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Costly Railway Delay
Slow Turn-Round of Trucks CONSIGNEES AT FAULT
The delay' with railway wagons caused- by slow unloading, particularly at unattended sidings on both main and branch lines, is a problem which seri ously affects the Western Australian Government Railway's economy and service to the public. 'Slow turn round.' it is called, and those who
receive or consign their goods in truck lots, or part truck lots, can do much to minimise the delays to a very con siderable extent, the Department points out. Checks have disclosed that, at many sidings, wagons containing consign ments for a number of consignees are subjected to long waitijg before being completely unloaded. Instances of delays up to four weeks have been noted. Such a waste of time is quite unjustifiable and may cause serious loss to producers, in addition to worsening the crippling effect which a slow turn round has on the Department's stock of wagons. Everyone who holds up a railway wagon, by slow unloading or delayed loading, is incoaveniencing his neighbor and handicapping the prim ary producer. On June 30th, 1949, the Department had 11,082 goods vehicle^, with a total capacity of 119,337 tons. During the year the W.A.G.TJ. carried a total of 3,329,0S0 tons of goods and livestock an average distance of 143.78 miltes. The principal loads carried were: — Coal,, 396,816 tons ; wheat, 509,786 tons ; wool, 38,433 tons; fertilisers, 233,815 tons; fruit and .vegetables, 115,801 tons; live stock, 162,756 tons; timber, 231,243 tons; and firewood. 91,58C tons. The balance was made up of general items, including nearly 600,000 tons of Depart mental traffic, such as water, coal, sleepers, ballast, etc. Not ail the Department's 'goods veh icles' are suitable for general purposes and a proportion is always listed for repair. However, taking an approxi mate number of 10,000 vehicles, each wagon carried 333 tons during the year. Averaging the capacity at 10 tons, each wagon made thirty-three journeys o^ 1451 miles in that period, or one every eleven days. That is not nearly good* enough. It does not pay the Depart ment; neither does it pay the public. In fact, it is very bad for the economy of the State generally and the produc ers in particular. The quicker railway wagons — and tarpaulins, too — are released by con signees, the more quicklv those wagons can be supplied to and loaded by those who are waiting to rat'l their produce to other destinations with wool, wheat firewood, fruit, vegetables, timber and the like, so urgently in dejnand locally or overseas. So. too, can those wagons be given a quick turn-round at ports and markets for supply to consignees wait ing to load important goods for the pro ducer — fertilisers, oils, machinery, building material, clothing and many other general but essential items neces sary for the common welfare. Neighbor can help neighbor by un loading goods at unattended, places, instead of allowing them to remain in the wagons — perhaps for weeks as already mentioned. Slow turn-round may mean financial loss to folk because of fluctuations in market prices. Neigh bors can advise neighbors that theiv soods are at the siding, aiid so give them the opportunity t-- effect a quick delivery. By such methods, there will be avoided delays to trains, due to extra shunting by employees in sorting out empty wagons from those still partly loaded. This in turn wiil save fuel and unnecessary labor, in adduion to speed ing up delivery of goods and livestock or the supply of empty \ri.jons to some one further along the track. It will. too. enable earlier delivery of livestock and perishable produce to the markets. The Western Australian Government Railways Commission is making a strong appeal to all those who receive goods in wagons at unattended siding?, or who are waiting for the supply of empty trucks, to help tc keep them mov ing by eliminating 'slow turn-round,' and to co-operate with the W.A.G.R. employees in the task which lies aheaJ of them, especially as the State so largely depends upon the railways for the transportation of its goods and produce.