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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)


There are many ways of promulgating a picnic, but the permanent way is the way of all flesh. When you picnic by rail, the picnic begins where the pavement ends; from the moment you are parked in the rolling stock, cares slip from you like oysters on an escalator. There is something about a train which breathes of freedom combined with speedom. A railway carriage is saturated with the anticipations, aspirations and salutations of all the picnickers it has ever whirled to the wide and free. It is the casket containing the picnician spirit.

Thoughts are as real as raspberries; they are the minted coin of the mind and continue to circulate for long after they are uttered. They rattle and roll about the subconscious counting house. Thus a railway carriage carries a rolling stock of all the happy thoughts left behind to jingle about its precincts. It tinkles and tingles with joyous feeling; it exudes the spirit of exultation. Its leather and wood and steel and brass wink and twinkle and murmur of merry moments, perpetuated in perpetuity. The railway carriage opens its heart to you as you open its door. It is adventurous, daring, cheerful, practical and poetical. It is more than a means to an end—it is an end in itself, an end to care.

It whispers to you of other picnics past, when Uncle Julius brought his accordian and played “Daisy Bell” and “The Anchor's Weighed.” It murmurs of past home-comings, of flushed faces, of tired but happy eyes, of ferns and flirtations of past days, and the joy of a deed well done. It whispers of Sunday-school treats when its timber and steel palpitated with the packed vitality of flaming youth. It echoes the songs it has shared, the laughter it has heard, and all the warm eager life it has transported. No wonder it breathes the spirit of freedom and the love of humanity. No wonder it represents the perfect pantechnicon for picnic parties. “Picnic by rail” is the advice of experience. Let us put it to patter:

You can hike
Or “bike,”
Or motor.
You may even take a boat, or
Go by
If time's the main
In your calculation.
But, say!
The way,
The proper
Means of making picnics “topper,”
Is to park
The question mark,
And grasp elation
At a railway station.

pulling out with the heavy “goods”

pulling out with the heavy “goods”