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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 10 (February 1, 1928)

Editorial — The Holiday Month

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The Holiday Month.

February is, of all months in the year, the favourite for holiday travel in New Zealand. The weather is usually at its steadiest, the rush of business and seasonal traffic associated with the festive Christmas period is over, adjustments to New Year conditions have been made, and holiday-making for the holiday's sake is the great thing needed if “the fever and the fret” of the past twelve months is to be forgotten.

Now is the time when new tissue may be developed and general repairs effected upon the hard-worked human machine that requires at least one thorough overhaul per annum if breakdowns are to be avoided.

A holiday in New Zealand offers unequalled opportunities for choice among the multitude of ways by which the benefits of travel may be applied to the refreshment of mind, body and spirit. In all our hundred thousand square miles of territory there is hardly a mile that could fairly be described as flat, stale and unprofitable, whilst within our boundaries are found so many places of exquisite charm and allurement that a mere list of their names would occupy pages. Hence it is that the custom has developed of concentrating attention upon a certain few, and leaving the rest to be discovered by those who love to stray from off the regular tourist routes and seek out new travel pleasures for themselves. The considerable area of mountainous country in the two main islands may be matter for regret among the frugal-minded, who would prefer to have the place so levelled off that every acre could be brought under the plough; but the mountains serve an excellent purpose in regulating winds, conserving rainfall, and adding untold wealth of scenic attractions to the other endowments of Nature so bountifully bestowed upon this country.

With the completion of certain connecting links of railway and the association between Railways and motor organisations for bridging the few remaining gaps in the system, the Department is better equipped than ever before to help tourists during this holiday month to travel in comfort to their chosen holiday resorts.

The specialising in week-end trips, which has been a feature of recent months in the various railway districts, has served to whet the appetites of New Zealanders for more knowledge of their own country. Those who have made the journeys have spread the story of the wonderful things they have seen and the joyous times they have had, so that the popularity of rail travel is increasing daily, and interest in the places visited is intensified. Weekending at such places as the kauri forests of the Dargaville district, Rotorua and Wairakei, Mt. Egmont, Wanganui River, the Manawatu Gorge, the Otira Gorge, the Bealey Glacier, and the Southern Lakes, besides being pleasurable in itself serves as a useful guide when deciding what to do with the annual holiday. For it is clear to all who have made the journeys that every one of the places named is worthy of a longer stay when the pressure of time is not so insistent.

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The courteous attention and consideration shewn by the railway staff towards those making week-end trips has made a deep impression upon the thousands who have travelled in this way. Many of these were practically strangers to rail travel and had no idea of the standard to which “service” on the N.Z.R. had attained. It is by an extension of this feeling regarding the quality of attention and assistance rendered and the general comfort and safety of travel by rail that the remaining months of our working year may be made to show steadily improving financial results.

The yacht “Winifred” (last year's Otago contestant for the Sanders Cup) on Otago Harbour. (The yacht is owned by a Dunedin railwayman, Mr. Geo. Kellett.)

The yacht “Winifred” (last year's Otago contestant for the Sanders Cup) on Otago Harbour. (The yacht is owned by a Dunedin railwayman, Mr. Geo. Kellett.)

Penny Railage.

Penny postage is a feature of every-day life nowadays, although for many years it remained nothing but the dream of one progressive statesman.

Penny railage is on a different footing, for it has been customary to rate railway traffic by the ton. The matter may be scaled down, however, to see how much of various kinds of commodities may be carried for a penny, and recently the four principal railway companies in Britain arranged a very effective window display on these lines.

In New Zealand.

The low rates at which foodstuffs of various kinds are carried on the N.Z. Railways are indicated in the following table:—

What We Carry for a Penny.

Fresh Fish, 3 1/4lb, Dunedin to Christchurch, 230 miles.

Sugar, 3lb, Wellington to Napier, 199 miles. Biscuits and Confectionery, 2lb, Wellington to New Plymouth, 251 miles.

Cocoa, 2 1/2lb, Auckland to Taumarunui, 175 miles.

Jam, 3lb, Christchurch to Waiau, 82 miles.

Tea, 2 1/2lb, Dunedin to Cromwell, 155 miles. Onions, 9lb, Palmerston to Te Kuiti, 213 miles. Flour, 13lb, Wanganui to Inglewood, 91 miles. Coffee, 2 1/2lb, Christchurch to Greymouth, 145 miles.

Bacon, 2lb, Napier to New Plymouth, 276 miles.

Eggs, 3 1/2lb, Timaru to Dunedin, 131 miles.

Fruit (preserved), 4¾lb Dunedin to Balclutha, 53 miles.

Butter, 5¼lb, Hamilton to Taumarunui, 91 miles.

Fresh Fruit, 6lb, Hastings to Wellington, 187 miles.

Oatmeal, 10lb, Christchurch to Oamaru, 152 miles.

Potatoes, 13⅓lb, Wellington to Palmerston North, 87 miles.

Railways of India and New Zealand

Mr. H. A. Brown, Mechanical Engineer for the Government Railways of India, in a recent interview given to a representative of the New Zealand “Herald,” said that the railway service is more important to India than perhaps to any other country because in large areas it is the only means of communication.

“India probably has the cheapest railway service in the world,” continued Mr. Brown, “and it pays very well. We have four classes—first, second, intermediate and third—the last-mentioned being used exclusively by natives, who travel in thousands. The conditions are such that the Government has catered especially for the natives, who are very proud of the system.”

Speaking of the New Zealand Railway system, Mr. Brown said that, taking into consideration the difficult country and the narrow gauge that had to be used, excellent results had been achieved. The railways here were very comfortable and altogether the system seemed very efficiently organised.

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