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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 9 (April 1, 1931)

European Tourist Season

European Tourist Season.

European railways are now putting in hand their passenger publicity campaigns for the 1931 tourist season, extending from May to October. The first big passenger movement of the year is that of conveying to and from Holland the large numbers of travellers who annually make the pilgrimage to the Netherlands during the spring bulb season. Holland is the biggest bulb-growing country in the world, and during late April and May the whole countryside is one vast mass of bloom, the combinations of colours forming a sight probably unequalled the world over.

Owing to the flat nature of the country, railway operation in Holland is a comparatively simple business. There are in page 22 all about 2,400 miles of railway track in the land, about half of this mileage being Government-owned. Leases of Government lines are held by two private companies, the Holland Iron Railway, and the Company of Exploitation of State Railways, both of which themselves also own important stretches of track. For service on the main lines in the Amsterdam and Rotterdam areas, the State Railways have recently introduced a new “3900” class of fast passenger locomotive, of the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement, and having four cylinders. Weighing 144½ tons, this machine is actually the heaviest engine of this wheel arrangement in the whole of Europe.

During the Dutch bulb season the Home railways secure attractive publicity for their continental services by the display of large bowls of the brightly coloured blooms in the windows of the various city offices and tourist bureaux.