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

Britain's Mystery Trains

Britain's Mystery Trains.

In these difficult times railways must lose no opportunity of securing every scrap of traffic offering. Through intelligent adaptation to the needs of the public, the Home railways are securing good passenger business arising out of the “hiking” craze that has swept through the country, by conveying hikers out of the congested cities to suitable spots from which to begin their walks.

Each Home railway issues handbooks for hikers, containing details of walks from various centres. The running of special trains for hikers is the latest week-end innovation. On these trains, a passenger pays a fixed sum for travel, and until the train actually starts, its destination is a mystery. Immediately the journey has begun, attendants pass down the train and supply information as to its destination, along with printed details of suitable hikes, details regarding return train times, refreshment page 20 houses en route of the walk, points of especial interest, and so on. Each weekend thousands of hikers take advantage of this facility, and the “hiking special” is one of the most profitable innovations of our time.