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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)

General Manager's Message

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General Manager's Message

Traffic Review.

The financial results from operating the railways remain the matter of most vital moment in the affairs of the Department. In my last message I referred to the improvement, in the net revenue position for 32 weeks, of over £28,000. The figures to the 2nd January, 1932, that is for the 40 weeks of the current financial year, shew a net revenue improvement of over £66,000 compared with last year, notwithstanding that the depression conditions still obtain.

The general result of our operations for the 40 weeks of the financial year to date may be briefly stated as follows: our total working expenses have been reduced by £970,573, thus more than offsetting the revenue decline of £904,239 for the same period.

The public are again earnestly asked to support as far as possible the railway services at their disposal, as the national aspect of their support is increasingly important. The Board has made special efforts to make the position in this respect clear in districts where branch lines are occasioning direct operating losses.

Passengers.—The special efforts made to stay the decline in passenger traffic by fare reductions and other adjustments have had a generally favourable effect. Prior to the introduction of reduced passenger rates in September last, passenger journeys had decreased by 23% for the portion of the financial year up to that time as compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. For the four four-weekly periods since the reductions, i.e., to the 2nd January, the decrease in passenger journeys has been 7%.

Parcels.—The January 2nd period shews a 10% increase in revenue from this source, much of the improvement being due to the public making increased use of the through-booking inter-Island facilities.

Freight.—The lowest point in goods traffic was reached in August last when the four-weekly figures shewed a revenue decrease of 17% below those of the previous year. Since then the position has gradually improved, and for the four weeks to the 2nd January an increase of 4.57% in freight revenue was recorded.

Suggestions and Inventions.

It is pleasing to find that the interest of the staff and public in forwarding suggestions and submitting inventions, intended to effect improvements in all phases of railway working, continues unabated. These are coming to hand at the rate of over a hundred a month, the total since the Suggestions and Inventions Committee was set up in 1925 amounting to 7,828, of which about 10% have been adopted.

The value of the proposals to the Department may be judged from the fact that approximately £1,000 has already been distributed in monetary awards in connection with accepted proposals. I desire to assure both public and staff that such interest is very much appreciated, and that further suggestions will be welcomed.

Any new idea, no matter how trifling it appears, may have value, and when submitted is treated as confidential. It is assured of most careful and impartial consideration at the hands of an expert and experienced technical committee, to the members of which the source of the suggestion is not disclosed.

General Manager.