The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1 (April 21, 1927)
In stoking up for the second year's run of our Magazine, the question of fuel—its choice, quality, weight, power and source—calls for more than passing attention.
There are sources from which a plethora of material may be obtained. In addition to our own efforts, exchanges may be tapped, special writers engaged, publications clipped, and readers drawn upon.
For the benefit of the public and the welfare of the service—the two objectives of the Magazine—we feel that the most valuable source of data is our own readers. By publishing a large proportion of original matter contributed voluntarily by those who receive this journal, it has been possible throughout its pages to make a distinctive appeal not otherwise easy of attainment, and our grateful acknowledgements are due to all who have assisted in this way.
There are, however, large numbers of capable railwaymen—many of whom are known to us either personally or by repute—whose thoughts upon the work immediately under their hands would be greatly appreciated by their fellows, but who, so far, have not taken advantage of the opportunity which our pages offer to make themselves articulate. Some of these are men of the younger generation, already holding responsible positions, keen to progress to executive control, and well equipped with both the knowledge and the capacity to impart it which would render their studied opinions and expositions of considerable value to the rest of the staff. That they have, up to the present, remained gloriously mute, may be a tribute to their modesty; but there are times when the quality of silence may be overstrained, and that to their own hurt.
The mere effort to write helps to clarify the writer's thoughts upon the subject to be dealt with; it induces research, and gives scope for the exercise of all one's capacity for well-ordered thinking, self expression, and the constructive development of ideas.
Not everything that is contributed can go into the magazine. A proportion of articles are unsuitable; some are not in keeping with the policy in view; others, again, just miss the mark through want of point, similarity to previous writings, or lack of general interest. But failure to have your contribution published does not in any way lessen the value of the effort which the writing entails. The effort is, in itself, a useful discipline of the mind, and one always knows more about a subject after writing upon it than before taking pen in hand.
An endeavour is made to find room for any worth-while matter, irrespective of the position occupied by the contributor.
Railway operations are now recognised as a national rather than a departmental business, and the interest in them extends for beyond those directly concerned in their working and use. Besides the business effect of their methods of management and the general reflexive action of their financial results on Dominion prosperity, the romance of railways has a much broader appeal than is commonly recognised, and interest in the intimate details of their working is wonderfully deep and sustained. The child's desire with a watch to get the cover off and “see the wheels go round” is shared by a multitude of grown-ups where railways are concerned.
We are endeavouring to satisfy that curiosity and to extend still further the public interest in our transport problems and their solution. In this work we have received, and expect to receive still more abundantly, the willing co-operation and assistance of our readers—both within, and outside of, the Railways—in the Dominion as well as overseas.