Centenary of the Opening of the Trans Australian Railway - Port Augusta

 
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Fascinating information Train 1959, thanks for posting and keep it coming.

In respect to GM1, as mentioned it is currently in Parkes under the care and security of one of the sponsoring companies.
Similar sponsor facilities do not necessarily exist at Midland or Port Augusta

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  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 4 / 100 – Karri or Jarrah

There was much discussion as to which type of wood to use for the sleepers. Western Australia was the state that had the most suitable timber for such a large undertaking.

Many tests were carried out on Karri to protect it against termite attack.

“Powellising” Karri sleepers would permit Jarrah forests to last longer.

The sleepers were stacked, weighed, placed in a saccharine solution and boiled. They were then cooled off and dried. The boiling was designed to boil out the sap and any air within the wood. Boiling took 8 hours after which the cooling process lasted 12 hours. To protect against white ants arsenic was added to the solution.

In 1912 the WA State Government announced the formation of the  State Saw Mills at Manjimup and Pemberton.  In August 1912 a contract for 1,400,000 powellised Karri and 100,000 Jarrah sleepers was finalised for use on the Trans-Australian Railway. The use of Powellised Karri sleepers proved successful as generally the Karri sleepers lasted longer than the Jarrah.

Sources - "Riders of the Steel Highways" - Monte Luke and Engineers Australia
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 5 / 100 – The “Roberts” Tracklayer

The Roberts tracklayers were ordered from Messrs. Roberts Brothers of Chicago USA. It was the Minister King O’Malley who believed that this tracklayer would revolutionise the way rail was laid. The layer was the means of depositing both rails and sleepers at the railhead at the same time whilst saving considerable manpower.

The Roberts tracklayer was situated at the front of the construction train with conveyors on either side that carried both the rail and sleepers to the front. This type of machine had been in use in the USA for over 20 years but it was the first time it was used in Australia.

The two teams established Australian track laying records which stood for nearly fifty years.

These were:

Greatest length in any one day:       4.023 km
in any one week:                                23.537 km.
in any four weeks:                              75.035 km.
in any 6 months:                                402.938 km.
in any one year:                                 712.213 km.    

Source:  "Riders of the Steel Highways" - Monte Luke

more on the tracklayer to follow............
  Train1959 Train Controller

Sorry about the font sizes, it is doing my head in.

Cut and paste from my word processor to other programs works across the entire universe but not on Railpage!

I will not be so lazy in future and retype into the forum page.................
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Back to Port Augusta station was it built by the CR or the SAR and if the former did any SAR service ever run to it?
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Also I under that the first rail connections Port Augusta and Port Pirie had with Adelaide were narrow gauge lines through Terowie.

I understand until 1937 passengers travelling from Perth to Adelaide had to travel between Port Augusta and Terowie via Quorn along the narrow gauge line.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Also I under that the first rail connections Port Augusta and Port Pirie had with Adelaide were narrow gauge lines through Terowie.

I understand until 1937 passengers travelling from Perth to Adelaide had to travel between Port Augusta and Terowie via Quorn along the narrow gauge line.
GeoffreyHansen

Once passengers reached Terowie I believe transfer to BG then completed the journey to Adelaide?

Imagine a journey from Sydney to Perth via Rail back then?

Sydney to Melbourne SG to BG at Albury (until the SG line was completed to Melbourne)
Melbourne to Servicetown on VR (BG)
Servicetown to Adelaide (BG)
Adelaide to Terowie (BG)
Terowie to Peterborough then to Quorn to Port Augusta (NG)
Port Augusta to Kalgorrlie (SG)
Kalgoorlie to Perth (NG)

Someone can probably check this but I think it might be close to being correct.

Regards
Brian
  allan Chief Commissioner

You could go the short way, by-passing Melbourne, Adelaide and the broad gauge. Sydney, Broken Hill, Peterborough, Quorn, Pt Augusta, Kalgoorlie and Perth. Only three changes of gauge or four changes of train in thousands of miles.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Once passengers reached Terowie I believe transfer to BG then completed the journey to Adelaide?

Imagine a journey from Sydney to Perth via Rail back then?

Sydney to Melbourne SG to BG at Albury (until the SG line was completed to Melbourne)
Melbourne to Servicetown on VR (BG)
Servicetown to Adelaide (BG)
Adelaide to Terowie (BG)
Terowie to Peterborough then to Quorn to Port Augusta (NG)
Port Augusta to Kalgorrlie (SG)
Kalgoorlie to Perth (NG)

Someone can probably check this but I think it might be close to being correct.

Regards
Brian
bevans
Think that's right, but I don't believe you had to get off at Servicetown, the Inter-Colonial Express had been running Mel-Adl since before Federation.

Our great-great-... grandfathers did rail and Australia no favours by inflicting these gauge bungles on us.
  Train1959 Train Controller

GeoffreyHansen

The old Port Augusta Railway Station was built by the South Australian Railways around 1879-1880. It is still standing and is situated at the southern end of Commercial Road near the Downer workshops. It was used by the Curdnatta Art Group but is now vacant. It is owned by the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA.

The "new" Commonwealth Railways Port Augusta Railway Station was completed around the time the Trans-Australian Railway was opened in 1917. Much like today there were standard gauge tracks on one platform that served the new TAR. On the other side of the platform there were narrow gauge tracks which served the line to Quorn and beyond (north and south).

Today the station building is home to the Platform Gallery (formerly the Curdnatta Art group), some offices as well as a café. No railway companies inhabit the building although both the Ghan and IP pass through the city and use the station. The Pichi Richi Railway use a small room as a booking office on train days.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Sorry about the font sizes, it is doing my head in.

Cut and paste from my word processor to other programs works across the entire universe but not on Railpage!

I will not be so lazy in future and retype into the forum page.................
Train1959
Don't waste your time worry about font sizes. You will not win!

It's the content that counts and the readers can always resize what is written simply by Ctrl and roll the mouse wheel.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have completed booking my accommodation and flights for the centenary celebrations.   Arriving into Adelaide in the morning of the 21st and driving to Port Augusta. Overnight PA and back to Adelaide during the evening of the 22nd.  If anyone requires a lift to Port Augusta from Adelaide i will have some space in the car.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Sorry about the font sizes, it is doing my head in. Cut and paste from my word processor to other programs works across the entire universe but not on Railpage! I will not be so lazy in future and retype into the forum page.................
Train1959
Look for a tool bar across the top of the Railpage reply box and about the middle you will see a large capital "A" with a small red dot lower right side. Hover mouse over that and it should reveal it removes formatting. Sometimes that works.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sorry about the font sizes, it is doing my head in. Cut and paste from my word processor to other programs works across the entire universe but not on Railpage! I will not be so lazy in future and retype into the forum page.................
Look for a tool bar across the top of the Railpage reply box and about the middle you will see a large capital "A" with a small red dot lower right side. Hover mouse over that and it should reveal it removes formatting. Sometimes that works.
petan

Hi @petan this will work if you highlight the text for which you wish to remove the formatting.  The text must be highlighted.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
There is one train I know of that might be capable of getting people to Pt Augusta and back and that is the one owned by Nullabor Trains it is only 4 cars though and you might have to hire a loco to pull it. These cars are at Tailem Bend and are a new venture by ALARC, the outside of the cars have been fully repainted and work done on the inside of them as well. All the cars are ex Commonwealth Railways cars though and consist of, BA 147, BA 151, DE 176 and power van HRG 119, the company is looking to charter work as well. No contact details though!
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 6 / 100 – Tracklaying Gangs

The tracklaying gang was made up as follows:



With the train -             1 Foreman

                                     1 Engineman

                                     6 throwing sleepers in the runway

                                     2 baring rails into the runway

                                     1 distributing fishplates, bolts and spikes

                                   12 receiving and placing the sleepers

                                   11 receiving and placing the rails

                                     4 Strappers putting on the plates

                                     2 sleeper liners



                       Total     40 men



Behind the train -          2 Foreman

                                     2 distributing spikes and bolts

                                   24 back spikers

                                   12 back nippers

                                     6 spacing and lining sleepers

                                     6 lining track



                       Total     52 men



Further behind the tracklaying  train was a surfacing gang of about 160 men whose job it was to “hand pack” the sleepers with earth to achieve the required running top.



Mr P J Joubert who had arrived from Chicago to assemble and commission the Roberts Tracklaying machines (first at Port Augusta and later at Kalgoorlie) considered Mr Brown’s eastern gang one of the most efficient he had ever seen at work.
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 7 / 100 – Mr Norris Garrett Bell – new Engineer-in-Chief Commonwealth Railways

Following the resignation of Henry Deane the government appointed Norris Garrett Bell as the new Engineer-in-Chief effective 1st April 1914.

Born:               Near Dundee, Scotland  1860

Education:      Edinburgh Collegiate School,  University of Edinburgh

Working Life:  Bell had a number of jobs including in London before returning to Scotland as Engineer for the contractor on a branch line near Airdrie. Upon reading of the enterprising spirit of Australian railway building Bell left Scotland for Australia. Shortly after arriving in 1886 he was appointed as Resident Engineer in charge of the Cooktown Railway in far north Queensland.

In 1891 he was appointed Officer-in-Charge Controlling Maintenance, Locomotive and Traffic Working in Normanton, in the Gulf Country of Northern Queensland. In 1894 he transferred to Brisbane and by 1906 was Deputy Chief Engineer. In June 1911 he was appointed Chief Engineer.

During his 28 years with the Queensland Railways he directed the building of 1,200 miles of railway and oversaw the maintenance of approximately 5,000 miles of line.  Many of the lines Bell helped construct or oversaw were in remote areas with little population.

This was just the man the Commonwealth Railways were looking for.

Bell began work for the Commonwealth in January 1912. In April 1914 (gazetted 1st May 1915) Bell was appointed Acting Commissioner. He was appointed as the first Commonwealth Railways Commissioner in 1917, a position he held until his retirement in 1929.

Bell died in Melbourne in 1937 aged 76 years. A plaque at the Port Augusta Railway Station commemorates his achievements.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke & The National Archives
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Fact 7 / 100 – Mr Norris Garrett Bell – new Engineer-in-Chief Commonwealth Railways
In 1891 he was appointed Officer-in-Charge Controlling Maintenance, Locomotive and Traffic Working in Normanton, in the Gulf Country of Northern Queensland. In 1894 he transferred to Brisbane and by 1906 was Deputy Chief Engineer. In June 1911 he was appointed Chief Engineer.
Train1959
Bell's appointment as QR's Chief Engineer as seen through a sketch and poem.  Truth (Brisbane) 1911, June 4 p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201751026
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Video covering the trans australia



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti5k4rTcQu0
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A great find. Thanks NSWGR8022 for posting.
A realistic no BS or contrived potential disasters documentary. Should be compulsory viewing for the younger generation of those interested in railways.
A far cry from pretty much all the c r a p so called documentaries that we get dumped on unsuspecting audiences today.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Excuse my ignorance but who are Nullabor Trains?
  M636C Minister for Railways

Excuse my ignorance but who are Nullabor Trains?
GeoffreyHansen
The owners of the collection at Tailem Bend...

Remember the "Murraylander"? It actually ran once, didn't it?

Their HRGC 119 in yellow was used a lot by Freight Australia running what later became the SCT trains.

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I don't recall seeing/hearing anything mentioning 'Nullabor Trains' (sic).
The whole film related to the Commonwealth Railways (CR) and construction of the Trans-Australian Railway. CR transmogrified into Australian National (AN). The section about the Tea and Sugar and life at the various line locations was more or less typical of CR and the latter years of AN.
Sorry if I have missed your point.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I don't recall seeing/hearing anything mentioning 'Nullabor Trains' (sic).
The whole film related to the Commonwealth Railways (CR) and construction of the Trans-Australian Railway. CR transmogrified into Australian National (AN). The section about the Tea and Sugar and life at the various line locations was more or less typical of CR and the latter years of AN.
Sorry if I have missed your point.
YM-Mundrabilla
David Peter made mention of 'Nullabor Trains' a few posts ago, in relation to possible rolling stock for a train to Port Augusta. He said "These cars are at Tailem Bend and are a new venture by ALARC"
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I don't recall seeing/hearing anything mentioning 'Nullabor Trains' (sic).
The whole film related to the Commonwealth Railways (CR) and construction of the Trans-Australian Railway. CR transmogrified into Australian National (AN). The section about the Tea and Sugar and life at the various line locations was more or less typical of CR and the latter years of AN.
Sorry if I have missed your point.
David Peter made mention of 'Nullabor Trains' a few posts ago, in relation to possible rolling stock for a train to Port Augusta. He said "These cars are at Tailem Bend and are a new venture by ALARC"
duttonbay
Thanks Duttonbay.
On the wrong train (as usual)! Smile

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