The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)
Oh, the wild engine!” was the fervent phrase of Harold Munro, in a stirring song of the “loco.” At the moment of writing, the engine was to him a monster more spirited and terrible than the war-horse of the Scriptures, Yet the railway engine is really tamer than a child's pet rabbit, for within the walls of the hutch the rabbit is free to dance and prance, to ramp and romp. No such liberty for the engine. A fettered slave on its narrow way, it is forced to obey a masterful driver, and cannot even snort without his permission. But the driver himself has his own master, the timetable; he is in the clutch of the clock; the pitiless hands hold him to a schedule.
Think of the trains running by day and night between Wellington and Wanganui and their links with the country's life— man and his animals, his goods and chattels; the hustle and bustle at stations; the roaring rush over the flats, and the puffing up the grades. From a high aeroplane the trains would look like big centipedes, wandering without noticeable purpose, to and fro. Actually they may be better compared with the processionary caterpillar, which always trails from its home a silken line of safety.