Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 7 (November 1, 1929)


The conscious development of aptitudes is one of the features of modern education. It is also, without being so particularly expressed, the main feature in modern business. The same notion has of course been understood and practised by individuals from time immemorial. In the fields of fashion there are many extremely interesting historical records of fashions being adopted either to hide or display the physical idiosyncrasies of individuals. Byron, it will be remembered, suffered from foot deformity, and it is thought that this, preying on his mind, tended to embitter his outlook on life. As a relief he sought excellence in swimming, where the disability ceased to be of much moment.

The ancient wisdom contained in the proverb “In the country of the blind, the oneeyed man is king” has come to have special significance in regard to business relations at the present day. All progressive business consists in a ceaseless search for points of advantage that may help the individual business as compared with others—ceaseless because the factors that make up the conditions under which commercial competition progresses are constantly changing in number, scale, and relative significance.

So it has come about that the railways of to-day are engaged in a campaign of sorting, readjusting and reassembling to develop those features of their service in which they are able to supply the public with exceptional, and, if possible, exclusive transport facilities—exclusive, that is, in the sense that their equivalent cannot be supplied by any other means of transport.

The point has recently been made by British and American journals that the very congestion created on the roads through the increased number of privately-owned motor cars may be turned to the comparative advantage of the Railways, and pointed attention has been drawn to the action of the Insull Lines, a system which serves the country outside Chicago. Here the advertisements stress the fact that greater speed and greater safety are available to the citizens of Chicago visiting the nearby holiday resorts by comfortable electric trains rather than by motoring on the congested main roads. An intensive campaign has resulted in owners leaving their cars at home and going by rail.

Similar action has been taken elsewhere, by steam operated lines, and here in New Zealand already on certain race-days there is a developing tendency to revert to the railway for the same reason. New Zealand railway endeavours to develop along specialised lines in transport efficiency have found expression in two types of transport not previously tried out, and in both cases marked success has been achieved. These types are the farmers’ trains and the commerce page 7 trains; the second of the latter for the Auckland district is to leave the Queen City on the 15th of the present month for a nine-days' tour of the Northern part of New Zealand. The running of these types of trains has emphasised the fact that no other means of transport could so effectively aid towards the desired end of giving fast, comfortable, low-priced transport for large parties of similarly interested groups during a tour covering an extended area in a necessarily limited period of time. In every instance where these special type trips have been organised their success has been acknowledged directly by those who made the special journeys and indirectly by the fact that future trips of the same kind have been planned and carried through.

There are many other points of advantage which the railways can offer, but the above are mentioned as an indication of the general tendency of the times in the direction of developing the aptitudes of business as well as the aptitudes of individuals in the course of the world's steady advance towards a higher civilisation.