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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)

Railway Progress in New Zealand — General Manager'S Message'S — Indications Of Railway Recovery

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Railway Progress in New Zealand
General Manager'S Message'S
Indications Of Railway Recovery.

Following the improvement in the financial position of the New Zealand Railways recently announced, it is pleasing to find that the latest reports from Great Britain indicate a satisfactory increase in receipts during the last seven weeks (compared with the corresponding period last year) amounting to £605,000. The British group railways have had a hard time during the past four years, their total net receipts dropping from £40 million in 1929 to £24 million in 1932. The more recent recovery both there and in this country, may perhaps be an indication that trade generally is on the mend.

The net revenue of the New Zealand Railways fell by £240,000 between 1930 and 1931, but recovered to the extent of £162,000 between 1931 and 1933, and for the current financial year to date shews a further recovery amounting to £32,000.

The latest trade figures regarding New Zealand's primary products shew an upward tendency in prices, a result which should help to accelerate the revival in railway business that is so important a factor in national welfare.

Business And Pleasure.—Among the special train excursions of the winter season not any have been more successful than those associated with the national game of Rugby football. The matches for the Ranfurly Shield have created exceptional interest in the South Island, new records in the numbers carried being established for excursions from Southland and the West Coast. In the North Island, too, the Wellington-Auckland match at Auckland saw an unprecedented number carried between these cities for an event of the kind. For all these excursions exceptionally low rates have been charged, and this facility has undoubtedly been an important factor in developing a travel interest in the matches themselves.

The comparatively forward condition of the Department's rolling-stock programme has had an important bearing on the success of these excursions, for almost all the trains have been composed of the more modern type of cars which gave added comfort on the long journeys that were made. The railways have again demonstrated their value as a source of service to the community and the community response has enabled the railways to perform this useful function to the community with profit to itself.

The Stratford-Okahukura Line.—During the month the new northern outlet for Taranaki via the Stratford-Okahukara line has been taken over by the Department, and a timetable provided which is meeting with general public favour in the districts most affected. The new line has features of considerable importance from an operating aspect, including an alternative route between north and south in case of a temporary line blockage on the central portion of the Main Trunk between Okahukura and Marton. But its main importance lies in the opportunity for increased railway traffic which the line provides, and as it gives a definite benefit to the districts which it serves, a full measure of public support from these districts is essentially required in the interest of the country as a whole.

General Manager.