Crossing Ahead! When Trams Met Trains in New Zealand - Graham Stewart
At a time when city tramways and railways in New Zealand fed each other’s networks and often crossed the respective right-of-way’s, noted author Graham Stewart shares the previously undocumented story and images of these interesting interfaces.
The crossing of a heavy-rail railway train with a light-railed street vehicle over a street level crossing has always required extreme caution. From the early crossing keeper holding their red and green flags to high-tech signals of today; there has never been any room for a margin of error. For over 90 years when trams met trains, not one life has been recorded as having been lost in an accident – a truly remarkable record of safety. Some tram lines to the suburbs stopped just before a railway level crossing, as to proceed further would have required the additional maintenance cost of the crossing’s manganese steel track diamonds, the crossing keeper’s wages and signalmen of those years.
This is the story of those crossings whether they were level or the vehicles crossed on a viaduct or bridge. The story is lavishly illustrated with photographs and diagrams researched from archives throughout New Zealand.