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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 1, 1940)

Record Railway Business

Record Railway Business.

New railway records, are being set up in Britain these days. Freight traffic has attained undreamt of proportions; passenger business steadily grows; locomotive and wagon shops are turning out new equipment on an immense scale; and new junctions, running loops and sidings are being brought into use by the hundred to facilitate the war effort.

The summer passenger rush, which normally extends from Easter to the end of September, would, it was thought, prove this year to be on a greatly reduced scale. Actually, experience is showing that there is every prospect of the summer vacation bookings being well up to average. Because of the petrol rationing, large numbers of travellers are being brought to the rail route; then, there is the regular movement of parents visiting their children in the evacuation areas; and, curiously enough, there has sprung up another big passenger movement in connection with the periodical visits of members of the staffs of big city firms to their London homes, from which they were dragged away when many banks, insurance offices, and business houses transferred their headquarters into the country early in the war. Unlike the German railways—which have placed the severest restrictions on civilian movement—the Home lines are everywhere available for civilian travel. Additional trains are placed at public disposal at week-ends and public holidays, and cheap fares of various kinds continue to operate. The principal cheap bookings consist of monthly return and weekend tickets, while for day outings cheap day-tickets at single fare for the double journey prove most popular.