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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)


In present circumstances Sunday night has become for thousands a time of travelling, with what is to many the novelty of a cross-country train journey heightened by the peculiarities of the blackout. Those who in civilian life shuddered at the thought of a journey otherwise than by car, now thankfully patronise the branch line services that enable them to return from a week-end leave to the remote situations whither military duty has called them. The blue-lit carriage lulls the mind like a perambulating opium den, so that no surprise is felt when a private soldier suddenly speaks in the unmistakable accents of one of our older universities. At stations, clusters of glowing cigarette ends gather outside the carriage window, the invisible smokers addressing brief, gruff words of farewell to the bulky silhouettes who anon grope their way within with apologetic murmurs to those whom they bruise with their boots or stun in the process of divesting themselves of their respirators. These may not be the ideal conditions for travel, but the darkened railway carriage is all the same a welcome sanctuary in which to observe our fellow beings temporarily relaxed from the rigidity imposed during daylight hours by the wearing of a uniform.—From the “Railway Gazette,” London.

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