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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)


Railways have always offered interesting and worth-while employment to the ambitious and careful worker. To-day there are genuine opportunities within the railway industry for the go-ahead man. Railways everywhere have discovered the need for men of broad education and wide vision, untrammelled by the shibboleths of the past, to grapple with the many diverse problems associated with inland transportation. No longer is transport divided into water-tight compartments, such as railway working, road conveyance, canal movement, and so on. For the first time, transport is now viewed as a whole, and the necessity for broad minds and wide visions among railway workers is indeed real.

Sir Josiah Stamp, Chairman and President of the Executive of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, probably the best-known railway leader in the world, recently pointed out the great need for the study of transport as a whole, and the fact that, in his railway career, the young man of to-day had tremendous advantages as compared with the young man of yesterday. Speaking before a meeting of the Metropolitan Graduate and Student Society of the Institute of Transport, in London, Sir Josiah remarked that only by regarding the various modes of transportation as under one heading could there be avoided chaos and waste of capital and human energy. How was this new situation being met? It was not difficult to find men who were sufficiently skilled and instructed in one particular line of transport; but to find men who had made a practice and a habit of looking at the thing as a whole, and taking into account other aspects than their own, was still a novelty. The younger men of the transport industry, however, were beginning a mode of thought which would later become a habit, and in the future, when all transport matters would be dealt with on comprehensive lines, we should look back upon the days of water-tight compartments as days of barbarism.

It is well that, at this stage in transportation's progress, a man like Sir Josiah Stamp should remind us of this marked change which is taking place within the industry. The fact is that, to get out of the rut, the railwayman of to-day must interest himself in much that lies outside his own particular job. He must secure education in its widest sense, not only acquiring the fullest knowledge possible of the many branches of railway working, but also mastering the fundamentals at least of road, water and aerial transport, and keeping in touch with developments in every field of transportation. This may sound something of a task, but it is really remarkable what knowledge may be acquired by the keen seeker after information, and in the years that lie ahead the broadly educated railwayman will undoubtedly find the effort to have been well worth while.