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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 4 (July 1, 1939)

Railway Progress In New Zealand — General Manager's Message

page 8

Railway Progress In New Zealand
General Manager's Message

I Have been examining the Departmental general statistical data for the last financial year, and I believe railwaymen will find many grounds for satisfaction with the results revealed by these figures. As the Hon. Minister of Railways recently announced, the total revenue of nearly £9 ½ millions was the largest amount of gross revenue ever earned in any year by the Department. But the best test of the Railway achievement from the traffic operating viewpoint is the statistics of its actual performance, and compared with 1930 (the record pre-depression year) these show an increase of 1,129,950 train miles (13,371,985 compared with 12,242,035), an increase of 63,437 train hours (907,854 against 844,417) with a decrease in man hours of 88,727 (14,790,182 against 14,878,909). On the locomotive operating side with 85 less engines (572 against 657) and less tractive power to the extent of 519,407 Ibs. (10,610,108 Ibs. against 11,129,515 Ibs.) to meet the increased train mileage of 1,129,950, improved operating efficiency is again demonstrated, further proof being revealed in the improved average mileage of engines per day from 110.40 to 123.18 miles. These few figures provide concrete evidence of the improvement in the operating efficiency of the Department.

In order to convey a general idea of the demands for transport made upon the Department's resources at the present time it need only be stated that an increase of 71 million net ton miles of goods hauled was shown over the 1930 figures. That the Department has stood up well to the additional work may be taken for granted from the general feeling of satisfaction that they have been well served, which has been expressed to me from time to time by the public using the Railways.

I am aware that standards of railway service differ not only between one country and another but also, in our own country, between one district and another, between one station and another, and between one member and another. The ideal, of course, is that in every part of our system the service should be of the same standard—and that the highest attainable; and I would like to feel that any member of the public could go to any station in New Zealand and be received with equal courtesy, and served with equal promptness, consideration and capacity.

I think it can be claimed that the general attitude of the public to the Department is one of appreciation both of our problems and also of the many improvements introduced throughout the system for the benefit of those who patronise the railway.

There are occasions, unfortunately, when the organisation fails, and one purpose of this message is to ask the staff for renewed effort to avoid letting the Department or the public down in any of the multitudinous aspects of service, and at the same time to request the continued tolerance and consideration of the public on those occasions when, despite the best efforts of the staff, something occurs to cause annoyance and inconvenience. The Department is growing steadily in its activities and improving its methods of transport, more notably on the passenger side of its business, and as in all cases of growth, adjustments and adaptations are required to perfect the new methods in their initial stages. It is in these circumstances that I ask all concerned to do everything in their power to maintain their individual service at a standard which will make the public pleased to do business with the Railways.

General Manager.