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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)

Selling Railway Transport

Selling Railway Transport.

Intensive selling campaigns launched by the Home railways promise to increase considerably the volume of business handled. This problem of popularising railway transport is one that faces the leading systems of every land, and nowadays it is generally recognised that railway transport is just as much an article of commerce as, say, dairy produce, woollen goods, or hardware. The article the railways have for sale is of the highest quality and most reasonably priced; what is essential is that it should be marketed attractively and convincingly.

To this end, one railway—the London, Midland and Scottish—has just appointed a new official to act as Sales Manager, in the person of Mr. Ashton Davies, one of the best known of railway officers, who started his career as a telegraph messenger earning five shillings a week. The position has been created purely because of the need for the development of the selling side of railway activities. The responsibilities of the job are simply and solely to sell rail transport: to fill 19,059 carriages with a capacity of 7,108,561 passengers 365 days of the year; and to discover freight for 283,310 goods wagons with a carrying capacity of 3,101,443 tons. In Mr. Davies' own words, his task is “to find out what the public want, and to see that they get it.”