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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

The Way of the Rail — Notes of the Month

page 8

The Way of the Rail
Notes of the Month

In the course of a comprehensive statement regarding the working of the New Zealand Railways for the year ended 31st March last, Mr. H. H. Sterling, the Board Chairman, presented the following interesting view of the year's figures in relation to the Dominion's Budget.

“The Budget estimate of revenue,” said Mr. Sterling, “was £5,983,00 and the actual revenue was £6,034,403—an increase of £51,403. The Budget estimate of expenditure was £5,240,717, and the actual expenditure was £5,183, 859—a decrease of £56,858. These figures showed remarkably close estimating. The Budget estimate of net revenue was £742,283, and the actual net revenue was £850,544, so that the result achieved was £108,261 better than that budgeted for.”

* * *

A railwayman who, in his period of single blessedness, had practised personal economy to such effect that he had accumulated quite a reasonable competence, once told me that whenever he was tempted to spend on a non-essential, he put himself through the following catechism:—

“Would you like it?” “Yes!” “Can you do without it?” “Yes!” “Then you shan't have it!”

Upon a somewhat similar principle was the reply of Mr. H. H. Sterling. Chairman of the New Zealand Government Railways Board, to some comment by a passenger that the railway engines do not look as spick and span as they did in former years. “I am afraid that as far as general appearance is concerned, the passenger is correct, but he can rest assured that all the moving parts of the engines are as clean as ever they have been,” Mr. Sterling said. “We must look after these to ensure perfect running, but when it comes to non-essentials, financial considerations must rule, and the fact is that we have not got as much money as we would like to spend on cleaning. Very substantial savings have been made as a result of the curtailment of cleaning.”

* * *

At Waiotira Junction on the North Auckland railway the lines branch northeasterly for Whangarei and northwesterly towards Dargaville. The express from Auckland which serves Northland runs through to Whangarei, and beyond to Opua (for Russell). On the 17th June, for the first time, a carriage for Dargaville passengers was attached to the northern express from Auckland. This was the first occasion on which it has been possible to travel on the Dargaville line without the necessity of changing trains, and the innovation was a trial to find if public support warrants its continuance. The carriage was shunted at Waiotira to the branch train, and from Kirikopuni to Tangowahine it was run over the line at present controlled by the Public Works Department.

* * *

By putting on a mixed train to leave Ohakune at 10.0 a.m. every week-day for Frankton, the Department now enables passengers from the King Country to connect at Frankton with the fast passenger express which arrives in Auckland at 11.0 p.m. The time-table has not previously provided for passengers from south of Te Kuiti to make this through connection. The new service is particularly convenient for Taumarunui people, who can leave home after luncheon and reach Auckland the same night. Doubtless, too, visitors at the Chateau Tongariro will make good use of this new convenient through service to the north.