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RAILWAYS ADMINISTRATION.

l.KMOOET.TJXG AT NEWPORT.

NEW TYPE OF GOODS ENGINE.

Interesting patticnlnrs of a new type of goods locoiiiotu e and plans for remodel- ling the AXo.rport -workshops Arci-e' dis cusseil by Mr.' X.. C. Itnnis, acting chief meclmuicnl engineer of. the Hallways de- partment, in evidence yesterday befoietho fioyal commission which is inquiring into railiraya attun'S. Mi. Harlin mentioned that tim "life" of a locomotivo vas about. 30 yeal», add thal during the Inst llnati einl year 2Ü old oiigiiios oí a book value of £50,000 lind gone to tho "cemetery."

Mi. Harris described at length the organi- sation of tho rolling-stock branch of the department, ' ' '? . '

The Chairman (Mr. O. W. Blond).-lu dcnling with repairs nt Xowporr, liavo you stilltelciit üecomtiiodation at present?,

Mr. Harris.-Ko; we do far too largo a propoiliort of our lopair work in tho yards, partly "through lack of lloor space, and poi Hy owing to instilficicul covered ncconi modatioii. We have plans for'brovldiivg n definite line of development nt the woik shop« hy utilising the'anglo space between th«< Xowpoit-Williamstown and Kewpoit («eelong Unca. ' It li possible hy loop-Hues off these two lines to obtain a satisfactory "lay out'' for the locomotive and ear and waggon dissions of tlio woikshops. Wo hale during the last,eight years boen suc- cessful In obtaining authority to coiiKtrilet three of the building» that aro piovi.loJ for in that pi'u>'ot. We have now bofoio the .'atlinm.ntiiTy Standing C'pnimitteo on Ilailways a-proposal for ti now locomotive ejecting shop nt Xewport, 'which, with poition of the machiiic shop, will bo able to deal with the honi'icbt 'parts, such .nu wheels Jind axle-boxes,''

» Ho you find, with . tilts accommodation you have, that- expenditure iii iucfeascd owing lo insiifl'ioiónfc floor', and 'covered Space?,- Yes; our.expenditure is a grout deal1 higher than it should bo.

Mr." II. AV. Hucliloy. - Hoe» your ulti- mate project involve the pulling down of the woikshops'/

Mt. Harris.-- Xot uocossittily: it may be possible to use existing buildings' for handling light mnterinlN. As n rolling-stock repair shop on an entirely satlsfncloiy lay- out, the original buildings did not lit m «.Hil the'project. As far as locomotives aro concerned, we will 'not aller the allocu- tion of repair work which now exist« ns be- tween îîorfh Melbourne ami Ncwpoi t, We have 200 engines, out of a total number of 002 now lu commission, at North Molboinne willi covered accommodation for 70. A cet tah. propoilion of repaint nt .sorth Mel- bourne is done op tim opou load, .which is iiiellieioul Hut ns a rule Um slnndnid of work nt Isotth Melbourne is good; Wo hnva n project for n now locomotivo depot at South Kensington, and'ure now prepar- ing mi alternative piojoct to lit In with tljo moehanicnl handling'of coal nt South Kensington. ' H-Hli projects movido for a much greater uren ol' covoieu accommoda- tion for «meine1«.

Plans for New Locomotives,

"Our construction plan-) provide for livo Pacific mid U X elni-R goods locomotives," said Jir. Harris. "Tho. X is ¡i" modified C class engine," whii'h will luivo a trailing truck. Tt will bo «,f the MJkiuli., Instead of the Consolidation, tyne. ' It will have the chin netoristies of tho C, but it will haver a tender similar to tho l'acide, ami much greater fuel and water rapacity. It will also llave a . 'booster.' The now loco- motivo -will do its work ¡ti less time than the G cngiiio, and Ivlll run .tlnnugh from Melboiiriw to Bendigo; or fr«tm Melbourne lo Seymour, without-losing timo in refuel- ing at tho roadside. Its trnctlve power will he approximately 37,00011).. without a 'booster.' or 12,000 with a»'booster.-'

Unavoidable'Mistake.

In ii'P'v to Mr. Chapple, Mr. J tim Is said:-We have Intel 11 "boosters" for the new X engine in.slcfck sjneo the beginning of the year. In stocking them so early au unavoidable mistake was .made. YVhou lliç X class engine was authorised our olhYois lind to make provision for various engine parts, and tiley bad less to do than tiloso who were designing tho new engine. Orders were, thereto! o, by mistake, placed too early.

In further -icply lo Mi-. Chapple, Mr. Harris said:-"During the last financial year wo broke up 20 old locomotives as follows:-One H. 1 DU, 11 Oil,, 2 HY. mid 1 T engines. Their hook value wns about £¡5O.00O, but that \ytts not "their replace- ment valuó. Tha »vTltitig-ofT would be against maintenance exrionses-.'

Air. A, II. Leeson. - What proportion of Wonthaggi toni do you use in your

locomotivos ?

Mr. Hnrtis. - Aboilt 00 per cent. Vic tolinn. and nbout 40 per cent. Maitland (X.S.W.) ona!. Hut tile proportion of Vic- torian coal ilsod last year was lilghor than usual, «H conditions woie extraordinary. There were no disturbances at the State coalmine last year.

In reply to Mr¿ Dccsoii, Mr. Haitis Paid: -Vocihtios at Newport for 'truck repairs ar6 simply disgraceful. Unless we charged the Ballarat mid liendigo workshops with freight on mnlfrial (which wo do not), t should except heavy truck lepnirs to be undertaken at llallnrat and Bendigo more cheaply than ntXowport. or Jolimont, or North Melbourne, though for light ti «els repairs North Melbourne Is definitely the most economical of repair-shops.

Advantages of Buttygang Systom.

Mr. Chapple.. -- Do you know anything about a wheel-turning machine at Xew port operated hy men under the bonus system, and of complaints that the machine was destroyed by ovor-speodiiig, which in- volved iepa.il s costing .-SOO?

Air. Harris. - Nui'Ji complaints ure too trivial for words. That sort of rubbish was talked nbout a great many jobs when wo changed over from day labour to the "butty gang system. There uro no solid facts to substantiate thom, Undoubtedly it would Ho advantageous to all concerned if the "butty-gang" system woro iticfonaoel. Tt iaise.1 not only tho capacity of the work- shops but tho oarnings" of the inen und tho htniidaid of living."

Cost of Shorter Working Week,

Mr. I.. S. Benjamin. - You havo mon at newport, some, working AS hoius a week and womo U hours a week. Do yo« notice any difference in efficiency? . '

Mr. Harris. - The cost of work in- creased when the chango was mode fiom l8 to 44 hours a .week, but oflioiency is an; other matter. The majority of men made'a faithful effort to give tho dame output' wprking «II hours ni thoy brid given in «IS hours, but they wero not uniformly suc- cessful. ? , .

Mr. Chapple. - What is your opinion of the automatic couplers?

Mr. Harris. - That is one of the jobs that has got to bo dono.to mako ouis.a real railways system. It is a trngody to see the conversion period tlil'oatonfng to spread over so long n time. ,It Mill take about eight, year» to convert tho ivliolo of the rolling slock. In tlio next year wo propose to 'eijnip W-ton trucks with niitpmatie couploi s, and . to use "such ti ucks in one block. In that cuso we will leave oif the intorinodiato bulTois. Wo proposa to uhinge to working o-punses tho cost of stripping vohleles.and tlio original cost of- butlers, couplings, and draw-gear.

' Mr. tiarri« said that the commissioners had twice recommended to the Cabinet in July, 1027, thal Mr. ÎI.3Î. May, workshops mamiger at Jolimont, be appointed .superin- tending engineer of-rnilwny M'oikshops, but the recommendations were l ejected. Mr. May's achievements in economy nnd clli eiency lind losulted in savhigs of many thou- sands n year, but he ii «s-still-n technical officer of the blanch without pionor recog- nition of his vnluo lo the department.

In tho l.cmninder of his ovtdonce Mr. Hains dealt «ith the efliclency of hopper Hiiggoili,, timekeeping, nt Xowpoll, the «j-htetii of boiler inspection, cost of li tick construction, luid other mullers nlfèctlng the branch. , ,

The coiiinii«siuii adjourned until half-post 10 o'clock this morning, when .Mr. A. O Wliillakci M ill continue Ins evidence.

MINISTER HEARS COMPLAINTS

"BONUS UNDER NEW NAME."

Reinstatement of Dismissed Men.

A deputation consisting of manna« of tho lion Ttueles Council waited on tho M ¡nisi ni« tor J'.nihiays (Mr. 'I nnncelillo) ycstc'i day mid eomplaiued that the bonus system win being "surreptitiously intio dutcd" into railways woikshops in défiance of nu iiistiuatlon by (ho Ministry thnt nil payment by losults should bo discontinued. Mr. ¡I. O'llallornn quoted the case of a mau at the Xoith Melbourne shops who, he said, was being employed ou what the commissioners termed "price work," but which Mas actually the old bonus system under nnothor mime.

Mr. Tunuccltffe. - If that 1« so it is a direct coiitiavention of au agreement which the I.atlwnys Commissioners made. I «ill eeitalnly look into it. '

Mr. O'Ifallornn complained nlso that men had btcn dismlssod irom the Newport hops on the ground that no woik was

available.-when work similar to that which they lind been doing svas ottering nt the Jlendlgo. shops. 1 iistend* of giving the dis Imissed men the opportunity of going to Bendigo the commissioners hnil filled tbo vucaiicici fhc'tii with men from outside the .service. Ile lind bren told definitely by the Premier (Mr. llpgau) that dismissed men would bn reinstated directly uuittsblo

vacancies occurred.'

Mr. Tuinicclilîe. - I do not know any- thing about dismissals, but there is un understanding with the commissioners that men who have boen dismissed through lack of .ivork should be given the first oppor- tunity of reinstatement. If «'but you say i« collect the cciminissiotioiH, luivo .directly violated the nureeincnt. I will go into the

matter «'iib them,

Tho deputation inked that «'hen the opinion uf the railway* medical officer concerning a man's lilnem fui' emploi mont, (littered fiom Hint of thu man's omi doc- tor tho ninltcr should be referred to_.Hl in- dependent medical ? practitioner. Such a right of appeal, is was considered, should apply not only to applicants for employ- ment, bul abo tu employee,* injured in the

cutusfl of their work.

Mr. 'l'unne;clil'V. - Tt scents' to be rea- sonable. I will discuss the matter .with tho commissioners and useci tain theil' views. T know that their riim. is to bave every man in tho sel vico UM physically lit nu possible, but, persoiinlly, T think that n great under, taking such an the iitilsvnys should be pre pareil to carry a fair proportion of physi- cal defectives'.-just na outside organisations do.,- Public opiniuu seems to bo crystallising,

in that-direction.

Objection was taken by the deputation to the inipoitntfoii of picks' by the Itailwaru doparfineilt. It was contended, that' picks

could be made in Victoria.

' Mr. TuuneclifTo. - '1 lint is n matter which I intend In dismiss with tho commissioners. I was at Wonthaggi recently and snsv picks Ittrned out like hot-cvos« buns fur use nt Hie Stale Coalmine, «'hieb is n brauch of (be l'ai'«'nys dcpai tmoiit.

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