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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2 (May 1, 1934.)

Railway Progress in New Zealand — General Manager's Message

page 8

Railway Progress in New Zealand
General Manager's Message

By the time this message appears in print I hope to have completed an inspection by rail car of the whole of the main lines and branches throughout the Dominion. In the course of this inspection I have appreciated the opportunity of getting into direct personal touch with controlling officers on every section, and particularly with those on the outposts of our many lines. It has been pleasing to find that, in the main, the many commendations coming from the public regarding the standard of service rendered by the staff have been fully justified.

It has to be remembered, though, that however good the service given may appear to be, it can always be improved; and some aspects of possible improvement which have impressed themselves on my mind in the course of the recent inspection, are here given in the hope that they may help still more to strengthen the cordial relations already existing between the public and the railways.

The term “service,” as applied to modern transport by rail, covers a multitude of courtesies and a wide range of actions and attitudes calculated to be helpful and pleasing to those who do business with the Department. Among these, it is expected that the highest degree of cleanliness and tidyness will be maintained at all points where the public come into contact with the railways, more particularly the carriages in which they travel, the offices and goods sheds at which they call, the stations at which they arrive and depart, and the vehicles in which they forward their goods and livestock—from the dog box in which the family pet is bestowed to the seat in which his master travels.

In judging how good their service should be, members of the Department would do well to think how good is the service they would themselves expect if they were the buyers rather than the sellers of transport, and then make their service so good that it would exceed even those expectations. Nothing is so useful to the seller of any kind of service as to look at it from the buyer's end. An example is the provision of fires for passengers in waiting rooms on raw days, even though the calendar reads high summer.

With cleanliness should go a smart appearance of the individual and of the station at which he works, the improvement of station environs by gardens and in other ways, and a standard of environment generally which will bring credit to the service and keep the members of the Department alert, cheerful and adequate for the due performance of the day's work.

General Manager.