The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 1889. THE TRAIN SERVICE.
The proposals of the Railway Commissioners with reference to the train service will certainly need modification unless they are prepared to encounter two things, namely, widespread public dissatisfaction and loss of revenue to the Department. As we pointed out on a previous occasion, the Commissioners m aiming at serving the convenience of through passengers between the termini appear to have overlooked the fact that this cannot be done m the way they propose without seriously inconveniencing travellers from either terminus to wayside stations and between wayside Btation and wayside station. As the latter represent (it we recollect rightly) more than three-fourths of the revenue from the express passenger traffic it is obvious that to subordinate the claims of the majority to those of the minority is impolitic and unfair. We have looked for a return which showed this m detail and which was laid upon the table of the House of Representatives some years ago on the motion of Mr Montgomery, but we cannot find it m the appendices to the journals, and presume therefore that it was not ordered to be printed, but we think we are understating the fact when we put the inter-station as distinguished from the inter terminal traffic as more than three-fourths of the whole. That this is so can be gathered from the lists of through passengers published daily m Christchurch and Dunedin papers, the number goipg through to Christchurch from South of Btudholme Junction on Monday, for example, being only two. We have nothing to say against the shortening of the time occupied m running the train, but Qn the contrary, it is desirable that this should be done if it can be managed without cutting off country settlers from the advantages of the express service, but if this cannot be done then it is far better that the present time-table should be adhered to than that it should be altered as proposed. As to the arguments used m favor of starting from Christchurch at eleven instead of a little after eight a.m. there is very little m them. The Union Company's steamers can now connect at Lyttelton with the train which catcher the express if they choose, and, aa a matter of fact, as was pointed out by Mr Walker at the public meeting held at the Borough Chambers, they usually do, and as regards the argument that people arriving m (Ohristchurch by the express one night poul4 transact their business and return home nest day if the time of starting the South express were put back to 11 am. it is patent that not one periT nn * n twenty would avail himself of such an op;? vtm[t 7' For »s b si- ßness does not commence at mt,"! a ' s ?* public offices before 10 o'clock as a rule, and as a quarter of an hour must be allowed-for to get back to the train three-quarters of an hour would be all that would be left to transact business m. Even if this sufficed there are very few people who would care to rush to and fro m such violent haste, and it is decidedly contrary to the interests of the termini that they should do so. In a word the proposed change is as the Mayor put it only m the interest of a few " globe-trotters," and while we do not say that they deserve no consideration, we do say that those who reside m the colony and have to pay for the railways deserve infinitely more. On the whole then, the best thing the Commissioners can do is to start the express at the same hour as at present, call at the game places, but run at a little faster speed. As to the alterations m the other trains those proposed for the traffic south of Ashburton are the most objectionable, and will we should imagine m face of the universal protest be reconsidered. They will not work atall ?
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