All issues of the magazine, an official publication by the New Zealand Government Railways Department from May 1926 to June 1940, have been launched online today by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) at Victoria University.
The magazine was produced during the economic expansion of the late 1920s, the Great Depression, and the years leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War.
“It was the brainchild of Prime Minister Joseph Gordon Coates, who saw it as a way of improving industrial relations within the railways, and disseminating ‘useful knowledge’ to railway workers, their families, and the public at large,” says Ms Stevenson.
Later issues broadened the Railways Magazine's horizons. Wellington journalist Pat Lawlor was engaged to write a regular literary column, 'Among the Books', and, from 1927, the magazine included a women's page, entitled 'Of Feminine Interest'.
By 1940, when war-time paper shortages forced it to cease publication, the Railways Magazine had published work by some of the most prominent New Zealand writers of the day, including Robin Hyde (Iris Wilkinson), James Cowan, Alan Mulgan, and Denis Glover.
For more information please contact Alison Stevenson on: