Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/104

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58
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

experience, or no experience at all, in the field over which they assume control. New Zealand's Railway Department has been fortunate for many years in the possession of an experienced general manager, but such an official, however efficient, can scarcely compensate for a less well-informed minister, particularly if that minister should not be inclined to heed the suggestions of tried assistants.

The equipment on New Zealand railways includes American-built locomotives and carriages based on the American saloon-car principle. This style of carriage is provided mainly for first-class passengers, though more are being built for second-class patrons. On nearly all trains I saw second-class passengers facing each other on uncomfortable leather-bottom seats running the full length of the car. In old coaches the distinction between first and second classes often is not pronounced. Sometimes the only advantages possessed by the first-class passengers are rough floor mats, leather backs to second-class seats, and a bit of gilt.

It is intended that every passenger shall have a seat, or, at any rate, that coaches shall not be overcrowded. New Zealand trains often are uncomfortably filled, but only with the consent of the passengers is this permissible. "No person," says a rule, "shall remain in a car with the full number of authorized passengers without the consent of the passengers." This rule is not always literally regarded, however.

Equally considerate is the no-tipping rule, which