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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7 (November 1, 1927)


In this issue we have pleasure in publishing tributes by members of Parliament to the work of the Railway staff, who, since reorganisation took place, have developed a keenness for business and a “better service” spirit which has surprised their competitors and given satisfaction to their supporters.

The effect of separating the Railway accounts from the Consolidated Fund and treating the Railways as one self-contained unit, with modern accounting methods applied to balance-sheet preparation, has been to make members realise more clearly than would otherwise be possible, the extent to which the security of their present occupation and their future chances of progress depended upon the way in which the individual performance and management of each job was carried out, and the efficiency of their co-operative effort in producing increased transport at reduced unit cost.

The whole fabric of the complex organisation which goes to the make-up of our system has been changed in recent years. But in nothing has the change been more marked than in the business sense which members have developed in dealing with the public. The letters of appreciation we publish monthly indicate how general and widespread is the effect of this attitude and furnish some index of the extent to which it serves to sway public favour towards rail methods of transport. The confirmation now given by members of Parliament as a result both of their own experience in travelling and also of conclusions formed from the reports of their constituents, puts the hall-mark of success on the service efforts of the Railway staff.

Along with this development is found an increasing confidence on the part of the public in the capacity of the Railways to carry them with a maximum of safety and comfort, matters which are becoming of greater moment as the dangers attendant on highway travel and the inconvenience of the necessarily more or less cramped quarters provided on road vehicles are increasingly realised.

The foregoing does not mean, of course, that the service has reached a point of perfection where members may lie back on their oars with the idea that the race is over. It is only a clear indication that in the opinion of the watchers on the bank the Railways are shaping well and look like winners.

In transportation, as in other lines of business, it is only by being constantly on the alert to adopt the best methods and carry through the work in the best style that survival is possible. It is therefore decidedly cheering to find that, up to the present stage in reorganisation, the work performed by the service holds so high a place in the esteem of the people's representatives.