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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 12 (March 1, 1939.)

Broadcasting by the Way

Broadcasting by the Way

There is a touch of magic in the idea of sending a Broadcasting Studio by rail on an itinerant errand to numerous North Island stations where the people might otherwise never have the privilege of a broadcasting service in their own home town.

And what a chance for local talent! Who has not, at some time in his wanderings, been caught in the net of a country concert where one or two performers have amazed by their talent-a talent which has sometimes bordered on genius-but who remain unknown to the world at large because the opportunity to be better known has never reached them. Now they will have this rail-sent opportunity to “go on the air” and be heard by those who are just looking for the kind of talent these local lads and lasses possess.

The plan also shows just another of the ubiquitous capacities the Railways have to serve the country. Little research was needed to show that no other medium of transport could render a service comparable with that of the Railways for the purposes of this mobile radio studio.

Here is the recipe, reduced to its simplest elements. Select a suitable railway carriage; take out a few fittings; insert a few others; give the whole an ivory coat and a silver lining, with some blues and reds thrown in for good measure; and there you have a modern broadcasting studio on rails. Run it to a suitable siding; throw up an aerial; switch on the power; face the microphone; and there you have a radio station in full operation at the railway station of your choice.

It is just another of those services of New Zealanders for New Zealanders that help to develop the spirit of self-sufficiency, to bring out the latent powers of our people, and to add to the zest of life in the Dominion.

The idea does not appear to have been developed quite along these lines elsewhere, and this can be regarded as a further indication of the progressive methods adopted in New Zealand and the pioneering that can still be done, even as in the days of the earliest settlers, if we have the courage and enterprise to take the chances as they come along.

A feature of the Railway Broadcasting Studio will doubtless be the opportunities taken to discuss local problems of a technical nature and matters of district interest in which the knowledge and experience of experts in various Government Departments might be made available while the Studio is in the area most immediately concerned—a service which, for obvious reasons, could not be given so fully and effectively from a central Broadcasting Station. To the men of the Railways, as to the public in the localities where the car will run, the progress of the Railway Broadcasting Studio cannot fail to be a matter of much interest.