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

 
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Fact 39 / 100 – Early Steam Locomotives



D Class  4-4-0     From NSWGR    No in class 6     Entered Service 1913 (built 1880 as “Q” class)

G Class  2-8-0                            No in class 26    Entered Service 1914 – 1917

K Class 2-8-0                             No in class 8      Entered Service 1916 (built in Glasgow, Scotland)

KA Class 2-8-0                           No in class 26    Entered Service 1919 – 1920

F Class 2-6-0      From NSWGR    No in class 1      Entered Service 1915 (built 1885 in the USA)



The G Class were manufactured in Philadelphia USA (12), Clyde in Granville NSW (4) and the Toowoomba Foundry Company, Queensland (10).



The KA Class were built in Maryborough, Queensland (20) and Gawler, South Australia (6).



The Commonwealth Railways tended to model their locomotives on designs from other systems, namely the NSWGR , when it came to standard gauge steam locomotives.  



The next class, the C Class, were not introduced until 1938.



Sources:              Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke

                             Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways – NRM Adelaide

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Small typo - the G class were 4-6-0
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: Rubber Tyred Vehicle track design office

The Commonwealth Railways tended to model their locomotives on designs from other systems, namely the NSWGR , when it came to standard gauge steam locomotives.  
"Train1959"


The only example of Commonwealth Railways ever doing Engineering Design of a Locomotive was the conversion of NB30 from Steam to Diesel.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Small typo - the G class were 4-6-0
YM-Mundrabilla
Yeah, you're right. Not good with numbers!

Pity we do not have more heritage locomotives preserved in SA (excepting G1, GM2, CB 1 and 2, DE91 and a MDH shunter). Better than nothing I suppose. Just think of all those steam locos that were scrapped over the years...........
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Thanks to Dave Barlow who found this article on Trove.

It is a bit early in the "Fact" series but still an important piece of railway history.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/18491535
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
Small typo - the G class were 4-6-0
Yeah, you're right. Not good with numbers!

Pity we do not have more heritage locomotives preserved in SA (excepting G1, GM2, CB 1 and 2, DE91 and a MDH shunter). Better than nothing I suppose. Just think of all those steam locos that were scrapped over the years...........
Train1959
Although a number of the earlier steam locomotives have disappeared, there are still a number of CR locos that can be added to your list - NM 25 and 34, NT76, NB30, NDH x4; NSU x 14, NJAB1, NA1, etc. While they didn't run across the Nullarbor, they certainly contributed to the CR story. To say nothing of the extensive collection of rollingstock that survives as well!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Not forgetting the elephant in the roundhouse GM 1.Crying or Very sad
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Small typo - the G class were 4-6-0
Yeah, you're right. Not good with numbers!

Pity we do not have more heritage locomotives preserved in SA (excepting G1, GM2, CB 1 and 2, DE91 and a MDH shunter). Better than nothing I suppose. Just think of all those steam locos that were scrapped over the years...........
Although a number of the earlier steam locomotives have disappeared, there are still a number of CR locos that can be added to your list - NM 25 and 34, NT76, NB30, NDH x4; NSU x 14, NJAB1, NA1, etc. While they didn't run across the Nullarbor, they certainly contributed to the CR story. To say nothing of the extensive collection of rollingstock that survives as well!
simont141
Thinking more of standard gauge Simon. I guess narrow gauge lines were closed down and this opened the door for heritage societies to move to preserve these lines thus allowing for narrow gauge locos and rollingstock to be saved. The likes of Pichi Richi and Steamtown in this part of the world have saved a substantial amount. Steamtown even have original passenger cars from the TAR that were converted for narrow gauge use later in their life.

The NRM have a reasonable collection as well.

Unfortunately standard gauge steam never really happened which is a bit sad although I guess New South Wales near equivalents exist in preservation.

I think the sad thing is that there is no definitive collection all in the one place, it is scattered all over the country. The Commonwealth Railways was a "one off" with a special history. It is a pity no-one in the Commonwealth or Port Augusta for example ever had the foresight to actually start a comprehensive collection. But that is a whole other story...........
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Fact 39 / 100 – The Great Depression

Passenger traffic on the Trans-Australian Railway had been steadily increasing leading up to the Great Depression which began in America near the end of 1929. Australia was hit very hard by the depression with unemployment rising to 29% in 1932. As wool and meat prices gradually began to increase after 1932 (Australia was heavily reliant on these commodities for trade) the Australian economy showed gradual signs of improvement.

Below are passenger numbers for the Trans-Australian Railway 1925 – 1932:

Year Ended 30th June     1925                      24,351                Meals served     148,030
                                            1926                    26,719                                              160,784
                                            1927                    26,987                                              164,051
                                            1928                    30,048                                              183,586
                                            1929                    31,109                                              183,429
                                            1930                    25,650                                              138,362
                                            1931                    15,527                                                93,162
                                            1932                    12,212                                                73,272

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


Fact 40 / 100 – How to eliminate scaling and corrosion in locomotive boilers

Since the opening of the railway there had been continuous problems with water quality effecting locomotive boilers. In times of drought this was exacerbated when the dams dried up and the railways were force into using more bore water.

Commissioner Bell had learnt of a process being used at the Sons of Gwalia Mine near Kalgoorlie. Mr Jim Limb of the WAGR was loaned to the Commonwealth Railways in September 1926. He installed a plant at the Reid bore which proved to be effective in eliminating the harmful encrusting elements from the bore water.

The treatment consisted of agitating both cold well and bore water with weighted amounts of caustic lime and barium carbonate for a period of 6 hours. The water was then tested and additional lime added if necessary.

As a result of the treatment calcium, magnesium carbonates and calcium sulphate were precipitated and no other salts were left in the solution replacing them. Magnesium chloride was converted into magnesium hydrate and soluble calcium chloride. Thus both carbonates and sulphates were precipitated but chlorides left in the solution, either as sodium or calcium chloride, both of which have a very high solubility, were inert in boilers using treated water

The treatment was so successful that very little trouble was experienced with leaking tubes or damage to boilers. An additional treatment plant was brought into service at Kingoonya and this again proved successful. In all for the year ended 30 June 1929 the two plants treated 78,400 kilolitres of water for locomotive use.

The practice was so successful that in 1933 another plant was opened at Rawlinna.

(authors note: you can argue all you like about the chemistry on this topic as I have no idea what they are talking about but it sounds impressive and it worked!).

Source:                Riders of the Steel Highways – Monte Luke
         
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
As we all know, thanks to Train1959 and his posts over the last few months, The Trans-Australian Railway (TAR) traverses desert and semi-desert for its entire length. Depending upon the location the average rainfall is from 5 to 12 inches (127 mm to 305 mm).

No surface water exists within 100s of kilometres of the railway and whilst sub-artesian water is procurable from bores and wells its quality is such that, as previously stated, it requires treatment before being used as boiler feed water. In some cases the water was so bad that it was impractical to treat it and in others it was borderline suitable so as to make treatment unjustifiable.

Towards the end of steam traction on the TAR in 1950/51 it was necessary to haul locomotive water in tank wagons up to 480 kilometres. At that time it was estimated that 137,000,000 gallons were hauled on 49,034 water train miles - almost 1,000 miles/week. (No, I neither know nor care how many Olympic Swimming Pools that equates too!) L

Locomotive coal arrived by sea from Newcastle at Port Augusta where it was stockpiled for distribution as far away as Parkeston. A total of 1,156,657 miles (1,861,459 km) was run by steam locomotives in 1950/51 and 33,902 miles (54,560 km) were run by coal trains on the TAR.

All these costs, miles, maintenance and inconvenience disappeared overnight with the introduction of only 11 GM locomotives from Clyde in 1951/52. Undoubtedly, this was a transformation second only to the construction of the Trans-Australian Railway itself.

Sadly this greatest and quickest transformation in Australian Railway History is virtually forgotten or ignored to the position where only GM 10 remains in operation today. This sole survivor remains in service due to the good graces of SSR to whom Rail Historians owe a great debt.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

As we all know, thanks to Train1959 and his posts over the last few months, The Trans-Australian Railway (TAR) traverses desert and semi-desert for its entire length. Depending upon the location the average rainfall is from 5 to 12 inches (127 mm to 305 mm).

No surface water exists within 100s of kilometres of the railway and whilst sub-artesian water is procurable from bores and wells its quality is such that, as previously stated, it requires treatment before being used as boiler feed water. In some cases the water was so bad that it was impractical to treat it and in others it was borderline suitable so as to make treatment unjustifiable.

Towards the end of steam traction on the TAR in 1950/51 it was necessary to haul locomotive water in tank wagons up to 480 kilometres. At that time it was estimated that 137,000,000 gallons were hauled on 49,034 water train miles - almost 1,000 miles/week. (No, I neither know nor care how many Olympic Swimming Pools that equates too!) L

Locomotive coal arrived by sea from Newcastle at Port Augusta where it was stockpiled for distribution as far away as Parkeston. A total of 1,156,657 miles (1,861,459 km) was run by steam locomotives in 1950/51 and 33,902 miles (54,560 km) were run by coal trains on the TAR.

All these costs, miles, maintenance and inconvenience disappeared overnight with the introduction of only 11 GM locomotives from Clyde in 1951/52. Undoubtedly, this was a transformation second only to the construction of the Trans-Australian Railway itself.

Sadly this greatest and quickest transformation in Australian Railway History is virtually forgotten or ignored to the position where only GM 10 remains in operation today. This sole survivor remains in service due to the good graces of SSR to whom Rail Historians owe a great debt.
YM-Mundrabilla
Nice work YM. I did hear GM3 was purchased by SSR and is undergoing restoration in NSW and will be put back into use again. Maybe someone can verify this?
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Further to YM Mundrabilla’s comments regarding water and coal on the Trans-Australian Railway…….

If you come to think about it the railway and its running was something quite unique in Australia and the World………..

Coal…….there were no coal mines anywhere near the route and coal came from NSW by ship ironically and was then transported to where it was required.

Water……No running water at all. Rainfall was inconsistent at best, evaporation rates were 10-20 times the rainfall rate (hence the covered dams).  Water quality from bores was not fit to drink, it wrecked locomotive boilers. The Aboriginals did find water in soaks that they kept secret, the resource could sustain life but not in great numbers. Then white man came along and wrecked them anyway.

Meat…..No farms, no cattle stations (until much later), everything had to be transported in.

Bread…….No wheat farms, no suitable land or reliable rainfall, no bakeries!  Bring in your own supplies, build your own bakery and bake your own bread on site.

Basic Food Supplies…..no supermarkets, no shops, no towns!!! Bring it in as best you can.

Medical…..no towns, no doctors, no hospitals………..

Schooling….. there were none obviously so build your own.

Electricity (eventually), sanitation, roads, aqueducts (well maybe not!) ……the list is endless. Certainly one of Australia’s greatest engineering achievements………
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Just when you thought it was safe Orient Express have done these as their part in the celebration, not authentic but collectable.

http://www.orientexpressmodels.com.au/OER/images/OR489.jpg
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Also available are these as well.
http://www.orientexpressmodels.com.au/OER/images/OR488.jpg
http://www.orientexpressmodels.com.au/OER/images/OR498.jpg
http://www.orientexpressmodels.com.au/OER/images/OR499.jpg

These are simply repaints of Centenary Cars and although some early Centenary Cars were repainted this colour it was only a few of them and not all that long either. Also for those interstate the red baggage car is a Centenary Baggage car not the other Suburban Baggage cars that SAR had. These cars have mainly been provide to make other cars out of them or use on your model layout as as is as your own railways cars! They all come without lights though even the TransAustralia car but all have pick ups in the bogies though.

One use for the red cars after you remove the toilets in both cars and fillers etc on the roof. If you paint the seats a blue colour you get what was called a Blue Day Car, they had a few like this but later got converted to full Centenary cars though.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ye Gods. Rolling Eyes
The baggage car is even off the road for good measure.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller


Fact 41 / 100 – Telegraph line and the Postal Department

In 1925 the Trans-Australian Railway telegraphic and electric staff working was carried on a single copper wire and galvanised iron wire respectively. The line had 6.7 metre Siemens iron poles spaced 15 to 17 to the kilometre.

The Postal Department already had a line that connected Perth and Adelaide via a coastal route through Eucla. In 1927 the Postal Department began to use the Commonwealth’s system who added 4 new wires to the poles for the service along with an additional wire for railway business. The Postal Department established a repeater station at Cook, a battery house, telegraph office and staff quarters. Maintenance was carried out by railway linesman under a Joint Control Agreement.

Sources:              “Riders of the Steel Highways” – Monte Luke

  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Ye Gods. Rolling Eyes
The baggage car is even off the road for good measure.
YM-Mundrabilla
So is the red coach by the look of it probably done to stop it rolling away while the photo was taken.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller


Fact 41 / 100 – Telegraph line and the Postal Department

In 1925 the Trans-Australian Railway telegraphic and electric staff working was carried on a single copper wire and galvanised iron wire respectively. The line had 6.7 metre Siemens iron poles spaced 15 to 17 to the kilometre.

The Postal Department already had a line that connected Perth and Adelaide via a coastal route through Eucla. In 1927 the Postal Department began to use the Commonwealth’s system who added 4 new wires to the poles for the service along with an additional wire for railway business. The Postal Department established a repeater station at Cook, a battery house, telegraph office and staff quarters. Maintenance was carried out by railway linesman under a Joint Control Agreement.

Sources:              “Riders of the Steel Highways” – Monte Luke

Train1959
The installation of Automatic Electric Train Staff Working was first discussed following the opening of the Trans-Australian Railway in 1917.

Ten stations were equipped with automatic electric staff instruments and telephone repeaters in 1924 and 1925. These were Bookaloo, Wirraminna, Wynbring, Immarna, Ooldea, Hughes, Forrest, Haig, Naretha and Karonie.

The Stationmasters and other traffic staff released by the conversion to unattended stations were transferred and utilised in staffing the newly taken over Oodnadatta Railway (1st January 1926).

When the automatic instruments were first installed it was not possible to work two adjacent unattended staff stations and it was necessary that there be an attended station on each side of the automatic station. The instruments were eventually improved and it became practicable to have two or more intervening unattended stations.

Attended stations ranged from 77 to 325 kilometres apart with the majority being over 160 kilometres apart. The Automatic Electric Staff system was operated for distances up to 138 kilometres.

The system proved to be a great success and enabled trains to be worked over very long "attended" sections. It was particularly suited to the Trans-Australian Railway where there was so little local traffic and where through traffic was the main priority.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller


Fact 42 / 100 – Increasing the Electricity Supply in Port Augusta

During 1924 the Corporation of Port Augusta began taking electric energy from the Commonwealth Railways for the use of the town’s residents as well as their own buildings and residences. In 1927 and 1928 the supply was extended to include Davenport and Port Augusta West. To this end the existing Power Station’s capacity was increased.

Two 200kw generating sets were commissioned at the end of 1930 and a more powerful 500kw power generating set was commissioned in March 1931.

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

Fact 42 / 100 – Increasing the Electricity Supply in Port Augusta

During 1924 the Corporation of Port Augusta began taking electric energy from the Commonwealth Railways for the use of the town’s residents as well as their own buildings and residences. In 1927 and 1928 the supply was extended to include Davenport and Port Augusta West. To this end the existing Power Station’s capacity was increased.

Two 200kw generating sets were commissioned at the end of 1930 and a more powerful 500kw power generating set was commissioned in March 1931.

Train1959
Thanks Train1959.
Do you or anyone else here on RP have any details of the engines/generators and voltages etc provided by the CR power station.
I have a very very vague recollection that CR was still generating some power into the 1960s which I assume was long after ETSA (or whatever they were called that day) would have been supplying town power in Port Augusta.
Very vague so any correction or additional info will be welcome.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Check this out everyone...............

https://australiapostcollectables.com.au/content/dam/auspost_corp_microsites/collectables/documents/stamp-bulletins/stamp-bulletin-347.pdf?fm=search-organic

Proceed to page 6. Stamps out in July.

They will also be available on the day in October 22nd.
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller


Fact 42 / 100 – Increasing the Electricity Supply in Port Augusta

During 1924 the Corporation of Port Augusta began taking electric energy from the Commonwealth Railways for the use of the town’s residents as well as their own buildings and residences. In 1927 and 1928 the supply was extended to include Davenport and Port Augusta West. To this end the existing Power Station’s capacity was increased.

Two 200kw generating sets were commissioned at the end of 1930 and a more powerful 500kw power generating set was commissioned in March 1931.

Thanks Train1959.
Do you or anyone else here on RP have any details of the engines/generators and voltages etc provided by the CR power station.
I have a very very vague recollection that CR was still generating some power into the 1960s which I assume was long after ETSA (or whatever they were called that day) would have been supplying town power in Port Augusta.
Very vague so any correction or additional info will be welcome.
YM-Mundrabilla
Hi YM

From my notes I can see they (the CR) kept upgrading the Power Plant. In 1940 three diesel generators (1x500kw and 2x250kw) were installed with a DC Voltage of 460. Total electricity generated was 1,072,018 units. Surplus went to the Council for street and domestic lighting.

In 1944 another 500kw AC generator unit was installed.

By 1951 the Council was taking 1 million units of the almost 3 million units generated.

In 1952 the sole supply to the Council ceased when ETSA began generation in September.

By 1953/54 the Council took all their power from ETSA.

On the 7th of November 1960 all alternating current at Port Augusta was taken from ETSA. Direct current requirements (still used in departmental residences) were still generated at the Railway Power House.

From 1st of July 1964 the Electricity Trust took over the supply of the whole town of Port Augusta thus ending the Commonwealth Railway's 42 year obligation to the towns power supply.

The Power House was converted for use as the Apprentice Training Centre which opened February 1968. Apprentice Instructors were Brian Barnes and assistant Keith Miller.

Looking at the current state of South Australia's power supply maybe they should re-open the Power House again and supply Port Augusta once more!!!!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

Fact 42 / 100 – Increasing the Electricity Supply in Port Augusta

During 1924 the Corporation of Port Augusta began taking electric energy from the Commonwealth Railways for the use of the town’s residents as well as their own buildings and residences. In 1927 and 1928 the supply was extended to include Davenport and Port Augusta West. To this end the existing Power Station’s capacity was increased.

Two 200kw generating sets were commissioned at the end of 1930 and a more powerful 500kw power generating set was commissioned in March 1931.

Thanks Train1959.
Do you or anyone else here on RP have any details of the engines/generators and voltages etc provided by the CR power station.
I have a very very vague recollection that CR was still generating some power into the 1960s which I assume was long after ETSA (or whatever they were called that day) would have been supplying town power in Port Augusta.
Very vague so any correction or additional info will be welcome.
Hi YM

From my notes I can see they (the CR) kept upgrading the Power Plant. In 1940 three diesel generators (1x500kw and 2x250kw) were installed with a DC Voltage of 460. Total electricity generated was 1,072,018 units. Surplus went to the Council for street and domestic lighting.

In 1944 another 500kw AC generator unit was installed.

By 1951 the Council was taking 1 million units of the almost 3 million units generated.

In 1952 the sole supply to the Council ceased when ETSA began generation in September.

By 1953/54 the Council took all their power from ETSA.

On the 7th of November 1960 all alternating current at Port Augusta was taken from ETSA. Direct current requirements (still used in departmental residences) were still generated at the Railway Power House.

From 1st of July 1964 the Electricity Trust took over the supply of the whole town of Port Augusta thus ending the Commonwealth Railway's 42 year obligation to the towns power supply.

The Power House was converted for use as the Apprentice Training Centre which opened February 1968. Apprentice Instructors were Brian Barnes and assistant Keith Miller.

Looking at the current state of South Australia's power supply maybe they should re-open the Power House again and supply Port Augusta once more!!!!
Train1959
Thanks Train1959.
Most informative and helpful.
As I said in my previous post I had a recollection that the CR Power Station closed in the 1960s. I also thought that it generated DC for departmental purposes.
All I can add to your information is that my recollections also included that some workshops machinery was still DC into the 1960s adding to the need to maintain departmental generation.
Regards
YM

PS: I have a couple of bicycle tyre dynamos that I can let you have for when the lights go out..........not now necessary as Malcolm has just announced some wonderful new Snowy Mountains generation scheme.Smile
  Train1959 Junior Train Controller

Fact 43 / 100 – Schools

In 1926 schools operated at Woocalla, Kingoonya, Tarcoola and Cook (SA Education Dept) and at Rawlinna, Zanthus and Golden Ridge (WA Education Dept).  
 
Source: 1926 Commonwealth Railways Annual Report

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