Thursday, 22 October 2015

Book Review : "Last train to paradise : journeys from the golden age of New Zealand Railways" by Graham Hutchins


Romantic Rail

Rail travel has long been the only way to see the country, especially when you are not driving!

This lovely book "Last train to paradise" gives us a picturesque look at how it once was for sightseer's and visitors to our fair country from 1920 to the 1950s. Written not as a travel guide, but giving much detail about the countryside the train passed through and where it stopped. From North to South "trains not only linked communities, they were communities in themselves"

In the chapter on the 'Rotorua Limited' (previously 'Rotorua Express), the author tells the story of how it was for the passengers of this new style of train "with enclosed vestibules between carriages. It was now possible to walk the length of the train without having to negotiate the vagaries of wind and weather" you can almost imagine yourself on that train, so vivid the description of scenery, smells and stations. The black and white photographs capture the essence of rail travel in the golden age. 

This book can be borrowed from the NZ History and Travel section on the 2nd Floor.

The Rotorua Express
From 'NZ Railways Magazine, Dec 15th 1926"