Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 6 (October 1, 1929)

Current Comments

page 17

Current Comments

Comfort on N.Z. Expresses.

As reported in the daily press a recent visitor to the United States, Mr. Gerald Pattle, of Palmerston North, is of opinion that the American railway carriages are not more comfortable than those on the New Zealand Railways. “Our railways are very little behind those of America, taking into comparison the narrow gauge to be contended with in our country,” he stated. American trains had longer non-stop runs, and some of the expresses were faster, but the majority of them were not as comfortable as the New Zealand expresses. In the carriages used in the Dominion the seating accommodation was convenient and comfortable, but, as the railway car in America had to be converted into a sleeper at night, the seats were almost upright during the day, and consequently did not allow the traveller to recline properly. As far as the dining services on the American railways were concerned, Mr. Pattle thought these most excellent. Very fine food, well cooked and served, was provided, and equalled that of any first-class hotel.

* * *

Bicentenary of Newcomen's Death.

The Devonshire Association and the Newcomen Society recently celebrated at Dartmouth, England, the bicentenary of the death of Thomas Newcomen, the inventor of the steam-engine. Engineer-Captain E. C. Smith, R.N., in an address on the occasion, spoke of the four great landmarks in the history of the steam-engine, the first of which was the introduction of the atmospheric steam-engine by Newcomen; the second, the discoveries by James Watt; the third, the adoption of the marine compound engine; and the fourth, the invention of the turbine. Newcomen's invention was the first successful application of science in the development of the motive-power engine. Little honour had been paid to him in the past, but in 1921 a memorial was erected at Dartmouth, and the Newcomen Society, founded a few years ago for the study of the history of engineering and technology, hoped to obtain permission to place another memorial on the walls of Bunhill Fields, London, where he was buried in 1729, in a grave the site of which was now not known.

* * *

The Railways and Industry.

Speaking at the recent annual reunion of the Chief Accountant's Branch of the New Zealand Railways, the Assistant-General Manager of Railways, Mr. M. Dennehy, said he considered it safe to say that without the railways, modern industry could not have attained its present high standard. The railways, more than any other factor, by cheapening transportation, had been responsible for the great industrial revolution of the last fifty years. In New Zealand the railways had been responsible for geographical divisions of labour which could not otherwise have taken place. They enabled the coal mines to be worked, the timber industry to be developed, stock to be brought to the markets and to the freezing works, and, particularly in the early days in Canterbury, wheat to be carried to the ships.

* * *

Pillow “Snips.”

On the New Zealand Railways for some time past pillows have been supplied for hire on the principal long distance trains. These are fine fat pillows, for which newly laundered slips are supplied after each run, and they add greatly to the comfort of travel. Their increasing popularity with the public has led to their introduction on several additional trains.

A member of the Scots community at Dunedin booked for the first time by the “Night Express” to Christchurch recently. Shortly after the journey commenced the train attendant went through the ordinary carriages with a supply of these pillows. “How much?” asked the Dunedin man. “One shilling,” was the reply. “I'll take three,” said McTavish instantly. This rather staggered the attendant, so he diffidently asked why three were wanted by one man. “Can't we keep them?” said McTavish.

page break