The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9 (January 1, 1928)
Fired by Figures
Fired by Figures.
Having heaved that weight of statistical stuff off our chests let us look around a little for the romance of goods transport.
It is not everybody who can be fired by a string of figures, but they always seem to set my mind working in the valley of symbolism. Have you ever seen a crowded goods yard on a foggy night, with No. 81 held up for two three four running late, a cattle train waiting in one siding, a sheep train in another, several coal specials crowding the yard, a miscellaneous assortment of mixed goods to be pushed through, the up express expected every minute, and No. 85, the paper train, shrieking for a chance to get through in time to tell the news of the world for to-morrow's Backblocks' breakfast! With fogmen out to repeat the signals, engines slipping on the greasy rails, shunters waving frantically and shouting through the fog, and signalmen at their wits' ends to know how to clear their yards before the first glimmering streaks of the raw dawn arrive to find them ready for the new day's work—if you have never lived through that, then the world of romance has not yet revealed to you all its secrets.