The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 12 (March 1, 1938.)
Our London Letter — A Great Transport Achievement
London's passenger traffic increases by leaps and bounds. The annual report of the London Passenger Transport Board for the twelve months ended June 30, 1937, has recently been issued, and this shows that in the period in question no fewer than 3,636,000,000 passenger journeys were undertaken by patrons of the Board's rail and road services, while taking the combined passenger journeys made in the London Transport area over the Board's own system and the main-line railways, we have the phenomenal figure of 4,231,000,000, an increase of about 16,000,000-over the previous year's record. Gross revenues of the Board for the year were £31,901,760, and working expenses £23,917,085.
The underground and tube railways included in the London Transport group form one of its most important assets. Because of highway congestion, more and more people are taking to using the underground and tube railways in preference to surface transport, this move being especially noticeable during the morning and evening rush hours. Actually, on the Board's railways no less than half of the day's traffic is concentrated within four working hours, the other half being spread over sixteen hours. Employees of the London Passenger Transport Board total 81,765. Extreme care is taken in the selection and education of the staff, and working conditions are good. The whole of the Board's operating staff with one year's service or more receive, annually, a fortnight's holiday with pay. There is a comprehensive superannuation scheme covering both male and female staff and the various social services include 560 employee messrooms, 81 fully staffed canteens, and ten sports grounds.
Popularity of the Camping Car.
Record passenger business to and from the principal holiday resorts is anticipated by the four group railways of Britain during the next few months. The big vacation season of the year commences at Easter, and the railways are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to cater to the holiday-maker's needs. Faster and more frequent passenger services are being arranged. In particular, the train accommodation provided for the holiday-maker is being improved, and numbers of new dining and sleeping-cars are being introduced on all the trunk routes. Buffet cars, which have proved so popular with excursionists, are being placed in service in increasing numbers, while big betterments are in course of progress at all the railway-owned hotels and guesthouses.
Last season, an outstanding success was achieved by the camping car arrangements developed by the four group lines. It will be recalled that this arrangement provides for the letting out to small parties of holiday-makers of discarded passenger coaches, which, while unfit for further active service, make remarkably comfortable holiday homes when suitably furnished and equipped, and anchored on some sidetrack convenient to a popular holiday-haunt. A very modest rent is demanded for the exclusive use of these caravan cars; all furniture, bedding, crockery, etc., is included; and the only stipulation made is that everyone using the car must travel on the outward and return journeys by the rail route. Because of their immense popularity last year, the number of caravan cars is now being largely increased.
A Useful Sales Booklet.
Selling rail transport is an activity in which every employee of the modern railway—no matter what his job—should take particular interest. In this connection it may be noted that the London, Midland & Scottish Railway has recently issued to its staff ten thousand copies of a new sales booklet, crammed tight with useful hints on the subject of selling transport. The booklet is part of a big sales campaign launched by the company, which includes a “Quota” competition, whereby freight and passenger districts compete in friendly rivalry. All grades of the staff are entering enthusiastically into the scheme, and much new business is thereby being gained. Incidentally, the chief commercial manager of the L. M. & S. sets out in the new sales booklet the qualifications page 18 page 19 necessary to the successful salesman, as follows, viz.:—Be neat, tidy and businesslike; possess self assurance; cultivate a comfortable personality; have a sense of humour; and study the social activities of your clients.