MR. ROBERTS' REPORT.
The Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Railways Department reports that during the 12 months ended on June 30 last 3,694,614 train miles and 5,206,991 engine miles were run, at an expenditure of £343,746, the cost being 22.33 pence per train mile and 15.84 pence per engine mile. Mr. Roberts explains that the increase expenditure as compared with the previous year was caused by the higher price of coal and the large sum spent in repairs to engine stock. The latter amount was £18,00 in excess of that for the previous year, in addition to which £7,000 as a recoup of capital for condemned rolling stock, was charged to capital. Of the £60,232 spent at Islington workshops on heavy repairs to engines, £8,168 went on boilers, built in the workshops, and £12,150 for boilers obtained from Messrs. James Martin & Co. The narrow gauge shops did work on which £3,906 was spent. During the year 56 broad and narrow gauge engines were repaired at Islington, arid 17 were fitted with new boilers, while on June 30 there were 37 broad and 46 narrow gauge engines under repair there. At the narrow gauge shops 25 engines were repaired during the year and a dozen were in hand on June 30.
The total cost of repairs during the year was £146,432, divided thus:-Engines and tenders, £92,173; coaching stock, £25,354 goods nnd livestock vehicles, £28,904. Mr.
Eoberts adds :-
Respecting the contract for 30 new locomotive boilers let to Messrs. J. Martin & Co., Gawler, in June, 1003, that firm had delivered up to June 30 last 24 boilers, and will complete the contract about next October. Eight boilers for replacement were built at' Islington during the twelve months, five which were of the Belpaire high- pressure type. I have recommended that when the "Y" class engines require reboilering, they should be fitted with others of the Belpair type, working at a pressure of 185 lb. per square inch, which will increase the hauling power of these engines by 25 per cent. Messrs. J. Martin
and Co. up to June 30 had delivered six of the ten engines for which they had obtained a contract in 1902, and will deliver the balance before December 30 next. The engine stock is now in first-class order, and owing to this fact there is a smaller percentage of engines under repair than hat, been the case for many years past. The new machinery ordered for Islington m April, 1903, has arrived, and a number of the machines are at work. The others are being installed, and a conract has been let for the bouse to shelter the air-compressing engine. I estimate that it will require from £8,000 to £10,000, in addition to what has already been spent, to provide the Islington workshops with the best and most up to-date labor-saving appliances. A new pay coach was built during the year for the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge northern lines, and installed with Stone's electric light, which has so far proved a great success. The information obtained from Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania in regard to this illuminant is very satisfactory, and I hope money will be provided for equipping the whole of the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge coaching stock with this light. Once again I call attention to the fact that South Australia is the only State which has not commenced the equipment of its goods stock on the railways with an automatic continuous brake, and I feel it my duty to urge that a sum of money be provided on the next Loan Bill for fitting the whole of the rolling-stock with the Westinghouse automatic continuous brake.
. Rolling Stock.
Mr. Roberts reports that during the year ended on June 30 last, the following new rolling stock was completed and issued to
5 ft. 3 in Gauge.- 6 tender engines, class S (constructed by Messrs. James Martin & Co., of Gawler), 2 tenders, class N, 2 composite lavatory bogie carriages, 3 passenger bogie brake vans, 4 composite goods brake vans, 11 open steel waggons, .class G, 26 open waggons, class G , 24 sheep vans, class BB (constructed at the Islington
3 ft. 6 in. Gauge.-1 passenger bogie brake van, 1 pay coach, 20 open waggons, class B (constructed at the Islington Workshops).
The following rolling-stock was withdrawn from traffic :-
5 ft. 3 in. Gauge.-3 tender engines, class D, 2 tender engines, class O, 1 tank engine, class
G, 1 tank engine, class GB, 1 short composite carriage, 3 short second class carriages, 1 covered goods waggon, class E, 13 open waggons, class G, S open waggons, class HP, 1 open waggon, class S, 2 flat waggons, class M, 5 flat waggons, class T (condemned), 1 short second class carriage (sold to .Messrs. Rowdon, Baxter, &s Co.), 3 bogie mail baggage vans, inter-State joint stock (sold to the Victorian Railway Department).
3 ft. 6 in. Gauge.-1 tender engine, class U, 2 tender engines, class W, 3 tender engines, class X, 1 tramcar (condemned), 2 open waggons, class C, 3 travelling water tanks (sold to Marine Board).