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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

Better Days

page 9

Better Days.

When the sun shines warm after rain and the frosty days flee, when roses bud before their accustomed time and the air is all laced with ozone, then the happy cry of “better days” flits trippingly across the tracks of speech, freighted with confidence and carrying happiness in its train.

“Better days are here again” is the substance of the news from all British countries and from most of the other parts of the world, and the railway position generally is responding to the upward swing of the prosperity pendulum. In Great Britain, heavy expenditure has been planned to effect desired improvements in railway facilities. Australia has smartened up its principal express services. America is laying tracks to carry speedier trains. Railway stocks are rising.

The nerve centre of the railway system in New Zealand is, of course, at Wellington, the Capital City, and here the railway impress of preparatory activity for better days is very marked.

In one strenuous week-end of July the complete change-over from the old goods yard to the new was made, and the way was cleared for the first goods trains to commence running over the Tawa Flat deviation, where easy grades, comfortable curves, and a shorter route replace steep climbs, sharp bends and a roundabout way to the North.

The new Wellington Station and yards already carry an air of importance long lacking from the old stations—these are portents of what will be, before long, a fully realised dream of a better day in Dominion passenger and freight transport.

Other operating improvements are planned and on the way for still better service by rail.

A glance through the railway tariff shows how much the rail has been used to promote the welfare of the country on the production and industrial side. Swift, sure transport for freight is achieved now better by rail than by any other means. All kinds of passenger traffic are also catered for. It has been said that this country is suited to be the world's sanatorium—so the train makes special provision for the comfort of invalids. As a sportman's paradise the claims of the Dominion are unrivalled, so the Railways help the business along by special concessions for parties of sportsmen. The facilities offered to tourists for rail travel in New Zealand have long been recognised as amongst the best the world has to offer, and they apply in a land which is increasingly recognised as the world's best tourist resort.

With better days come more travellers to the Dominion, where all travel interests are combining to make these better days more worth-while to the visitors. Tourist business, properly understood and conducted, is like the quality of mercy, it “blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” It is a trade that carries the seeds of its own expansion. Never have New Zealanders been so aware of the tourist travel potentialities of their country and never before has there been so strong a desire to unite all travel interests in a drive to turn these potentialities to practical value in helping to secure by this means better days for the Dominion as a whole; for however they come and wherever they go, the overseas tourist traffic is one in which all classes of the community must share.