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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 8 (November 2, 1936)

Railway Progress in New Zealand. — General Manager's Message. — What the Railways can do for the Public

page 8

Railway Progress in New Zealand.
General Manager's Message.
What the Railways can do for the Public.

The many things that the Railways can do for the public are not so fully realised as could be wished, although there are none of the major services that are not advertised in some way or other. It is the little incidental services, that come “all in the day's work” for the average railway-man, with which the public are not so familiar, and it is this class of service which cannot be too widely made known. For instance, a business man told me recently how greatly he appreciated a telephone call which the guard of his train had been able to arrange for him some stations ahead.

This was a small thing from the railway point of view, and the guard was only acting in the spirit expected of members of the service when dealing with its clients, but it evidently meant much to the man and the business concerned, and was gratefully acknowledged accordingly.

I would like the public to regard every railway-man as a friend in all matters, and especially those associated with transport, and to ask freely for advice, information, and assistance in these matters. Railway-men should be ever ready to help in unanticipated ways, using the great resources of the whole national transportation system for the benefit of the Department's customers. What is done on other railways along these lines has been summarised interestingly in “Railway Information,” a publication of the British Railways Press Office, London. It instances “water for the dog on the journey, letters by train, the sending of telegrams from the train, break of journey, connections, luggage in advance, tickets in advance, holiday zone season tickets, invalid travel, rugs and pillows, refreshments, save to travel, reduced rates for motor-cars, cheap tickets for bicycles and dogs, storage of cycles, warehousing railhead distribution, town cartage.”

Most of the above services and many others not mentioned, are given as incidental to the usual run of business on the railways of New Zealand. Household removals with no bother at all to the householder; paddocking and watering livestock on long journeys; watchful care over children; a comprehensive range of all travelling requirements at Railway bookstalls and refreshment rooms; advice and guidance in travel or the despatch of goods to any part of New Zealand; checking luggage to any station, and to and from overseas vessels at the main ports; portable railway booking offices alongside arriving liners at Auckland and Wellington for booking passengers and checking or stowing luggage; business agents at call to explain and assist in transport arrangements; special compartments for hire on trains; customs clearance service at principal ports for country clients; the issue of a Locality Guide giving the names and distance from the nearest railway stations of all places where people live in New Zealand—all these, and many other aids to transport are given as part of the general service provided by the railways of this country.

I would ask the staff to place a full appreciation on the value of these services to the public and to help in making them known as widely as possible so that customers (actual and potential) may make the most effective use of the facilities provided for them by the National Transportation System.

General Manager.