of a most sub stantial character. The cuttings will be 13t't. wide, the embankmeuts 12tc, and the formation 13ft. The ballast for the line will be of bluestone, l'2in. in depth, and the sleepers are to be of black pine, totara, or the best Australian timber. The Government has agreed that the line shall be worked by means of their rolling stock until the Company import their own from England. The curves on the first section will be very easy, the line being almost straight, and along the sections betweea Anderson's Bay, Portobello, and the Heads, the curves will not exceed eight chains radius.

The carriage wliich conveyed his Honour the Superintendent, Mr Geo. Turnbull (Piovincial Secretary), and Mr D. Reid (Secre tary for Works), arrived punctually at 3 p.m., opposite the Bay Horse Hotel. The Managing Director (Mr D. Proudfoot), conducted them to the place appointed for ilia opening ceremony. About 200 person were present, and amongst them we noticed the Hon. W. H. Reynolds (Commissioner of Customs), Messrs'J. B. Bradshaw, N. Y. A. Wales, Shepherd, and V. Pyke, M.H.R.'s, 11. Stout (Provincial Solicitor), His Worship the Mayor, Councillors Walter, Reeves, Prosser, and Tsaac, Messrs "W. J. M. Larnach, Jas. Smith. E. B. Cargill, G. W. Eliott, Birch, M'Neill, Anderson, Barton, 11. B. Martin, J. S. Butterworth, and Rutherford.

Mr Proudi'oot said he had the honour to present the spade and barrow to His Honour the Superintendent, on behalf of thc Dunedin. Peninsula, and Ooeau Beach Railway. He believed that when completed;it .would be a grand work. There would .be nothing wanting on his i^art to make it successful. The Superintendent smartly took off his coat, and spade in hand filled the barrow amidst much cheering;. Having wheeled his load away, His Honour enquired who was going to fill the next barrow. -Upon the spade was the following inscription : — "Presented to His Honour, James Macandrew, Esq.,'Superintendent of the Piovince of Otago, on the occasion of his turning the first sod of the Dunedin, Peninsula, and Ofean Beach Hail-way. 23rd December, 1575." On 'the ibarrow was the address ef "W. Carver,-coachmaker, Dunedin."'

Mr John 'Barnes re-filled the barrow in true workmanlike style, and amidst much laughter and cheering wheeled it away. Mr W. J. M. Larnach, in response to repeated calls, again filled the barrow, which appeared to cause much amusement.

The Superintendent trusted that on this occasion they would excuse him for keeping his hat on.—(Hear, hear.) The work which had now been begun, lie thought, might be regarded as an epoch— .a, new era in the history of ;Otago.—;(Applause.) He had had the privilege of taking part in the initiation of several railways throughout the Province by the State, but the peculiarity of .this .undertaking was that it was being carried out by private enterprise. —(Hear, hear.) All that was being asked from the Government was the privilege of constructing the line along the foreshore'Of the harbour, aud the use of a piece of water for station purposes, which was to be made iuto laud at the expense of the Company, in consideration of whicli the Government—that is, the public —were to have the right of regulating the rate of charges, so as that the Company would not be able fco get too much out of the community. He hoped that this would be a prelude to many similar red-letter days in the future history of the Province. He trusted that the people, instead of relying upon the Government, would rely more upon themselves. It was now about five years ago when they were assembled in turning the first sod of the Southern Trunk Railway. If he could indulge in the language of Sir George Bowen upon that occasion, when he alluded so gracefully to the heads which planned, the hands whicli executed, and the great results which would flow from the railway system, he would descant upon the citizens of Dunedin basking on the sunny slopes of the Peninsula, inhaling the ocean bretze on that magnificent sea-beach which this railway would bring within five minutes of the city.—(Applause.) Every man, woman, and child in Dunedin had a great interest in the present undertaking, which he looked upon as being the most important lung of the City. The promoters of the Dunedin, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach Railway had thrown a debt of gratitude upon the people of Dunedin by the plucky manner in wliich they had cast their bread upon the waters.—(Hear, hear.) He thought that this would afford a striking contrast to the railways undertaken by the State, both as regards time and cost of construction. If undertaken by the Provincial Government, it would be safe to multiply both the one and the other by two, and if by the General Government they might multiply by four.—(Laughter.) It was said by several that the railway to the Ocean Beach would not pay, but it had also been said that the Port Chalmers Railway would never pay. That line cost the Government about six times as much per mile as the present projected railway was likely to do ; but he had good reason to believe that the nett earnings of the Port Chalmers Railway during the present month would be at the rate of very nearly twenty per cent, per annum. If he had several thousand pounds to spare he would be glad to invest the amount in this undertaking. He believed that he would then have sufficient to live upon from the interest during his lifetime. One great advantage would accrue from this line to the Government. They would save several thousand pounds in reclaiming the mud flat at the head of the bay ; in fact, the construction of the railway would itself go far to reclaim a portion of the flat. B-.-fore many years, they would find the whole of that magnificent block covered with warehouses, ship Imildui" yards, and all that sort of thing. He, however, supposed there were some practical speakers bursting to address them. (Laughter.) He then called for three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen, and a similar compliment to the Dunedin, Portobello, and Ocean Beach Railway Company, which were heartily responded to. Mr G. W. Eliott said he had been selected from amongst the Directors to return thanks to hi3 Honour for proposing thenhealth— (laughter)—or, rather, proposing three cheers for them. The Superintendent had left him nothing to say about the railway, of which he had spoken in a sanguine manner, and he (Mr Eliott) hoped that they would be able to carry on the work expeditiously. The Ocean Beach line would no doubt pay handsomely, and they would shortly introduce the riilway to Portobello. As His Honour the Superintendent had remarked, the inhabit ants would then be able to bask in the sunshine on the pleasant slopes.—(Laughter.) Three hearty cheers were then given for the Superintendent, and three for Mr Proudfoot. The company then adjourned to

the marquee, where an excellent luncheon had been provided. Mr D. Proudfoot presided, and was supported on the right by His Honour the Superintendent, and Mr G. W. Eliott, and on the left by His Woiship the Mayor and Mr E. B. Cargill. '

, After the toasts "The Queen," and "His Excellency the the Marquis of Normanby," had been duly honoured, The Chairman, in a neat speech, proposed "The health of His Honour the Superintendent, James Macandrew, Esq." That gentleiran had always been found taking a leading part in advancing the interests of the Province.—(Applause.) The toast was drunk with enthusiasm.

The Superintendent thanked them very sincerely for the kind way they had drunk this toast. While he retained the position of Superintendent of the Province, it would be his study to push the interests of the Province forward without particular favour to this, that part, or the other.—:(Hear, hear.) He looked upon this as a most auspicious occasion, and he hoped that thc example shown in that locality would be followed in other parts of the Province.—(Applause.) Many other localities in the Province were greatly in need of light railways. There was no likelihood, however, of these being constructed by the Government during the lifetime of the present generation, aud if made at all, it must either be by the local Road Boards or by private enterprise. Unless, indeed, the i:>eople of Otago acquired the right to the uncontrolled management of their own local affairs, to the absolute power of dealing with the public resources of the Province, in which case there would be little difficulty in turning that of the main district roads into railroads. However much this might be a consummation devoutly to be wished for by some, he saw littlo prospect of its attainment, unless the people of Otago manifested greater unanimity than they had hitherto done on this or any other question. However, he was now getting into forbidden ground. He would conclude by proposing "Prosperity and success to the promoters of the Dunedin, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach Railway, coupled with the name of Mr David Proudfoot." It was in a great measure owing to Mr Proudfoot's action that the Oompuny owed its present satisfactory position. He (the Superintendent) hoped before two years were over that he wonld be present on a similar occasion at Portobello.—(Applause). The toast was received with the customary honours.

The Chairman thanked those present for the compliment, which he thought unjustifiable. However, he took it as a very high compliment. It would be the aim of the 'Company to bring this undertaking to a successful issue.—'(Applause). They expected to have the Ocean Beach line ready forthe next race meeting of the Dunedin jockey Club, and they would have surveyors on the line to Portobello -in ten days or so. He believed that the railway lines to Portobello and the Ocean Beach would pay. —(Hear, hear.) If thej' took the Port Chalmers railway, for instance, they would find that the proposed line would return twelve and a half per cent. Two for.every one that travelled on tho Port Chalmers line would travel on the Peninsula line. The line to the Ocean Beach would pay a -larger dividend—from twelve and a half to fifteen per cent.—and it would enhance ithe value of the sections on either side fourfold at least. If they did not take up shares, the Promoters would construct the lino themselves.—(Applause.) The Directors vwould do thoir utmost to carry out the work successfully. He once more thanked them very much indeed for the manner in which they had responded to the toast.—(Applause.) He proposed "The: Health of Her Majesty's Ministers," and he believed they were very well represented ithat day in fhe shape of Mr .Reynolds.— (Hear, 'hear.)

The ■toast-was duly honoured.

Tlie Hon. W. H. Reynolds, who was enthusiastically received, said that he was not aware that such a toast was to be proposed. -^(Liugbter.)—The fact was he did not want to go into political questions at al], though he must say that His Honour the Superintendent had trodden on his toes.— (Applause.) He would not say anything, but His Honour had been boasting that he could not make a speech until he had half a dozeu bottles of toddy—(laughter)—or rather glasses. [The Superintendent demurred.] — (Renewed laughter.) He, however, could speak on behalf of himself and colleagues that the Government would do their utmost to advance the interests of the Colony at large.— (Hear, hear.) So long as he was a member of the Government, they might rest assured that rthe interests oE the Province of Otago would receive full attention at his hands. He once more thanked them on behalf of Her Majesty's Ministers.—(Applause.)

The Chairman proposed—" The health aud success of the Provincial Government of Otago, coupled with the name of Mr Donald Ried."

This toast was enthnsiasticalJy received.

The Secretary I'OR Works said that he was sorry to say that he was not prepared to respond in such glowing terms as he could wish to thc toast proposed. On behalf of the Executive, he was sure that they were glad to be there that day, and would also attend on other similar occasions. He trusted that the example of the Dunedin, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach Railway Company would be followed in other parts of the Province.—(Hear, hear).

The Chairman proposed—" The health of the Dunedin Corporation, coupled with the name of the worthy Mayor, Mr Keith Ramsay."

The toast having been duly honoured,

The Mayor said he had very much pleasure, on behalf of the Corporation of the City of Dunedin, in responding to the toast. He was very glad to add his congratulations to those of His Honour the Superintendent and others on the commencement of this important undertaking.—(Hear, hear.) He looked upon its satisfactory completion as of great importance to the citizens of Dunediu. They have

had few opportunities of going out into the country ; and by the opening of this railway they would have the means of enjoying the fresh air at the Ocean Beach or the Peninsula.—(Applause.)

The Chairman proposed "Tha Chamber of Commerce, coupled with the name of Mr E. B. Cargill."

Mr Cargill, who was enthusiastically received, said that the Chamber of Commerce had a very direct sympathy witli everything that provided for the general good, aa there was no class of men whose interests are so bound with tbe people generally.—(Hear, hear.) They had much pleasure in attending the opening of this railway, which marked a new epoch. His Honour had referred to the opening of the Southern Trunk Railway four or five years ago. The Trunk Railway was a very important beginning in itself, but His Honour had alluded to the opening np of private lines of railway which would be taken up in future. It seemed barbarous in present timos to construct metalled roads for the purpose of traffic. He trusted that this line would be followed by other railway lines for the conveyance of goods wliich were to be conveyed. —(Hear, hear.) He congratulated the Direc tors on tlie hearty manner iu which they had taken the m-ittor up, and started the work while people w- re beginuing to talk about it.—(Applause.) Tlie Chairman proposed—"The health of Mr JVl'lntyre, the contractor of the first section of the Dnnedin, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach Rrailway." Mr M'lntyre briefly responded. There were abont 40 men at present working on the line, which had been only three days started. They would get additional hands, and have the line completed before the ensuing race meeting of the Dunedin Jockey Club.—(Applause.) The Chairman-proposed "The health of the Press, co&pled with the name of Mr Geo. Bell."

Mr Bell, after thinking them for the hearty manner in which the toast had been received, said the Press had many opportunities of speaking for itself. There was not a single p per in Dunedin which did not desire to press forward every work for the benefit of the Province.—(Hear, hear.) He trusted that the present work was a precursor of a system of railways by private enterprise where they had been in the habit of looking to the Government for railways. There waa no greater mistake than for the owners of property to be continually looking for the Government to improve their sections by railways. He trusted that the new system would be adopted throughout New Zealand.—(Hear, hear.)

The Chairman proposed "The health of the Trust and the District Road Boards, coupled with the name of Mr Rutherford."

Mr Rutherford, Chairman of the Caversham Iload Board, responded in suitable terms He wonld bo very glad indeed when they had rail ways throughout the Province, so that the Road Boards might be dispensed with. He wished them . great prosperity. The customary honour having been accorded the Chairman, the meeting dispersed. JMr Badson was caterer.

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Bibliographic details

DUNEDIN, PENINSULA, AND OCEAN BEaCH RAILWAY., Otago Daily Times, Issue 4032, 20 January 1875

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DUNEDIN, PENINSULA, AND OCEAN BEaCH RAILWAY. Otago Daily Times, Issue 4032, 20 January 1875

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