Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 1919. OUR RAILWAYS.
Visitors to New Zealand frequently say very nice things of the Dominion's assets, but rarely does our railway system caus« them, to become eiilogistic or-en-vious. Nor is this critit.a! attitude confined.to visitors, for few, outside; the Departtnent, believe that the national railways system is worthy, of an, enterprising/ wealthy, and progressive nation. Another chapter in our railway history' will be commenced soon when the new general manager takes office, and it is to be hoped that this chapter will bring much needed activity and improvements. The war period, doubtless, had its effect', but like many others, those responsible for the railways, were., iio-t,above making the war developments a: scapegoat for all shortcomings. It has been, as usual, the poorer class that have paid the greatest part of the penalties incurred. The increased freights have added to the cost of living, especially in a town such as Ashburton, and the lack of* excursion or week-end cheap tickets has deprived many of muchneeded holidays, and change of scene. What a comment on railway "management" was provided by the spectacle, during the recent holidays, of trains running empty, whilst many onlookers, who would have been delighted to travel, were prevented by the lack of excursion fares. Country dwellers could also produce evidence of the hardships and inconvenience they suffer through the shortcomings of the railways, and such losses are national as well as individual. No useful- purpose would be served by dwelling on past errors, but there is a limit to public patience, and those who run the railways will be wise to adopt a more considerate attitude to those who are supposed to own them. Freights and passengers should be encouraged, and not regarded as encumbrances that cannot altogether be avoided. The Dominion's railway system is little different now to what. it was several years ago ; other countries have not been so satisfied, with ;tife result that New Zealand's railways have become subjects for travellers' anecdotes. • In wishing the new general manager every success, we Hope that he; will institute the many reforms obviously necessary, and if his efforts in this direction are checked , unreasonably, he should arrange for the public to know who is really at fault.-.