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Sm,—There is a universal cry throughout the whole of New Zealand for a reduction of railway rates, but as far as I know it has never been shown by figures that * reduction could be safely made. However, by taking the figures of the annual report on workiug railways, in which it says that the rate for working the Hurunui-Bluff section for 1888-89 was 2*37 d per ton per mile, we have the following itriking results:—The actual cost, including all charges for hauling a truck load of sheep fifty miles, allowing two tons of sheep m the truck, is 19s 9d, while the rate charged by the railway department to the public is 38s 9d, for the same service. This gives a clear margin for interest and sinking fund of 19s per truck. From a business point of view, no one would complain ■■■ot this if all the sheep were carried by- the railways, but a majority go on look As proof of this the railways only carried 461,826 sheep of all descriptions in the year, while there were about 700,000 sfie#p exported as freezers, and mnother 500,<*(M) fat sheep consumed in Christchurch, Danedin, and Invercargill (allowing i the Kheep for consumption in Timaru and Oamaru to be driven in on foot), making a total of 1,200,000 fat sheep slaughtered on the CulverdenBluff section, of which the railways carried a little more than a third, to say nothing of store sheep. At the same time, one muse remember that a very large percentage of the 2*37 dis a fixed charge, which becomes larger or smaller according to the decrease or increase of traffic, and that |he charges which would be increased by an increase of traffic, would not amount to more than a half-penny per ton per mile. Both Mr Findlay, of the London and North-western Bailway, and Sir Lyon flayfair state that two ounces of coal will Wj a ton a mile. Estimating a ton of coal hi 255, it will cost '067 of afarthmg for coal* Maintenance of locomotives trucks, and track surfacing are the only other charges that are ruled by the quantity of trajfic, and anyone can see that they would form a rery small percentage of the 2*37 of ft penny. The owner of a large property who sends about 3000 freezers away every year told me that he drives fat aheep to Belfast,..a •}ustan«e of abiut eighty miles* »t » cosfc ot* *<* P er nea(*' while sending the same shee n "y ra^ costs from 9cl to 13d per . * 'icofding to size of sheep, Ffom fifnVw it will be seen that, lower rates # tnmfl flames of goods would be a Srect benefit >* to *he railways and the public-lam^, E . F . WwoHT .

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Bibliographic details

REDUCTION OF RAILWAY RATES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2560, 3 November 1890

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REDUCTION OF RAILWAY RATES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2560, 3 November 1890

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