The Ferry Service of the Future. Wellington- Lyttelton. SassnitzTrelleborg.
Some talk in Parliament the other day about the ferry services and the need for nationalising the same, together with some remarks of a favourable nature that fell from Sir Joseph Ward, have brought this question into prominence. There are many divisions of this subject, some of which have their centre of interest in Wellington on the wharves, which ought to be accommodating the ferry train instead of standing idly by while the passengers and their luggage make some trips between the railway station and the ferry boat. These are, however, subsidiary matters. The large question is of the nationalising of the ferry service. The reason strongest in support is that the same authority which controls the train service should control the sea service which connects the train services of the two islands. In the future, that means the running by the railway department of a steamer between Wellington and Picton to connect with the express train Auckland-Welling-ton. Not many years ago, when the Hon. C. Mills was a member of the Cabinet, he used to air a theory that the proper route would be by Porirua, as the steamer starting from that ancient centre and returning thereto would avoid the stormiest of the sea voyage. That is a detail which depends for its solution on many factors, one of
which is the accessibility of Porirua to ferry steamers of heavy draught. It has been declared officially that there is no channel available for such steamers at present, and that its construction, or rather digging out, would be expensive. The newest idea, however, does not turn on the channel of approach. It is that the trains may be carried bodily over, so that a passenger may take his seat at Auckland and never leave it till he reached Invercargill. In other words, that he might journey from one end of the Dominion to the other without break of any sort. In many parts of the world there are ferry steamers which effect this purpose for the users of railways, by taking the trains aboard and carrying them over water. Of these, the most famous hitherto, especially during the days of the Japan-Russia war, has been the ferry service over Lake Baikal, which transported the trains of the Siberian railway system bodily across the Lake. But Lake Baikal is not the ocean. Can the ocean be faced by any ferry system carrying railway trains long distances by sea? The answer to this question is furnished by a ferry service recently put into operation on the waters of the Baltic for tne benefit of the train traffic between Sweden and Germany. It seems that what can be done between the terminal ports of a system whien are separated by 65 miles of Baltic one from another, ought to be quite feasible between two terminal ports on any other sea. Now the distance between Wei-
lington and Picton is about sixty miles, not more than twenty of which are open ocean, the rest being land-locked and uncommonly snug. It is worth while considering whether the railway department might not order a couple of ferry steamers fitted up so as to take the northern and southern trains across twenty miles of Cook Strait without change of any kind. In order to assist consideration of this great subject, we republish Mr. Coleman's account of the railway ferry between Germany and Sweden. He says: — A new service of railway-car steamers was inaugurated on July 7th by the German and Swedish governments between .Sassnitz (Germany) and Trelleborg (Sweden), between which is a stretch of 65 miles of the Baltic Sea. For this service there will ultimately be four railway-car steamers, two provided by each country. In the accompanying photographs is illustrated the "Drottning Victoria," which has been built by Messrs. Swan, Hunter & "Wigham-Richardso? 1 ! (Limited) s of Walker-on-Tyne (England) to the order of the Swedish Government. The railway-car ferries for this new Ger-man-Swedish service are of outstanding Interest, in so far. that railway-car ferries in Europe have hitherto been confined to short stretches of inland sea, as for instance in Denmark. The introduction of the rail-way-car ferries has enabled a Reduction , to be r effected in the journey time between Berlin and Ohristiania and Stockholm, and great developments are anticipated in
transit facilities for passenger and goods traffic between the Scandinavian peninsula on the one hand and Germany and continental Europe on the other. The two vessels of the Swedish State Railways are sister ships, and differ only slightly from those provided by the German Government, which latter have been built by the Vulcan Company of Stettin. The "Drottning Victoria" is 370 feet long by 51 feet beam, and is fitted with twin-screw triple-expansion engines, with four large boilers, working under Howden's system for forced draft. The average speed is 16 knots, which enables the vessel to cover the 65 miles between Sassnitz and Trelleborg within four hours. The design of the Swedish car ferries was prepared by Mr. William Hok of Stockholm, and in the consideration of the dimensions and proportions of the vessel, due regard was paid to the necessity of having a very steady vessel at sea. In order to add to the steadiness, deep bilge keels, 165 feet by 2 feet 9 inches, were arranged for, and these have proved their ability to minimize any tendency of the ship to roll. The trains enter the after end of the ship from a specially constructed quay and landing stage made to suit exactly the form of the vessel and so insure perfectly smooth running and safety in embarking and disembarking. A complete train of eight or ten coaches can stand on board on two parallel lines, and during shipment entire steadiness is secured by means of two trimming tanks, each of a capacity of 90 tons. A complete and substantial arrangement of ring plates and screws secures, the car to the deck, and spring buffers prevent any attempt at moving endways. To add to the safety in the entering or leaving harbours, the vessel is fitted with a rudder in the bow as well as the usual one in the stern, and both these rudders are steam-controlled from the captain's bridge, where also there are electrical indicators to show the angle at which the rudder is inclined. The ferry is subdivided into an unusual number of water-tight compartments, which, with the Stone-Lloyd bulkhead doors, make her practically unsinkable in case of collision, and risk of danger in fog is lessened by an arrangement of submarine signals. The "Drottning Victoria" is by far and away the most representative type of railway-car ferry, and provides accommodation equalling that of a first-class Atlantic liner, for through passengers who do not choose to remain in the railway coaches while being transported over the Baltic Sea. Besides being a car-ferry, the "Drottning Victoria" is built to accommodate a considerable number of passengers from coast to coast, and the vessel is provided with dining-room, saloon, smokingroom, lounge, ladies' room, and regal apartment, all on the promenade deck, while below the car deck there is sleeping accommodation for 96 first-class and 45 third-class passengers.. For ventilating and heating, there is a complete system of thermo tanks, by which the rooms are cooled or warmed according to the prevailing climatic conditions, and fresh air is constantly pumped to every part of the ship. Electric light is supplied by three dynamos which also work the fans and hoists.
Estimation of Manganese in Potable Waters (E. Ermyei, 'Chem. Zeit., 1908). — The sample is acidified with sulphuric acid, and any 'iron is removed by a slight excess of zinc oxide.
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Progress, Progress, Volume V, Issue 3, 1 January 1910
The Ferry Service of the Future. Wellington-Lyttelton. Sassnitz-Trelleborg. Progress, Volume V, Issue 3, 1 January 1910
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