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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 7 (October 1, 1934)

Railway Progress in New Zealand General Manager's Message

Railway Progress in New Zealand General Manager's Message

Fruitful Effort.

On more than one occasion attention has been drawn in these messages to the fact that the welfare of the individuals employed by the Railway Department is dependent to some extent upon the success of the railways in securing business. The point has also been stressed that national welfare is closely allied to railway operations and that support given to the railways would help to reduce taxation. Both these results are indicated in the recent Budget announcement of a partial restoration of wage reductions coupled with a certain degree of relief in other directions.

In this connection it is interesting to recall that the worst railway year in recent times was 1931 when the net earnings of the Railways amounted to only £688,727. Following this, the first wage reduction was made. The net revenue for the year ended 31st March, 1934, was £1,085,558, an improvement of £396,831 upon 1931. This improvement, followed (as it has been) by the Government's decision to increase wages by five per cent., as well as to afford some amelioration in other directions, leaves good ground for the hope that railwaymen will strengthen their efforts to make the service they render increasingly attractive to the public, and for the public to give all possible support to the national transportation system which so closely affects the general financial position of the country.

Seeking Business.

Every effort of the Board and the Management, after providing for the safety of the system and the adequacy of rolling-stock and facilities, is devoted to following up opportunities for increased business. Each suggestion received either from the staff or the public is welcomed, and if, after examination, it holds out any reasonable prospect of securing remunerative traffic for the Department, it is adopted.

In passenger traffic, the most notable success (following the adoption of all-the-year-round return excursion fares) has been in special excursions to favourite localities or for events of public interest. Opportunity is also taken to co-operate in efforts to make our tourist and week-end resorts more attractive, or better known through combined publicity with local authorities and other interests.

In goods traffic an improvement is also shewn; and the transport facilities and advantages offered by the Department are kept before those requiring freight service. In this matter the business of the Department—and, with it, the welfare of the Dominion—has suffered unduly in recent years as a result of unregulated road competition.


The current financial year, with six months accounted for, has shewn increases in both the quantity of traffic carried and the net revenue derived therefrom. I trust that this tendency may continue, and result in still further improvement in the railway position and business generally.

General Manager.