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Foreword


By the Editor



WHO among us can ever fail to recall his first railway journey, when those two parallel and shining lines tapered into a distance that promised romance and adventure? Who among us, from juvenile to adult, has never been thrilled and frequently mystified by the wonder of railway travel? Who among us can honestly say that he has failed to be moved by some strange emotion at the sight of a powerful locomotive hauling its precious cargo of passengers or freight?


Few indeed, for apart from one or two isolated villagers, the railway has been an integral part of our lives. It has invariably represented adventure of an almost mystic nature, and even the coming of the motor-way has not to any extent lessened

the charm of making a journey on any of the great iron roads that now almost cover the face of the globe.


Who among us has not been moved by the sheer marvel of a gigantic railway station, run with such precision for the sake of the world traveller and also the season ticket holder? Who among us has never wondered how it is all achieved - how the mighty express can run through to scheduled time, while the local trains must maintain the regularity of the ordinary local time-table? It is, indeed, all a mystery, something wrapt in a shroud of inexplicable efficiency - a testimony to the

expertness of human cunning and endeavour.


SUCH things have sprung from the minutest of plans. Such things have come into being because men of a century ago had vision and imagination, because they were discontented with what was and demanded something that yet should be. They were victims of a divine discontent without which any kind of progress is impossible. They were forced to fight with a fine courage, that you and I might speed, with a safety incomparable in any other form of transport, from one place to

another.


The railways have evolved. They began with vision and their development was aided by the strength of character of the pioneers and the brains of inventors who produced incredible marvels, until to-day we are on the threshold of common

travel by high-speed monsters capable of anything around and beyond one hundred miles an hour. We are indeed, now at the beginning of a new railway age. Behind us is a century of progress, born of human courage and faith. In front of us -what?


MEN have been valiant for the achievements of the past hundred years. Lives of pioneers have been sacrificed for them. The story of the railways is an epic story; and it is for the sake of this story that I have gathered together the world’s greatest railway experts to present to my readers the railway wonders of the world. Every facet of railway romance and achievement from the heroic to the informative will be shown in this new and comprehensive part-work.


I have planned the production to satisfy both the laymen and the enthusiast who is not entirely unfamiliar with the subject, and from opinions I have received from those most competent to judge I believe that I have constructed a work that may

well become ultimately standardized in volume form. The boy in everyone of us must of necessity arouse an added interest to what is a most valuable and important work - world-wide in its interest, as you will gather from this, the first number, in

which so many aspects of progress are adequately covered.


CONSIDERABLE expense has been involved in combing the world for appropriate illustrations, and much research has gone into the making of this work; but I believe that both will have been worthwhile when this publication reaches the wide public for which it has been designed. Whether you are young or old, I feel confident that you will find a treasure house of romance and fascinating information in Railway Wonders of the World.



[Read the next article in this part]                                                                       [From part 1, published 1 February 1935]