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THE HENLEY TRAIN ARRANGEMENTS.

As a result of the public meeting held at Henley on February 11 to consider the Henley railway arrangements, a deputation waited on the Hon. W. Hall-Jones, Minister of Public Works, on Saturday, and presented him with largely-signed petition for transmission to the Hon. Sir J. G. Ward, Minister of Railways, praying that the express train on the southern line should be timed to stop at Henley. The deputation consisted of Messrs Gilson, Mitchell, Shennan, Crane, Robinson, and A. M'Kegg, and Messrs D. Reid. M.H.R., J. Allen, M.H.R , J. A. Millar, M.H.R.,- and J. F. Arnold, M.H.R. , were also present, Mr D. Reid, M.H.R., introducing the deputation.

It was pointed out to the Minister that, in view of the early inaugniation of a new railway time-table, it had been deemed desirable to bring under his notice the disabilities of the settlers in the Upper Taier:, which comprised the districts of Henley, Taieri Mouth, Otakia, and Berwick. Twenty-eioht years ago the express trains all stopped at Henley, yet now, despite the fact that population at that end of the plain had greatly inei*eased, the railway facilities were curtailed, since thejr were now practically limited to one train out and one in every day. Farmers in particular were severely nandicapped, inasmuch as if they journeyed from home either to bijy or to sell stock or produce it necessitated a two-days' journey, and sometimes three days., to do business that ought to be transacted in one day. This state of affairs reacted on" the tourist traffic and on the patronage accorded by Dunedin. people to Henley and Taieri Moufch. That traffic had dropped fuly one-half this year, because of the inconvenient train, service, which prevented people, especially those with families, or resident on the hill suburbs, from making the trip, which now meant a 13 to 14- hours' . journey, although Taieri Mouth is only a little over 20 miles from the city. The urgency of the matter, in view of the projected time-table, was the excuse for the deputation troubling the Minister with a question that did not concern his department.

The Minister said in reply that he thoroughly understood the matter, and would represent it to his colleague at the earliest opportunity. Two interests were involved, but that affecting the farmers was the more important, notwithstanding what Mr M'Kegg might think. As to the tourist and holiday traffic, possibly something might be done in the summer months, towards giving the people better facilities for reaching Taieri Mouth — possibly a midday train might be arranged, and they could be brought back to town earlier than now. With regard to the express trains, it was, however, thought that there were too many stopping places already, and h& had found from experience that what on the surface looked like an easy thing to provide an additional stoppage-place proved impossible when all the interests affected came to be studied by the department. The policy of the Department was rather to encourage more expeditious travelling than to give additional stoppageplaces. However, he would put the caso of the farmers fully before his colleague. He had received a cordial invitation to visit Taieri Mouth, but regretted thTat he could not spare the time this trip, as he must bein Wellington ori Tuesday morning. But on his next visit to Otago he would certainly take a day's rest at Henley and Taieri Mouth, if his arrangements and the season allowed him to go down the fiver.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW19050301.2.29

Bibliographic details

Otago Witness, Otago Witness, Issue 2659, 1 March 1905

Word Count
581

THE HENLEY TRAIN ARRANGEMENTS. Otago Witness, Issue 2659, 1 March 1905

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