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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)


The Government's decision to take advantage of the Chairman of the Government Railways Board's long contemplated visit to other countries, with a view to investigating railway and other transport developments, is one which should give general satisfaction.

Railway users naturally want the best they can get for their money, and first-hand knowledge of the best obtainable in other countries is more likely to help in still further improving conditions here than much local experimenting.

Members of the Railway Department will see the benefit to be gained in the conduct of their work from the guidance of a Board Chairman possessing detailed knowledge of up-to-date methods in the most progressive railway countries.

Those engaged in allied transport businesses will heartily approve, as will also those members of the general public who realise the great importance of transport in the economic life of the community, and the serious burden which uneconomic competition in this phase of national development places upon the public.

The railways are the key industry in Dominion production and transport. By low freights both for the raw materials of essential production and also for the manufactures of the primary industries, they have been largely responsible for the opening up and development of the country. With all costs taken into account, they are, beyond all question, the cheapest form of transport for the bulk of the traffic to be conveyed along the routes which they serve.

How other countries are meeting the situation created by expensive duplications of services; what railways are doing to protect themselves against other forms of transport; the intimate details of the arrangements made for co-ordination of services including rail, road and/or sea; the comprehensive planning for co-operation in tourist developments; these and other matters bearing on the larger problems of transport control can be comprehensively investigated by personal contact alone. For this purpose the Chairman of the Board which controls the most important nationally-owned enterprise, and at the same time, the most vital transport organisation in the Dominion, is most suitably equipped, both by training and natural aptitude, to carry out the necessary investigation and to report upon ways by which the lessons gained from overseas experience can be applied to New Zealand's transport problems.