The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 5 (August 1, 1939)
Railway Progress In New Zealand — General Manager's Message — A New Railway Extension
Railway Progress In New Zealand
General Manager's Message
A New Railway Extension
Every railwayman is naturally interested in the general effect on railway operations of any addition to existing lines; and because of the difficulties of all kinds which have beset its construction, and the favourable auspices which marked the official opening of the Napier-Wairoa-Waikokopu section of the Napier-Gisborne railway on the 1st July, we have a special interest in the extrusion northward from Napier.
By a fortunate combination of circumstances, the prospects for passenger and goods traffic were favourably and simultaneously affected by the inauguration of two major alterations in established railway practice.
The first was the provision of a complete and separate passenger rail-car service working shuttlewise between Napier and Wairoa on weekdays, with an extension from Wairoa to Wellington and back at weekends. One important result of this change is that, besides the substantial reduction in passenger transport costs consequent upon the opening of the line, travelling time is also considerably reduced.
The operation of rail-cars on this route thus means much both to the Public and to the Department as they provide a faster, cleaner and more comfortable service than the ordinary steam train, as well as effecting substantial economies in catering for the requirements of the travelling public with a more frequent service. The operation of the rail-cars also relieves the Department of the necessity to work “mixed” trains on this section of the line, which in turn means that the operation of the goods train services can be carried out more economically and efficiently and with greater convenience to the Public and the Department because of the greater freedom of action afforded by reason of the fact that the schedules of goods trains can be arranged without regard to the requirements of the passenger traffic.
This service by rail-car units commenced exactly twelve months after the introduction of a complete passenger service by electric multiple-units on the Wellington-Johnsonville suburban route; and judging by the great work done for travellers by the multiple-units on that line, and their popularity with the public after a year's experience of the outstanding comfort and convenience they afford, and also after some months' experience of the successful operation of a Standard rail-car service on the Wellington-New Plymouth run, I can confidently predict an equally favourable reaction to the complete passenger service by Standard rail-cars on the Wairoa route. In fact, the service is already being heavily patronised and its success is assured.
The second noteworthy improvement was the introduction of the Department's simplified tariff on the data of the opening of the Wairoa railway. This simplified tariff also applies to the whole of the Dominion's railways from the 1st July, and thus gives residents along the route of the new railway the benefit of the reduced scale of charges for general merchandise.
Earthquake and flood interfered seriously with the construction of this line, and I would like here to pay tribute to the excellent work of the engineers and workmen by whose efforts the obstacles so created were overcome and the line prepared for inclusion as a useful part of the main railway system. I also desire to express my personal appreciation and the appreciation of my executive officers for the assistance and ready co-operation at all times forthcoming from the Engineers and Staff of the Public Works Department, who are to be congratulated upon the consummation of their efforts in forging another link in the chain of the East Coast railway system.
General Manager.page 9