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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

'Scale of Fares, Rates, and Charges on the New Zealand Government Railways.'

page 29

'Scale of Fares, Rates, and Charges on the New Zealand Government Railways.'

We have but 1,886 miles of railway, and yet this is said to be necessary to describe the charges to be made on them. It comprises seventy-seven pages of foolscap folio. As regards passenger traffic, it has ordinary, single, and return fares, twenty different classes of season and excursion tickets, to say nothing of the different periods and classes for which these are issued. Then we have no less than one hundred and twenty special suburban fares, with a whole crowd of regulations in reference to the above. This for passenger traffic only, and we are told the charges are the same everywhere. For parcels, luggage, horses, carriages, dogs, calves, bicyles, perambulators, milk, etc., there is a bewildering variety of charges and regulations. It is almost impossible to enumerate them. For goods we have fourteen different classifications, with local rates innumerable and regulations as vexatious as possible. Then there are six hundred and sixteen prices quoted for the transit of 'small lots.'

Local rates, that is to say, special differential rates made for various districts, as they may be favoured by the Commissioners or otherwise, cover sixteen pages of the precious document, and still we are told that the same charges are made in each district. To interpret this mass of inconceivable confusion we have eight hundred and twelve alphabetical references, and even this again cannot be understood without numerous references to interpret it.