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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (May 1, 1930)

General Manager's Message — Our Express Train Services

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General Manager's Message
Our Express Train Services.

A general improvement in long distance passenger traffic has resulted from the increased facilities afforded in the last year or two for more frequent through transport between the principal centres.

When we provide new trains it is not, of course, expected that they will jump at once into popular favour. Before a full response can be looked for, time is required to let the facts soak in regarding any additions to existing services, and it always takes time for tour schedules, trade movements and business connections, to become adjusted to extended avenues of transport.

It has been so with the latest addition to our new services, the night expresses between Wellington and New Plymouth. Although the traffic at first was small, the business is gradually improving and these trains will, I trust, grow into a fully patronised service. Upon this point, and in regard to other important train connections as well, I believe that much more could be done by business people and travellers generally, to make the railways a better paying investment, if they would rearrange their travel schedules in this and other areas in line with the train connections now available. For, even if the national aspect be left out of account, I feel sure that much of the present long-distance travel by road is taken without due consideration of the greater safety and generally superior convenience in travel which the railways offer.

The railways have a host of friends and I should like these to use their influence amongst their associates to bring more of this kind of traffic to the rail. I trust that no travellers won in this way will be disappointed, but if any should be, I would like to know about it so that the necessary action may be taken and remedies applied. Generally speaking, we find that compliments are now much more frequently received than criticisms, but while the former are cheering the latter are often more helpful in shewing the way to improvement.

The “Daylight Limited.“—The experiment made this year in running the “Daylight Limited” expresses for a longer period in order that general passenger traffic by these trains—as distinct from holiday excursion traffic—might have an opportunity to become established, is having the desired effect. These services now have a steady business in passengers, much of it, I believe, being new or “induced” traffic.

The results are so favourable that we feel fully warranted in deciding to continue the running of the “Daylight.” The effect of this decision will be to augment our services on the Wellington-Auckland run to three standard express trains daily, in each direction. It will also enable us to keep each train to such a size as may be comfortably handled. Since the “Daylight Limited” expresses commenced running in September last we have found that our through services between the two principal cities of the North Island have made better running and that a greater total of passenger traffic has been carried by them.

The 'Rotorua Limited.“- Although our newly-built and faster-scheduled “Rotorua Limited” expresses between Auckland and Rotorua have been established only a few days, from the many expression of approval of our action in providing these services, I feel confident that I will shortly be able to record a definite improvement in passenger traffic on this run. These trains provide a luxury ride at low cost. They are limited as to size and the number of stops made in order to give a fast, punctual service. They have been constructed with the greatest attention to the comfort and convenience of travellers and have been scheduled to meet the needs of the greatest number. Their average time is less than six hours for the through journey. There is not one aspect in which any competitive from of transport can compare with these trains for travel on the Auckland-Rotorua run. The favourable reception their introduction has received at the hands of both public and press gives assurance to the Department that its efforts to please clients are in line with their desires.