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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11 (March 1, 1929)

Rail and Air Transport

page 48

Rail and Air Transport

How many New Zealand railwayman, one wonders, have, as yet, given serious consideration to the changes in the world of transport likely to follow the development of air travel? The movement of both passengers and merchandise by air is certain to expand very materially in the years which lie ahead, and the subject is one of very real concern for the railway worker of every land (writes our special London Correspondent).

In Europe, the world of flight knows no more able expert than Sir W. Sefton Brancker, whose recent presidential address to the Institute of Transport dealt with the topic of co-ordination between aviation and other forms of transport, including railways. In this address it was remarked that air transport had much to learn from railways, and also that railways had something to gain from air transport. At present we were on the threshold of vast and far-reaching developments in air commerce. Air commerce would benefit every activity in the civilised world, and amongst them the older forms of transport—rail, road and water—which could so adjust their spheres of activity as to avoid clashing and to make full use of the facilities offered by air. It was Sir Sefton Brancker's belief that, ultimately, railways would adapt aviation to their own peculiar needs and run air services of their own. Who knows but that the day may not be so very far distant when the tourist contemplating visiting New Zealand from, say, Australia, will simply purchase, at the point of departure, a combined rail-air ticket which will cover the flight by air across from Australia to New Zealand, the complete tour of the latter country by rail and road services operated by the Railway Department, and the return by air to the home station in Australia? Similar services operating to and from the United States also, are not beyond the bounds of possibility. In any case, the railwayman would do well to watch, with the keenest attention, every single development in the realm of air transport, for this new form of movement, while subject to obvious limitations, has undoubtedly a remarkable future before it.

A special train arrived in Stratford from Kohuratahi yesterday morning with 41 trucks from the sheep fair held at Kohuratahi, and a further 17 trucks will be brought forward by the usual train this morning. The fact that buyers as far south as Waverley were able to have their sheep on their farms within 24 hours from the time of purchase at Kohuratahi speaks well for the organisation of the Railway Department (says the Wanganui “Chronicle” of 7th Feb.).