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Mr Samuel Vaile is a restless critic of tho railway management. He could not be content even with the savings announced to have been made during the past year. In a letter to tho Press, under tho heading ‘Screwing our Railways : Where the Screw Bites Hardest,’ ho says :

Last year our Railway Commissioners, then only plain Messrs Maxwell and Hammy, estimated the railway revenue for the year at L 1,040,000. Tho returns have now been published, and the result shows gross earnings L 997.615 only, or 1.42,385 less than their estimate, and notwithstanding tho great increase in our export trade, only L 2,772 more gross revenue than in 1887-83, one of our very worst years.

Such figures as these would never do for brand new Commissioners. Something must bo done, and so the screw was applied vigorously, in order to make the net loss appear less, by making what they choose to call “ savings ” in the expenditure. L 40,285 has been obtained in this way, and of this amount Auckland has been made to contribute L 17.473 from her 247 miles (including Kawakawa), while 1,494 miles in the other parts of the colony provide between them the remaining L 22,810. This is how the various turns in the screw came out; —

On the Whangarei-Kamo line the expenditure has been increased by 15.7 per cent,, and at Westport by 19.7 per cent. No man knows “ how to pluck the goose without making her squeal ” so well as the “ railway expert,” and it will be seen they have plucked judiciously. According to their time-honored custom, they have taken from where they expected to meet with the least resistance. The percentage of “ savings ” in working the Auckland lines is 20 per cent,, while in Canterbury and Otago but 2.3 per cent., and in Wellington 4.9 per cent, could he saved. This means that is being transferred from Auckland as rapidly as possible. If the above figures represent legitimate savings, I ask how it happens that nearly twice the amount could be saved on 257 miles in Auckland than could bo saved on a complete system of 1,048 miles in the South Island,

Miles. District Amount o( Screwing. Percentage o( Screwing. 207 Auckland .. £17,473 43.4 97 Napier 3,770 9.3 85 Wellington 2,433 0 0 215 Wanganui 5,821 11.4 1,018 Hurunnl .. 9,241 22.9 8 Oreymoulh 3,320 8.2 23 Nelson .. 309 0.7 18 Picton .. 170 0.4

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THE RAILWAY SAVINGS., Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

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THE RAILWAY SAVINGS. Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

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