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

 
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 25 / 100 – Administrative and Engineering Headquarters

Prior to the linking of the rails there was a Supervising Engineer, District Mechanical Superintendent and Storekeeper at both Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie. With the opening of the line the Administration was transferred to Port Augusta. The head of the Way and Works Branch also District Officers representing the Locomotive, Transport and Stores Branches were all located in Port Augusta.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

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  Train1959 Train Controller

Update:

I have set up (or more correctly I am in the process of setting up) a Facebook page.

Log into Facebook and search for "TAR-100 Port Augusta" or use the link below.......

https://www.facebook.com/TAR-100-Port-Augusta-2087590428127746/

I will be putting updates on there as and when they happen.

The "TAR Facts" will continue on Railpage as usual.
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 26 / 100 – Railways Institute

In his annual report for 1919 Commissioner Norris Bell was very eager to establish a Railway Institute. The intention was to erect a main institute building, with a good library and classrooms at Port Augusta and for reading rooms and recreation halls at Tarcoola, Cook and Rawlinna. It was also suggested that a children’s circulating library be established for isolated camps along the line.

By June 1921 at a site on Railway Parade, Port Augusta had been set aside as a recreation reserve for railway employees. Two tennis courts had been completed, a four rink bowling green laid out, lawns and flower beds planted and swings and facilities for children completed. Employees gave their own time to establish the reserve.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 27 / 100 – Superannuation Fund

The Commonwealth Superannuation Fund commenced on the 5th of January 1923. For a contribution starting at 85 cents per fortnight an employee could receive a pension of $208 per annum at retirement age, or upon the death of the employee a spouse pension of $104 per annum with provision for children under the age of 16 years.

The fund was seen as an aid to the employee, who otherwise might find difficulty in making adequate provision for their retirement. The scheme also served as an inducement to remain with the commission and bring about a contented workforce.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

Fact 27 / 100 – Superannuation Fund

The Commonwealth Superannuation Fund commenced on the 5th of January 1923. For a contribution starting at 85 cents per fortnight an employee could receive a pension of $208 per annum at retirement age, or upon the death of the employee a spouse pension of $104 per annum with provision for children under the age of 16 years.

The fund was seen as an aid to the employee, who otherwise might find difficulty in making adequate provision for their retirement. The scheme also served as an inducement to remain with the commission and bring about a contented workforce.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

Train1959
An interesting comparison between superannuation then and now!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
CR Monthly Notice 1922

The length of crossing loops in the clear, and of the dead end
crossing siding at Woocalla, are as under :--

Woocalla--Dead-end siding at Western end.  1325 feet    
Woocalla-Loop siding East end of yard        800 feet          
Pimba .                                                            1405
Wirraminna                                                    1386
Kingoonya                                                       1400    
Tarcoola                                                          1500
Wynbring                                                        1380
Barton                                                             1380
Immarna                                                         1385
Ooldea.                                                           1340
Cook                                                                1360
Hughes                                                            1621
Forrest                                                            1470
Loongana                                                        1180
Haig                                                                 1390
Rawlinna                                                         1390
Naretha                                                          1360
Zanthus                                                           1440
Karonie                                                           1420

Note:   1,400 feet equals 427 metres

Crossing loops on the Trans are (approx.) 1,800 metres or 5,905 feet these days
Train1959
The sectional distances between the crossing loops listed are, perhaps, of interest. The sectional distance figures are round miles and are shown in bold.

Woocalla--Dead-end siding at Western end.  1325 feet    
Woocalla-Loop siding East end of yard        800 feet          
Pimba .                                                            1405                    42    
Wirraminna                                                    1386                    44
Kingoonya                                                       1400                    52
Tarcoola                                                          1500                   48
Wynbring                                                        1380                    64
Barton                                                             1380                    55
Immarna                                                         1385                    31
Ooldea.                                                           1340                    20
Cook                                                                1360                    86
Hughes                                                            1621                   54
Forrest                                                            1470                    84
Loongana                                                        1180                   64
Haig                                                                 1390                   56
Rawlinna                                                         1390                  45
Naretha                                                          1360                   30
Zanthus                                                           1440                  75
Karonie                                                           1420                  62

(Parkeston)                                                                               (66)
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 28 /100 – Dining Car Service

Initially the Dining Car Service was not as successful as hoped as people elected to bring their own supplies on board the train!

In 1918 it was decided to include a fixed price meal ticket in the overall ticket cost and this was enthusiastically received.

By 1924 the Dining Car was considered a feature of the train and was of a world class standard which is something that has continued throughout the years to the present day.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 29 / 100 – The “Rose Series” postcards

Apart from meals on the Trans-Australian Express there were sales of aerated waters, cigars, cigarettes, playing cards, sweets, magazines and booklets. In 1922 a special issue of “Trans-Australian Railways” postcards proved very popular. Orders were placed for over 65,000 mainly from the Rose Stereograph Company of Glen Waverly, Victoria.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

Note:   Many of these postcards are still around today.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We were still selling Rose postcard sets in the 1960s although these were obviously modified to some degree at least as they included a passenger train hauled by a C class at a line location.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 30 / 100 – Influenza Pandemic 1919 and the Quarantining of Trains


In the 18 months of the pandemic, 50 to 60 million people worldwide died. By comparison an estimated 10 million soldiers perished in World War One with civilian casualties probably doubling that number.

While World War didn't cause the flu, the close quarters and mass movement of troops quickened its spread. It has been speculated that the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by the stresses of combat and chemical attacks, increasing their susceptibility to the disease.

Although the Australian epidemic started in 1918, its worst effects were felt mainly between January and December 1919, with the Sydney region of NSW worst-affected. WW1 Australian soldiers returning from overseas duty carried the disease with them into the country.

Precautions to contain the outbreak included a three-month closure of all NSW schools (Jan-March 1919). All theatres, churches and libraries were closed and no public meetings were allowed.

The Health Authorities of Western Australia were worried that people travelling from the east would bring the disease with them and began to quarantine trains arriving from Port Augusta.

Trains were suspended and no through trains were run between 6 February and 10 April 1919.

The Commonwealth eventually established camps at a point 27.5 km from Port Augusta and at Karonie which is 111 km from Kalgoorlie. Passengers would be required to spend a prescribed time in the camp to monitor their health.

Limited passenger services continued for many months until the quarantine was lifted.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke and the World Health Organisation

  Train1959 Train Controller

Whilst on the subject of health (see previous post) I found this in the CR Monthly Notices on Comrails recently.............


Conveyance of Persons Suffering from Infectious or Contagious Diseases.

Trans-Australian Railway 1924/25.

Except upon the approval of the Chief Traffic Manager, no person shall be permitted to travel on or over the Trans-Australian Railway who is suffering, or suspected to be suffering, from any infectious or contagious disease, that is to say;

Acute Anterior Poliomyelitis (Infantile Paralysis).

Anthrax.

Cerebro-spinal Meningitis.

Chicken-pox.

Cholera.

Croup (membranous).

Diphtheria.

Dysentery.

Encephalitis Lethargica.

Erysipelas.

Leprosy.

Measles.

Plague.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Scarlet Fever:

Scarlatina.

Small-pox.

Trachoma.

Whooping Cough.

Yellow Fever.


When the approval of the Chief Traffic Manager has been received,

persons located along the Trans-Australian Line (Port Augusta, Parkeston and Kalgoorlie excepted) who are suffering or suspected to be suffering from an infectious or contagious disease, may be conveyed by passenger train to Port Augusta or Kalgoorlie.





And when all else fails………………



Conveyance of Corpses.



Corpses, other than those for cremation, for conveyance to other States, will not be accepted for conveyance by rail unless encased in lead or galvanized iron, securely soldered' and enclosed in an outer shell of wood, the consignment note being certified accordingly.



When forwarded for the purpose of cremation, corpses may be accepted encased in wood with an outer covering of galvanized iron, securely soldered; certificate to be given on the consignment note that the body is being forwarded for cremation.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'for conveyance to other States'

Interesting wording - it would have been impractical for local movements from line locations presumably. I do recall, however, that there was a coffin propped up in a corner of the Provision Store at Tarcoola  years ago, (perhaps waiting for an occupant off an Express)?

The lead/galvanised iron rules applied until the demise of government railways.  These were contained in the 'Through Booking of Parcels Pamphlet' which covered the intersystem conveyance of bicycles, coffins and all manner of other things.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
The requirement for sealing coffins reminds me of a job my cousin had when he was an apprentice. That was to seal weld a stainless steel casket for shipping overseas. it seems he went out to the job, was told to weld up this box and go. Left alone to do the TIG welding he had a quick peek in the box and there was a body lying in it. So it was "Oh Well" and proceeded to weld it up.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 31 / 100 – Edward, Prince of Wales 1920 and a Day Off with Pay!

His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor) travelled over the Trans-Australian Railway in July 1920 arriving in Port Augusta at 2.20pm on July 11.

The special service car SS44 which had been built in the Port Augusta workshops was placed at his disposal.

Message from the Commissioner on the Visit of his Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

“I desire to express to the employees my appreciation of the excellent service rendered by all in connection with the journey of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales over the Trans-Australian Railway. To mark the occasion, and in consideration of services rendered, approval has been given to each employee, whether permanent or temporary, located on the Trans-Australian Railway during the passage of the train, being granted a day's leave of absence on full pay, such leave to be taken when the annual leave is next cleared”. – CR Monthly Notice 1920

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I'd like to see any railway organization do that now. These days, if you stopped work to wave to the Prince of Wales as his train passed, you'd have your pay docked.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
These days most of the population would have no idea who/what the Prince of Wales is or was.
No, I wouldn't bother to wave to him either..............
  Train1959 Train Controller

These days most of the population would have no idea who/what the Prince of Wales is or was.
No, I wouldn't bother to wave to him either..............
YM-Mundrabilla
Would you like me to invite Malcolm and Bill along, you could wave to them!!!  They are royalty aren't they?!

It is interesting that people still come out in numbers to see the Royal Family.

Back in the 1920's it would have been the biggest event many would have witnessed in their lives. Although I do believe that particular trip was to shore up wavering support for the empire after the events of World War One.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
These days most of the population would have no idea who/what the Prince of Wales is or was.
No, I wouldn't bother to wave to him either..............
Would you like me to invite Malcolm and Bill along, you could wave to them!!!  They are royalty aren't they?!

It is interesting that people still come out in numbers to see the Royal Family.

Back in the 1920's it would have been the biggest event many would have witnessed in their lives. Although I do believe that particular trip was to shore up wavering support for the empire after the events of World War One.
Train1959
Surprised that they are not attending already as they fit at least two of the three criteria that I listed very early in this thread.

What was it:
  1. politicians
  2. parasites
  3. sycophants

IIRC. Smile

Have you run out of spotless new train proof vests and polished crash hats perhaps?

Couldn't expect them to attend as it is only the greatest public works project (along with the Snowy Mountains Scheme) in Australian History. Crying or Very sad
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 32 / 100 – Numbers of Passengers

For the year ended 30th June 1924 a total of 24,197 passengers travelled on the Trans-Australian Railway service between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke




Fact 33 / 100 – Electricity in Port Augusta

An electric supply scheme was established at Port Augusta by the Commonwealth Railways in November 1922. The wharf, station platform and yards, carriage shed, various other buildings, 83 departmental residences and the streets in the area of Conwaytown (present day Railway Terrace and the back beach area) and the Post Office were provided with electric light.

Source: Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
These days most of the population would have no idea who/what the Prince of Wales is or was.
No, I wouldn't bother to wave to him either..............
Would you like me to invite Malcolm and Bill along, you could wave to them!!!  They are royalty aren't they?!

It is interesting that people still come out in numbers to see the Royal Family.

Back in the 1920's it would have been the biggest event many would have witnessed in their lives. Although I do believe that particular trip was to shore up wavering support for the empire after the events of World War One.
Train1959
Some people would wave to them alright, with their trousers down!
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 34 / 100 – Footbridge at the Southern End of Commercial Road

A footbridge connecting the southern end of Commercial Road (near the present day Police Station) to “the race” and the Port Augusta Workshops was erected in 1921. It was later demolished in 1947. The walkway still exists today connecting the southern end of Commercial Road and the workshop entrance on Railway Parade .

Sadly many other old railway buildings have disappeared over the years including the Roundhouse and Carbarn.

The Workshops remain largely intact but many buildings/sheds are no longer used.

The two story Mechanical Engineering Offices just inside the workshop gates are no longer occupied.
The Civil Engineering Building on Stirling Road is home to a variety of Government Offices.
The Traffic and Accounts and Audit offices are also mainly occupied by Government Departments and agencies.
"Seaview Hostel" is now occupied by Government Offices.
The Old Railway Station as the southern end of Commercial Road is not currently occupied (it did house an art group for many years)
The current Railway Station houses the Platform Gallery, Café, some government offices and the Pichi Richi ticket office, the second floor is not occupied.

  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 35 /100 – Ballasting still not complete

By the end of June 1924 only about half of the total quantity of ballast required for the whole railway had been laid. There was still a mere 948 km of track still be lifted and ballast applied.

  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 36 / 100 – Durability of Sleepers


The total number of sleepers used for the Trans-Australian Railway were as follows:



Jarrah (Western Australia)                         1,985,000

Powellised Karri (Western Australia)            454,000

Stringy Bark (Tasmania)                              100,000



The numbers vary widely from the original contract which stated the main source of sleepers would be Karri. However the Karri sleepers were proving to be the most durable with only small numbers being replaced whereas the Jarrah and especially the Stringy Bark seemed less efficient.  


  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide

Fact 36 / 100 – Durability of Sleepers


The total number of sleepers used for the Trans-Australian Railway were as follows:



Jarrah (Western Australia)                         1,985,000

Powellised Karri (Western Australia)            454,000

Stringy Bark (Tasmania)                              100,000



The numbers vary widely from the original contract which stated the main source of sleepers would be Karri. However the Karri sleepers were proving to be the most durable with only small numbers being replaced whereas the Jarrah and especially the Stringy Bark seemed less efficient.  


Train1959
Termites love Karri so makes sense it was powellised - probably also used as crossing timbers given size of Karri trees and timber. Unsure why they would have used Stringy Bark though, let alone from Tasmania! Quite a low durability rating for in ground applications. Even Jarrah isn't a top tier choice but obviously the availability of it in WA made it suitable.
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 37 / 100 – Loaves of Bread

Departmental bakeries at Port Augusta, Tarcoola and Rawlinna supplied 293,780 loaves of bread and 1,800 kg of cake during the period 1920-1922. The charge for bread was 4 cents per 1 kg compared to a retail price in Port Augusta of 5 cents per loaf.

Fact 38 / 100 – Total Staff Employed 1924

Salaried Staff                                   176
Wages Staff                                     868

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