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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 6 (October 1, 1930)

Rail and Air Services

Rail and Air Services.

All over the world airplane services for passengers, and for merchandise of high value or of a perishable nature, are now acting as subsidiaries to the railway. In the United States a lead has been set by the development of through rail-air transcontinental services, linking the Atlantic with the Pacific, while in Europe rail and air carriers are collaborating to a considerable extent in the building up and operation of joint services. Recently one of the Home railways—the Southern system—has acquired a big financial interest in the important flying concern known as Imperial Airways Limited. Like the other Home railways, the Southern was last year granted permission by the Government to operate its own air lines should it so desire, or to co-operate with existing air carriers to any extent that might be considered advisable. Now this go-ahead railway, serving almost the whole of Southern England, is embarking upon an ambitious plan for combined rail-air movement.

“All Tickets Ready Please!“ A ticket examiner at work on the Southern Railway of England.

“All Tickets Ready Please!“
A ticket examiner at work on the Southern Railway of England.

Imperial Airways Limited was formed in 1924, by the combination of several leading flying undertakings. To-day, the organisation covers, each week-day, about 1,000 miles of air routes between London and the Continent, in addition to the England-India mail route of approximately 5,500 miles. The Continental routes from London are to Paris, via Le Touquet; to Zurich, via Paris and Basle; and to Cologne, via Ostend and Brussels. By page 20 co-operation between Imperial Airways the Southern Railway, through rail-air movement between Southern England and all parts of Europe has been established, and across the Channel the co-operation of the various foreign railways has established convenient connections between the airplanes operating from London and cities off the direct European flying routes. A typical example of this co-operation is found in the through air-rail service between England and Greece. This is maintained by airplane between London and Cologne, in Germany, and by the “Orient Express” on the railways between Germany and Greece.