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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 12 (March 1, 1935)

Train Travel, Far and Near

Train Travel, Far and Near.

In their infancy, trains were a luxury, but to-day the railway is as necessary as soap—more so, in fact, because you can cover infinitely more ground by stepping on the train than you can by stepping on the soap.

The railways to-day are as ubiquitous as cabbage in the restaurant belt, and one has only to step into any station in the world to find a railway.

“Travel by rail” is no empty euphonism, because you can't travel at all if you don't, for

In Yugoslav the trains whip through,
And you go, I go, we go, too,
By rail through Hungary and Crotia—
Unless we stay in Nova Scotia.
In Switzerland the people go
By train to yodel in the snow,
And, just like we, on stations kiss—
Unless of course they “miss their Swiss.”
And Italy has gone to pains,
To build the very Fascist trains.
In Argentine the trains are rampers,
And pant all day across the pampas,
Where Rumba and the shy Sombrero,
Flee panting from the wild Bolero.
And, even out in far Uganda,
Through jungle does the train meander.
New Zealand, as you know, of course,
Is traversed by the “Iron Horse,”
No sooner here than it has gone—
Which makes us feel extremely “bon.”
In South America we know,
The trains perforce must travel slow,
Because they take the local grandees,
Tip-tilted up the dizzy Andes,
And crawl aloft in lowest gear,
With people resting on one ear;
They change the ear on which they ride,
When travelling down the other side.
Where'er you go, in spots worth while,
You'll find the railway, mile on mile.
Where'er you take your bone and gristle,
You'll likely hear an engine whistle;
And, if in doubt or perturbation,
You'll beat it to the nearest station,
Because, in desert heat or snow,
The train's a friend you know you know.

A country without a railway is tantamount to a plate of fried eggs without the eggs.

“You can cover more ground by stepping on the train than by stepping on the soap.”

“You can cover more ground by stepping on the train than by stepping on the soap.”