The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 8 (April 1, 1932.)
From Auckland — to Wellington by Special — Chartered Train — Time Saved Is Money Saved
to Wellington by Special
Time Saved Is Money Saved.
“Let me take this opportunity of expressing my complete satisfaction, coupled with appreciation of the party, who were all delighted with the way the trip was conducted. Your stewards on board were most obliging; nothing was too much trouble, and the meals which they provided were excellent. Mr. Mooney remarked to me 'the crack railways of America have nothing on you here.’
Personally I think that this expresses sufficient to let you know that we were all happy, and will enable your officials to feel proud of their achievement.”
The above is the text of a letter received by Mr. H. H. Sterling, Chairman of the Government Railways Board, from Mr. W. McHardy Forman, Managing Director, General Motors, New Zealand, Ltd., upon the arrangements made by the Railways Department for the speedy conveyance by special train, from Auckland to Wellington and back, of executive members of General Motors Ltd., during the week-end, 20th-21st February.
The party arrived at Auckland by the Matson liner “Mariposa” on Saturday morning, 20th February, their objective being Wellington, for the purpose of inspecting the company's works in the Capital City, and conferring with local officers. As the members of the party were to connect again with the “Mariposa,” scheduled to leave Auckland at 5 a.m. on Monday, 22nd February, the question of speedy transport was a vital one.
The distance to be covered in the short time at the party's disposal was, for the return journey, over 850 miles—mostly through difficult country—so after considering alternative means of transport the party decided to make the trip by rail, thus saving much precious time. A special train, consisting of the new de Luxe cruising ear, a de Luxe sleeping car, and a van, was accordingly chartered for the trip. Rush arrangements were made by the Department to meet this sudden demand, and the whole organisation worked without hitch to ensure that the undertaking would be carried out on time.
The following composed the personnel of the party:—Messrs. J, D. Mooney, President, General Motors Export Company, New York C. R. Osborne, General Manufacturing Manager, General Motors Export Company, New York; T. A. Simpson, Director, Vauxhall Motors Limited, Luton, England; A. N. Lawrence, Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand; E. W. Holden, Chairman of Directors, General Motors-Holden's Ltd., Australia; K. T. Milne, Delco-Remy Corporation, U.S.A.; R. A. page 13 Pitkethley, General Motors Export Company, New York; W. McHardy Forman, Managing Director; W. R. Belding, Sales Manager; H. E. Hothersall, Treasurer; and A. R. Wright, Statistician, of General Motors, New Zealand, Ltd.
The special train left Auckland at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 20th February, and covered the 426 mile journey in 14 hours. Besides being provided with sleeping accommodation, members of the party were supplied with meals en route. Full advantage, too, was taken during the progress of the journey to transact important business, the cruising car—which may be likened to a luxurious office on wheels—offering excellent facilities for this purpose.
That members of the party were completely satisfied with the general arrangements for their comfort and convenience on the train, and with the train's fast running time, is indicated in the letter from Mr. W. McHardy Forman to the Chairman of the Railways Board, quoted at the head of this article. Other members of the party were no less enthusiastic regarding the success of the trip.
Speaking to a representative of the Mana-watu Times, at Palmerston North (at which station the special was halted for a few minutes for general train purposes) a member of the party stated: “We are very pleased with the arrangements made, and we are making good time. It is quite luxurious, we are most comfortable, and the service is excellent,”
It is interesting to note that special trains have been chartered hitherto for shorter runs in New Zealand (as from Auckland to Rotorua), but this is the first occasion on which a special has been engaged for the through journey between Auckland and Wellington.page 14 page break
“Frame your mind to mirth and merriment.”—Shakespeare.
The annual picnic of the Railway Officers' Institute was held at the popular rail-served picnic grounds, Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt, Wellington on 28th February, about 700 railwaymen and their wives and children participating. The arrangements for the outing were in the hands of an energetic committee, to whose efforts, especially in regard to the entertainment of the children, the success of the gathering was largely due. The above snaps feature: (1) (right) Mr. P. G. Roussell, General Manager of Railways, and Mrs. Roussell and (left) Mr. G. H. Mackley, Asst. G. M. (with Master Peter) and Mrs Mackiey; (2) (3) (6) fun on the swings; (4) children's race; (5) from left Mr. V. R. J. Stanley, Pres. R.O.I., Mr. M. J. Forde and Mrs Forde, and Mr. W. F. Gill.