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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 7 (December 1, 1930)

Auckland's New Station — General Manager's Congratulations — To — Auckland City And Province

page 12

Auckland's New Station
General Manager's Congratulations
Auckland City And Province.

Bearing in mind the great importance of Auckland in its three major aspects as the largest city of the Dominion, the principal railway centre in northern New Zealand, and the main port for the export of the primary products of the premier dairying province, it is very gratifying to me to know that at last the railway facilities provided there, have been brought into line with those supplied by railway managements for overseas cities and ports comparable with Auckland in their size and dignity and scale of trade.

The opening of the new station is the culmination of a long period of preparation, during which, by stress of change-over conditions, coupled with increasing congestion due to a rapidly developing traffic, the work of transport by rail at Auckland has been carried out only with the greatest difficulty and by the adoption of temporary expedients. These, while avoiding a breakdown owing to pressure of business in cramped quarters and with inadequate facilities, have nevertheless been incapable of providing that full measure of service to the public which I feel to be their due as patrons of the Department, and without which the railways cannot make the best of the business available.

Twenty years ago it was felt that, as a result of the big impetus to traffic which the completion of the Main Trunk line gave, the Auckland station and its southern approach were not adequate to meet the demands of the times; yet since then the number of trains handled in and out of Auckland daily has increased over 50 per cent., the goods traffic has increased from 254,000 tons to 660,000 tons annually, and the revenue of £690,000 collected last year at Auckland station is over three times as much as the amount collected in 1910. These figures speak for themselves, and draw attention to the crying need which existed, and was recognised, even before the Great War, to exist, for vital improvements at Auckland.

The latter event, with the subsequent long period of post-war reconstruction, held up the prosecution of major works in railway improvements to existing lines, but it did not ease the pressure upon our limited resources. One effect of this unavoidable delay was to give an opening for competitive services, even for classes of traffic in which, with adequate facilities, we should have held our own.

As a result of the improvements now made I expect to find the traffic at Auckland develop still more rapidly, and so justify the faith of those who have planned and worked through so many difficult years for this great objective.

I desire to offer my congratulations to Auckland City and Province, and, indeed, to New Zealand, upon obtaining this magnificent addition to the already fine general traffic and transport facilities for passengers and goods, both local and overseas, at New Zealand's great northern entrepoct.

General Manager, New Zealand Railways.