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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - The amount of £169,415 is required for the following services: -


Prior to the close of the last financial year approval was given for the expenditure of £142,500 on the purchase of express locomotives, subject .to. a saving of at least £50,000 on the construction of the Port Augusta-Port Pirie railway, and the spreading of the expenditure of the new" railway construction over as long a period as possible. These conditions are being complied with, and a contract has been let to Messrs. Walkers Limited, for £141,109 as follows : -


The delivery of these locomotives will synchronize with the completion of a new section of the railway. The provision of £67,500 for ballasting will enable the continuation of the ballasting programme which has been in progress since 1931-32. This provides employment for a large number of men, and ballasted track permits increased speed of trains, as well as added comfort for passengers. Savings are also effected in track maintenance and the upkeep of rolling-stock. The estimate of £67,500 covers the supply of ballast under the existing contract from a quarry at the 634 miles post, the " running out " of the ballast, and the lifting of the road in connexion with the supplies under that contract. The opening up of a new quarry, with a view to reducing the running-out mileage, is also provided for. An amount of £11,500 .covers the installation of air conditioning plant in the lounge and two dining cars. This feature is being gradually introduced on the Australian railway systems, with marked success.

Improvements to the permanent way on the Central Australian railway represent £1,200, and include the purchase and installation of plates on sharp curves on the Port Augusta-Quorn section and the provision of minor waterways. Improvements to rolling stock, supply of a covered wagon to cope with the greater amount of traffic to Alice Springs as tho result of increased mining activities at Tennant's Creek, and minor service to rolling stock will absorb £1,340. Expenditure on workshops plant and machinery will cost £500, and miscellaneous minor works £695, making a total of £3,735.

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