The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11 (March 1, 1929)
“The standard of demand on the part of the public can be developed overnight, but the ability to supply this demand cannot be adjusted so easily,” said Mr. Sterling, when replying to the toast of the “Railway Department,” at a dinner given to celebrate the electrification of the Lyttelton tunnel. Mr. Sterling enunciated this as the railway problem in tabloid form, and showed that there were certain services which the railways performed which were community services and were not capable of being put down on the Department's balance sheet as a direct asset.
He said that demand altered so rapidly and radically that what was suitable yesterday would not suffice to-day. The trouble was that the standards of demand altered much more quickly than those of supply. One thing was certain, the people of to-day would not tolerate smoky tunnels. Better accommodation, speed and safety were all demanded by the public, but finding the finance to supply them was quite another matter.