The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (November 1, 1928)
General Manager's Message
General Manager's Message
The event of the month has been the running of the first “Commerce Train,” on a nine days’ tour of Auckland Province.
The enterprise of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce in initiating the movement has been well rewarded by the benefits conferred on those who had an opportunity to make the journey and by the universal approval of the people living in the Districts visited.
I feel sure the result will be to increase mutual confidence and respect as between town and country, and lead to further valuable development and enterprise throughout the province and (what is of particular moment to us) to a better understanding of the position of the railways in regard to the transport needs of the Dominion.
During the nine days the whole of the Railway lines in Auckland Province (excepting two small branches) between Rotorua, Hangatiki and Taneatua in the south, and Okaihau, Kirikopuni and Opua in the north were traversed, 1,200 miles being covered by rail and about 500 by motor-car and launch.
In reference to the Department's share in making towards the success of the tour I cannot do better than quote Mr. W. D. Lambie, Acting British Trade Commissioner who stated that “the train had been a great success from every point of view and had been a great tribute to the efficiency of the Railway Department, for throughout there had not been the slightest hitch in the organisation. The service rendered was equal to that obtained in first class hotels and every effort had been made to provide for the comfort of the passengers.” From expressions of opinion received personally from those who travelled on the train, I feel sure this was the universal sentiment, and take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the splendid way in which all concerned rose to the occasion and so materially enhanced the Department's reputation for efficiency in service.
The completed returns for the four weekly period which ended on 15th September show the substantial increase in railway operating revenue of #20,000 as compared with the corresponding period of last year. The principal items showing increases were:—season tickets #1,750; parcels, luggage and mails #800; goods #27,600 and miscellaneous revenue #1,300.
Owing to the growth of season ticket traffic, the number of passengers carried increased by 161,000 but there was a decrease in the revenue from “ordinary” passengers.
The number of cattle carried during the four weeks’ increased by 44 per cent., and calves by 240 per cent. Sheep on the other hand showed a small decrease.
Native timber traffic increased by 500 tons in the North Island and by 4,500 tons in the South Island.
Dairy produce showed a satisfactory improvement. This was particularly marked in cheese, preserved milk and casein. Butter increased only slightly.
The quantity of frozen meat handled was practically the same as last year, but the traffic in fresh meat increased by 80 per cent.
Grain and potatoes continued to show large increases, while fodder and agricultural seeds declined considerably.
Flax and flax fibre were much below last year's level.
The quantity of imported coal handled decreased by 8,000 tons. Native soft coals increased substantially, while native hard coal showed little fluctuation.page 8
Agricultural lime improved by 93 per cent. in the North Island and 36 per cent. in the South Island. Artificial manures were maintained at the same level in the North Island, and increased by 100 per cent. in the South Island.
With the exception of ships’ goods carried on port lines, general merchandise showed a substantial increase.
I am pleased to place on record the fact that the net ton miles of goods traffic conveyed per train hour improved by 5.5 per cent. for the Dominion. The district increases are:—Auckland 2.5 per cent., Ohakune 7.9 per cent., Wanganui, 4.1 per cent., Christchurch 4.7 per cent., Dunedin 10.5 per cent., Invercargill 16.2 per cent. and Westport 28.4 per cent.
Passenger train speed (train miles per train hour) for the Dominion improved by 1.0 per cent.
The economic utilisation of engine power is receiving special attention from railwaymen all over the world. Some remarkable improvements have been recorded in the United Kingdom and America in the direction of increasing the daily mileage run of engines, thus reducing the number of engines required to handle any given volume of traffic. Some progress has already been made in this respect in New Zealand, and I am confident that much more will be achieved in the near future. The following figures show the average run per engine in steam per day for the first twenty-four weeks of the current year as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.
|North Island||105 (1927)||105 (1928)|
Loading the Electric Locomotives on the “s.s. Hertford,” at Liverpool, England, for the Christchurch-Lyttelton Electrification Scheme. The Locomotives weigh approximately 50 tons, and are shewn complete with all fittings. They were manufactured by the English Electric Company.