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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 5 (September 24, 1926)

The Board's Message — Our Magazine

page 4

The Board's Message
Our Magazine

This is the fifth issue of our Magazine and judged by the many flattering remarks as to its literary and artistic merits, we may feel fairly well satisfied with it.

While, however, literary and artistic excellence are very desirable and necessary, there are other elements required in a publication such as ours in order that it shall fulfil its object completely.

Of these other elements one, and perhaps the most important, is that our Magazine should convey a direct—a human—interest to as many individual members of the staff as possible.

The one-big-family idea is worth encouraging. The spirit of friendliness helps greatly in the accomplishment of correlated work. There is a social as well as a business side to our relations with each other, and the cultivation of the human touch adds to the happiness and contentment of members when engaged in the performance of their multifarious duties. The Magazine furnishes an outlet for news of this nature.

On the first page of each issue there has appeared an invitation to send in contributions for publication, but although many members of the staff have responded to the invitation, as have also a number of the public the response has not been so widespread as could have been wished. The Board is, therefore, making this direct and personal appeal to all members of the service to display an active interest in the production of Our Magazine, one purpose of which is to enable us to disseminate our views, aims and aspirations, not only to the public, but to our fellow members in the service, and to develop the idea, and maintain it in our minds, that this is Our Magazine in which—within reasonable limits—we may express ourselves with freedom.

Movement of staff from one locality to another is unavoidable in such a service as ours, but invariably we maintain an interest in the doings of our old station and our friends there. We want to know whether the lectures or socials are still held; how the cricket or football club is getting on; and many other similar things, small in themselves, but in each case carrying a very direct and human interest to a number of our readers.

Nor do such items by any means exhaust the possibilities, for among our 17,000 members there must be many who feel the impulse to express themselves on some subject—not necessarily “shop”—which would be of sufficient interest to warrant its appearance in Our Magazine. There would be no difficulty in keeping the columns of the Magazine filled with technical and instructional articles, but the Board wishes it to grow in other directions also, and with this object in view very cordially asks the staff to assist in developing the “human interest” side by individually taking a direct and active part and by forwarding to the Editor contributions whether of personal, local or general interest.

Some Opinions on the “N.Z.R. Magazine”

This excellent little publication, which made its first appearance in May is full of good readable matter.—The Railway Gazette.

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Please accept my thanks for your courtesy in forwarding a copy of the first issue of the New Zealand Railways Magazine. It contains some excellent information which will be of assistance to us.—W. Nash, Secretary N.Z. Labour Party.

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May I congratulate you upon the excellence of this little volume. I read substantially all of the articles with a great deal of pleasure.—C. B. Sudborough, General Traffic Manager, The Pennsylvania Railroad.

It is a very good journal, and I have read it with interest.—W. J. Thorrowgood, Signal and Telegraph Superintendent, Southern Railway, England.

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The new publication is conceived on sound lines, and will do much to foster a spirit of understanding and goodwill between the administration, the users of the Railways, and the staff.

—The New Zealand Dairyman.

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We have rarely found the first issue of a Magazine so illuminatingly interesting……The special articles are interesting and instructive even to the lay-reader and the Magazine is a thing of typographic beauty.—Feilding Star.

page 5

The Wagon's Reverie

My wheels have squealed on the frosted steel
Of a southern wintry world;
My sides have baked as I hauled my freight
Where volcanic duststorms swirled.
I've been frozen fast to a crossing track
In the Central Otago Pass,
And I've raced through a cloak of acrid smoke,
From the burning tussock grass.
I've travelled far in an aimless way,
As thousands of cars have done,
And at least I've learned that I have not earned
My keep in the long, long run.
I've been thinking to-night of the wasted miles
And the cargoes for which I've cried,
When ends didn't meet on the tonnage sheet
Because of an empty ride.
I've been routed home on an empty train
From every branch of road;
From Wanganui or to Wingatui
I've been billed with half a load,
I've come out of the Thames on a special train
With gold under heavy guard;
Then again I've sat till my wheels grew flat
In Frankton's congested yard.
I've been dreaming to-night as I hurried along
Of those carefree days of yore—
Of the tonnage small, on the outbound haul,
With an empty trip home in store,
And yet, though pleasant my dreams have been
I find they are fading fast;
And I breathe no sigh for the days gone by
For I'm paying my way, at last.

During the term of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition held at Dunedin, the New Zealand Railways exhibits, including the “Ab” class locomotive “Passehendael,” the new sleeping car (both of which were constructed in the Department's workshops) and the advertising and general display, created unusual interest and won unstinted praise. A photograph of the special Diploma of Merit which the Exhibition authorities awarded for the sleeping car exhibit is reproduced above. Similar diplomas were awarded for the “Ab” locomotive and the advertising and general display.

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Ferny Entrance to Waitcmo Fairy Cave (North Island Main Trunk)

Ferny Entrance to Waitcmo Fairy Cave (North Island Main Trunk)

page 7

Board Chairman Honoured

A pleasant little gathering took place on the 23rd ultimo in the office of the Chief Engineer, when Mr. F. J. Jones was met by a number of the senior officers who had been associated with him in the Maintenance Branch. The occasion was the presentation to Mr. Jones of a life-sized portrait of himself to be hung in the Chief Engineer's room as a link in the series of portraits of men who in past years have controlled the Maintenance Branch. The portrait bears on back the inscription:—

Presented to Mr. F. J. Jones, M. Inst.C.E., by senior officers associated with him in the Maintenance Branch in token of their high appreciation of him as a man and as an Engineer.

The presentation was made by Mr. W. R. Davidson, Acting Chief Engineer, in a few well chosen words.

Mr. Jones in thanking the officers for the presentation expressed his pleasure at having his portrait hung in such illustrious company.

The collection of portraits comprises the following past Chief Engineers, N.Z.R.:—J. Henry Lowe, John Coom, J. Burnett, F. W. MacLean. F. J. Jones.

James Burnett 1908–1915 F. W. Maclean 1915–1924 F. J. Jones 1924 John Coom 1899–1908 John Henry Lowe 1888–1899

James Burnett 1908–1915
F. W. Maclean 1915–1924
F. J. Jones 1924
John Coom 1899–1908
John Henry Lowe 1888–1899

Otira Tunnel Traffic

The following figures show the steady expansion in business between the east and west coasts of the South Island since the Otira tunnel, piercing the Southern Alps, was opened:

1923–24 gross tonnage 259,000
1924–25 gross tonnage 344,000
1925–26 gross tonnage 380,000

As one-third of the total tonnage is represented by the weight of trucks the net tonnage for the 12 months ended July last, was therefore 254,000 tons or approximately 1/30 of the total goods tonnage conveyed on the whole of the New Zealand Railways.

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To know what is right and fear to do it, this is cowardice.—Froude.