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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 10 (March 21, 1927)

Canterbury District Notes

page 40

Canterbury District Notes.

Christchurch Railway Economics Class.—An interesting lecture was recently delivered by Mr. F. Pawson (Business Agent of the Department), on the subject of the “Public and the Railwayman—their attitude towards each other and the problem of Road Competition.”

By way of introduction Mr. Pawson entertained the class with some comments on his experiences when he first entered the Railway Service.

Getting to grips with his subject he said that before 1918 motor competition was negligible. Many of our soldiers, however, having had experience of the work accomplished by motor transport at the front thought that here was a splendid field for the introduction of such services. After the war, reconditioned motors were obtainable on very easy terms, and many men, knowing nothing of business principles, launched out as motor carriers. In many cases they overlooked the necessity of making such charges as would cover depreciation and other items as they went along. While their lorries lasted they kept going, working day and night, so that they were able to undercut the railway. This unfair competition lost the railway a lot of business. But the position is now changing rapidly. All but three of the motor companies are running feeder services in conjunction with the railways.

The lecturer went on to detail various causes of complaints which are common knowledge to every railwayman who comes in contact with the public. Complaints, however, are speedily disappearing—a tribute to the efficacy of the “personal touch” method in our dealings with clients. Both the public and the railwaymen have come to appreciate each other's difficulties, and business is going more smoothly than ever before.

After the close of the discussion which followed Mr. Pawson's lecture, preliminary arrangements were made for next year's session.

Addington Workshops.

Mr. A. D. F. Sampson who for the past few years has acted as General Foreman at Addington Workshops has been promoted to the position of Workshop Manager at Newmarket. On the eve of his departure from Addington he was met by a gathering of fellow officers, many of whom spoke, in appreciative terms, of Mr. Sampson's qualities as a man and as an officer of the Department. Mr. E. A. Rogers who presided over the gathering asked Mr. Sampson to accept a gift from the officers and employees of the shops as a mark of their esteem, extending to him at the same time their hearty good wishes for success in his new sphere. The departing officer was handed a further gift by Mr. W. P. Hern on behalf of the sports bodies. Mr. Sampson was received with applause on rising to reply. In an appropriate speech he thanked all present for their useful gifts and for their good wishes.

* * *

A further pleasant function took place at the Workshops recently in the shape of a presentation to Mr. J. S. Cummings, Machine Shop Foreman, on the occasion of his marriage. Mr. Cummings is a popular officer, and in a particularly happy speech he thanked all concerned for the thought which had prompted them to meet him on that occasion, and for the gift which was genuinely appreciated.

* * *

Trade With Westland.

In discussing the advance towards national economy secured from the Midland line the “Christchurch Press” states:—“One of the essential things in production and distribution is speedy and direct delivery, and this the Midland railway secures for the coal and timber of Westland.

“Another desirable thing is the delivery of goods with the smallest amount of damage and deterioration. And this also is achieved by the railway, at any rate so far as the coal is concerned. Any heavy breakage of goods transported from any point to another—whether from England to New Zealand, or from Lyttelton to Ashburton—is a direct economic loss. Similarly any heavy reduction of the merchantable quality of coal is an economic loss, and this loss, which was necessarily great through the repeated rough handling in the days when coal for Canterbury and Otago was loaded on ships at Greymouth, has been almost entirely got rid of through the railway connection that makes unnecessary any handling between the pit mouth and the Christchurch merchant's depot.”