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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)

General Manager's Message

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General Manager's Message

Traffic Returns.

The latest figures available in regard to the Department's business shew that, despite the general slackness of trade, the Railways are rather more than holding their own in the matter of net returns of revenue, the improvement, as already announced, amounting to £73,175 for the financial year to the 10th December. At this stage in the previous year our passengers by rail and road services shewed a decline of nearly four millions in numbers: in the current year the decline is only fifty-four thousand, shewing that the position is rapidly approaching equilibrium.

A similar comparison of freight shews that whereas last year's decrease at the end of 36 weeks was nearly one million tons, this year's decline for the corresponding term is less than one-fifth of that amount.

Aids to Business.

However well the Railways may be doing in regard to the proportion they secure of the total business offering, there is always some margin of business which a right attitude on the part of the staff may help to obtain. Among useful aids to more business are keenness, knowledge and courtesy. By keenness I mean the sharp desire, interest and alertness of members in attracting possible passengers or senders of freight to the rail. By knowledge is inferred the double advantage which study gives in business matters when the facilities of the undertaking are fully known to the staff and when they properly appreciate the needs and desires of customers. By courtesy is pictured those attributes which make customers feel that they are being helped and shewn consideration in a likeable manner. All indications shew that in these matters the staff is giving, in general, excellent service.

From the Public Angle.

Organised as the Department is at present, it is surprising how low is the proportion of additional cost involved in handling additional business secured. For most lines of business, the additional cost would not be more than from 10 per cent. to 20 per cent. of the standard charges, which in most cases are already so low that they defy competition on any sound economic basis. But the result is that out of every additional £1 now spent by the public for railway service, 16/- to 18/- goes straight to the Consolidated Fund and acts as a general relief to taxation. Here is surely very genuine reason, from the public angle, why every person should, whenever possible, send his goods by rail and why any spending for travel—whether for business or pleasure—should be done by rail. Every penny spent in this way, besides buying good service, helps the Government and people of the Dominion towards financial recovery.

Acting General Manager.