Patrick Lam

Thoughts and travels of Patrick Lam

Book review: Wellington's Railways: Colonial Steam to Matangi, by David Parsons

David Parsons. Wellington’s Railways: Colonial Steam to Matangi. 2010. This book is certainly not lacking in detail. It covers the early development of Wellington region rail (different parts of New Zealand, and I guess many other countries, were quite isolated 150 years ago) until 1920; refinements from 1920 to 1970; and the changes from 1970 to 2010. Wellington rail did manage to mostly hang on through the global Reagan-Thatcher neoliberal era.

Submission to NZ inquiry on inter-regional passenger rail

NZ needs inter-regional passenger rail as an alternative to flying and driving for climate and other reasons. Here’s my submission to a Parliamentary inquiry, with comparisons to Canada and Switzerland.


An excellent opportunity to add to the walked-to-airports list! I’d meant to walk to NSN last July, but we actually only flew into that airport after the Heaphy; our flight to the start of the track was replaced by a van ride. Here’s my chance!

Optimal travel from Montreal to Waterloo

The plan was to leave our stuff at our friends’ place in Toronto, go to Montreal and the Eastern Townships for the holidays, leave our car at my parents’ place, and then get back to Waterloo, clean the house and execute last-minute tasks, and then get back to Toronto, pick up our 5 checked bags and bring them all to the airport. Let’s talk about getting from Montreal (well, Brossard) to Waterloo on December 28.

Travel options from Waterloo

2019 Travel options to/from Waterloo A lot has changed from the last time I wrote this in 2008. The options for getting to Toronto and Pearson are much better. I went to BUF a few times a while ago but now there aren’t good Star Alliance options from BUF and they’re not that much cheaper, so I haven’t done it for a while. Here are various options for carless transportation from Waterloo in 2019.