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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 6 (October 24, 1926)


Perhaps the greatest innovation introduced with the new system of Railway Workshops Production was the Schedule System which has been in operation in the New Zealand Railway workshops since 1925.

The magnitude of the undertaking may be better understood when it is explained that not one shop in the Dominion was, at the outset, or is, even yet, adequately equipped, or so arranged as to facilitate the progress of the work. Much headway is being made in this direction, and shortly these shops will be the cynosure of all eyes.

Some of the outstanding points which strike one regarding the actual working of the system are:—(1) The interest taken in the operations as planned, and the willing attempts made to accomplish the desired results. (2) The studying of the operations, so that preparations may be commenced in advance to avoid delays. (3) The attitude adopted when the work is coming in, and the determination displayed in order to recover lost time when a reverse is encountered. (4) The ready and willing service rendered by the men to their leading hand, indicating the spirit of co-operation and good feeling existing between the men and the officer in charge. (5) The appreciation shown by the men of the fact that their services, under the system, can be readily and fairly assessed through their detailed performances being shown on their daily time cards. This stimulates towards a higher state of efficiency, resulting in improved quality and quantity of output.

These facts must convince the greatest pessimist that, with the will and the determination manifest at this early stage, the results will be most satisfactory when the many handicaps, which still exist, have been removed and the system becomes finally established. The systematic moving of the various parts of the engine, to the departments concerned, and the prompt return of the completed work to the erecting gangs, has reduced the number of days that engines are in the shops by over 30 per cent.

The system has not reached perfection, but considering the out-of-date machinery and appliances and other disabilities, such as cramped accommodation, the progress already made is highly satisfactory. All concerned are doing well, working cheerfully, and anxious to see the scheme go ahead. They are the typ of men who believe that the principle of condemnation before trial is the attitude of the ignorant. Even after so short a space of time they realise that the introduction of the system was justified. Assiduity, and resolve to accomplish the work as arranged and to surmount all obstacles, are outstanding characteristics of each and every one of them. When this system is put into full working operation, or, in other words “When fast the waves of progress roll, free'd from error's long control,” the only wonder will be that something of the kind had not been adopted earlier.