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

 
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I was not aware of any similarities between an L / 740 class and the NSW 59.
YM-Mundrabilla
The wheel arrangement is about the only similarity between them both being 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotives!

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'The C Class completely displaced the G Class locos from passenger working.'
West of Port Augusta only. My understanding is that G/Ga locos normally continued to work the Port Augusta - Port Pirie Junction section until the GMs arrived.

At least some C class tenders were retained until much later as water tanks on the weed spraying train and one set of C class tender bogies were used under the out of gauge heavy list wagon (whose  number I forget RH ....??).

Open to correction as always.
Is the tender out at a dead end at Spencer Junction from a C Class? Has sat out there for years.
Train1959
If it is a C class tender you would be hard put to miss it!!!
  Train1959 Train Controller

Photo Exhibition Update



"Living and Working on the Trans-Australian Railway" Exhibition


Platform Gallery - Port Augusta Railway Station


12th to the 28th of October.



Only a fortnight to go if you want to have your photos/slides exhibited in October.


We need an early cutoff date to make sure of printing deadlines


I am really after 1960's to 1980's colour photos/slides of everyday life on the line.


I thought this era would be the most popular as cameras became more prevalent.


Looking for social activities, sport, play, home duties, photos of inside the houses, a Tea and Sugar or express visit.


Send me a private message if you think you are able to help.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
'The C Class completely displaced the G Class locos from passenger working.'
West of Port Augusta only. My understanding is that G/Ga locos normally continued to work the Port Augusta - Port Pirie Junction section until the GMs arrived.

At least some C class tenders were retained until much later as water tanks on the weed spraying train and one set of C class tender bogies were used under the out of gauge heavy list wagon (whose  number I forget RH ....??).

Open to correction as always.
Is the tender out at a dead end at Spencer Junction from a C Class? Has sat out there for years.
Correction, is it L Class? Strangely enough it is one of the few pieces we have left from the standard gauge steam era!
Train1959

The tender that is (was??) at the far northern end of Port Augusta is an ex L-class tender. I have heard that it was to be preserved but have never heard of it moving anywhere. I hope that it does get preserved due to its Standard gauge connection. However, when I last saw it, it was in very poor condition. Maybe beyond salvation...

Also of interest to me, there is (was???) two ex SAR FBT flat wagons and a couple of FB flat wagons in the EDI works area in the Port Augusta work shops. I last saw them in September 2014.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 51 / 100 -  Rain, Rain and more Rain………..

Even though the Trans-Australian Railway was beset with water shortages from the very beginning it still had its fair share of floods and washaways. There were too many to mention all of them however here are just a few in the space of 2 years:

February 1938 between Port Augusta and Barton the line was flood damaged in 12 different locations. Track was washed out to a depth of up to 1.5 metres in places which required major repairs to earthworks.

Telephone and telegraph lines were severely damaged in the remnants of a cyclone in February 1938. Communications were luckily restored the next day.

In February 1939 exceptionally heavy rains occurred on the western end resulting in washaways in 31 locations between Randells and Kalgoorlie. Parkeston recorded 190mm in an eight day period. Full repairs were completed in March.

On the 2nd and 3rd of June 1939 very heavy rain fell on the Port Germein-Port Pirie section resulting in severe damage to the track and the subsequent derailment of a stock train.

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

  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 52 / 100 –    Air-Conditioned Carriages

The first air-conditioned car (a first class lounge) was placed in service on the Trans-Australian Railway on the 18th of February 1936. By July 1937 there were two air-conditioned cars in use, the other being a dining car. By May 1938 all Trans services had air-conditioned Lounge and Dining Cars.

Not only did it provide cooling in summer and heating in the cooler months but it alleviated dust from within the carriages which was much appreciated by the passengers.

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


Fact 53 / 100      –  Staff Numbers 30th of June 1939
 
Salaried Staff                         266
Wages Staff                        1,829

Total                                    2,095
  M636C Minister for Railways

I was not aware of any similarities between an L / 740 class and the NSW 59.
The wheel arrangement is about the only similarity between them both being 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotives!
David Peters
I used the word "represent" rather than "resemble"...

The 59 has significantly larger coupled wheels and is taller resulting in taller boiler mountings.

But the general appearance of the 59 as built is very similar to the L, with the smokebox arrangement looking very similar.

Both trace their original design to the American Locomotive Company. The 59 was developed from the British WD 2-8-2, which in turn was based on an Alco 2-8-2 for passenger service in Greece. The story of the use of Alco drawings for the 30 "big engines " is well known.

And since there are no available working L, 740 or even 700 class available there isn't much of a choice.

While the 36 class shares all of its dimensions with the CR C class, the appearance with the different boiler and cab means that a 36 cannot represent a C class convincingly.

Peter
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 54 / 100   –  War Comes to Australia    “Increased Traffic”

In the pre-war years it had been envisaged that the Trans-Australian Railway would be of more significance than the Central Australia Railway. However when war came the opposite was the case. During 1939 and 1940 it appeared that the greatest demand for service would be on the TAR and long range plans were made for increased capacity.

However the Japanese threat to Australia bought both the Central and North Australia
Railways to the forefront of the country’s northern defense.  These lightly used railways were fully exploited during the war years but stood the test remarkably well.

For example the Central Australia Railway catered for 2 “through” trains a week prior to the war but this increased to 56 “through” trains at its height.

The North Australia Railway went from 1 train to 147 trains per week.

The Trans-Australian Railway more than doubled its capacity at times during the war but was not as heavily relied upon as were the CAR and NAR.  

However all systems suffered as a result of the immense burdens  placed upon them during the war to the extent they were in urgent need of upgrading in the years immediately after the war.

Source:  “Riders of the Steel Highways” – Monte Luke
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

I was not aware of any similarities between an L / 740 class and the NSW 59.
The wheel arrangement is about the only similarity between them both being 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotives!
I used the word "represent" rather than "resemble"...

The 59 has significantly larger coupled wheels and is taller resulting in taller boiler mountings.

But the general appearance of the 59 as built is very similar to the L, with the smokebox arrangement looking very similar.

Both trace their original design to the American Locomotive Company. The 59 was developed from the British WD 2-8-2, which in turn was based on an Alco 2-8-2 for passenger service in Greece. The story of the use of Alco drawings for the 30 "big engines " is well known.

And since there are no available working L, 740 or even 700 class available there isn't much of a choice.

While the 36 class shares all of its dimensions with the CR C class, the appearance with the different boiler and cab means that a 36 cannot represent a C class convincingly.

Peter
M636C
The December 1964 edition of “Trains” magazine contained an article by Colonel Howard G Hill which was mainly about his design of the 2-8-2 locomotives for use by the British Army on the Trans Iranian Railway during World War II.
On page 23 there is a photo of a 2-8-2 locomotive built by Baldwin in 1924 for the Montana, Wyoming & southern Railway in the USA.
The caption stated that this became the base point for the ultimate War Department Mike.
And it was Baldwin that produced the actual design of these locomotives.
The NSWGR 59 class was a copy of these locomotives, but with a smaller tender.
  Train1959 Train Controller

Special Program for the Event

We are currently in the process of designing a special program for the event on Sunday the 22nd of October. This program will only be available on the day and will include some notes along with all the day’s activities.

There will be special provision in the program for a one off Australia Post postmark dated 22/10/2017. You will need to purchase the special Australia Post "Trans-Australia Railway Centenary" stamps on the day to receive the postmark from Australia Post who will be in attendance.

In years to come this will become a true collector’s piece. There will only be a limited amount available on the day. Programs will be strictly limited to one per person.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 56 / 100 – War Comes to Australia  “Italian Prisoners of War”

During April 1942  300 Italian prisoners of war from Hay NSW came to work on the Trans-Australian Railway at various remote locations. They were split into 6 gangs of 50 prisoners with 18 military guards, 6 gangers and 2 cooks.

The prisoners were engaged mainly in resleepering or similar labour intensive work that could be done over a relatively short distance. As 120 officers and other ranks were engaged as guards the prisoners were returned to Army custody in December 1943 and work was taken over by the Civil Aliens Corps (see next fact).

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


  Train1959 Train Controller

Missed number 55!




Fact 55 / 100 – War Comes to Australia    “Protected Industry” & “Labour Shortages”


One of the main problems confronting the railways was that of manpower. By May 1940 men began to drift away as enlistments grew in the Defense Forces and the attraction of higher wages and better amenities offered in the cities claimed large numbers of staff.

In February 1942 the Commonwealth Railways was declared a “protected industry” under the National Security (Manpower) Regulations.

Also employees were obtained on loan from other systems. Many volunteers would eventually stay in Port Augusta, marry local girls and have children and grandchildren who would become railway employees. Also in 1943 women began to be employed in various positions.


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


  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Missed number 55!




Fact 55 / 100 – War Comes to Australia    “Protected Industry” & “Labour Shortages”


One of the main problems confronting the railways was that of manpower. By May 1940 men began to drift away as enlistments grew in the Defense Forces and the attraction of higher wages and better amenities offered in the cities claimed large numbers of staff.

In February 1942 the Commonwealth Railways was declared a “protected industry” under the National Security (Manpower) Regulations.

Also employees were obtained on loan from other systems. Many volunteers would eventually stay in Port Augusta, marry local girls and have children and grandchildren who would become railway employees. Also in 1943 women began to be employed in various positions.


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


"Train1959"

My Grandfather was a ganger with SAR working on the Mt Pleasant line during WWII and was turned down from the Army because he was employed in an essential service. This kind of thing was common.
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 57 / 100 – War Comes to Australia  “Civil Aliens Corps”

The Civil Aliens Corps was established on 3 May 1943 under the National Security (Aliens Service) Regulations to come under the control of the Director-General of Allied Works. War Cabinet had approved this step as a means of giving relief to Australia's worsening manpower shortage as the War progressed. Under the regulations any male refugee alien or enemy alien between the ages of 18 and 60 could be directed to serve in the Civil Aliens Corps.

Following Italy’s entry into World War II as an Axis power, life on the home-front was often difficult for people of Italian origin in Australia. Many of the men not serving in the armed services or held in internment camps were conscripted into compulsory labour service. The Civil Construction Corps for those with British citizenship, or the Civil Alien Corps for Italian citizens, frequently meant work in remote locations in the bush.  

Aliens, who were required to register with authorities following the outbreak of war, were classified according to their nationality in the following categories: Allied, Neutral, Indeterminate and Enemy. Many of those who joined the Civil Aliens Corps were internees who were released from internment camps and sent back to their home states to await call up to the Corps. Out of some 15,601 registered aliens 1,671 were accepted into the Corps.

The Corps was disbanded in May 1945.

The Commonwealth Railways engaged a total of 756 men on both the Trans-Australian Railway and Central Australia Railway over the course of the war.

Although the work was generally not of the same standard as trained railway workers it was considered that the maintenance would not have been possible at all without their services.

When the Corps was disbanded in 1945 those members who elected to remain with the railways were then subject to normal industrial conditions of employment.

Source: Digger History & Monte Luke
  Train1959 Train Controller

Fact 58 / 100 – The War Comes to Australia “Blackouts” & “You cannot be too careful”

Many measures were put in place to protect the railway upon the outbreak of war. Watches were kept of important positions in the town including the workshops, wharf, station buildings and locomotive depots at Port Pirie, Quorn and Parkeston. A continuous guard was kept at the bridge over the gulf at Yorkey’s Crossing.

Black-out conditions were imposed in February 1942 on buildings, streets and trains.

Station name boards were removed from stations between Port Pirie Junction and Pimba and Ooldea and Forrest on the TAR and between Port Augusta and Brachina on the CAR. Presumably this was to confuse invading Japanese forces when they arrived into not knowing where they were!

Writers note: If the Japanese had reached either Port Augusta or Port Pirie you would have presumed they knew where they were and that Australia was in deep trouble!

On the 16th of February 1942 the workshop whistle at Port Augusta, which signaled starting and cessation times, was silenced to facilitate its use as an air-raid siren. The blowing of the whistle for work purposes was reinstated on the 6th of September 1943.

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

  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 59 / 100 – The War Comes to Australia “Passenger Traffic on the Trans”

As you would expect passenger traffic on the Trans-Australian Railway increased dramatically during the Second World War. Non-Essential passenger traffic was either curtailed or ceased entirely as the railway was run exclusively for Defense traffic.

Between July 1942 and May 1945 only one passenger train per week on average each way was hauled on the TAR.  Whereas for example in 1943-44  there were 154 westbound and 198 eastbound trains for military personnel.

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

  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact 60 / 100 – The War Comes to Australia  “Additional Locomotives urgently needed”

During 1940-41 the Commonwealth had called for tenders for locomotives similar to the C Class but no contracts resulted.

The US Army was approached and agreed to assist where possible under the Lend-Lease agreement. When the locomotives did arrive they were of a design from the early 1900’s. The first locomotives were eight Canadian Pacific Railways superheated 4-6-0 type. They were reclassified as CN Class and went into service in November 1942 and February 1943. They had been built in Montreal in 1907 and 1908.

Two further locomotives arrived a few months later, both built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. They were designated the CA Class.

The 10 engines helped ease the situation on the Trans-Australian Railway considerably despite their age and poor condition. Only three managed to survive until the introduction of diesels in September 1951.

Source:  Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways – NRM Adelaide
  Train1959 Train Controller


Fact  61 / 100 – Sleeper Renewals & Ballasting

During 1939-40 the ballasting of the whole line between Port Pirie Junction and Kalgoorlie was completed.

By the 30th of June 1945 approximately 2.44 million or 93% of sleepers had been renewed.

     
Fact 62 / 100 – “Seaview Hostel” Port Augusta

Seaview Hostel was established in the old South Australian Bank building on Tassie Street, Port Augusta in October 1942. This was to assist in overcoming a shortage of accommodation in the town by providing board and/or lodging for volunteer railway employees from other systems as well as trainee tradesman from the SA Dilution Committee. Sleeping accommodation was provided for up to 76 men with a dining room catering for 46 persons. The number of meals served in the first year totaled 50,975.

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

  M636C Minister for Railways


Fact 60 / 100 – The War Comes to Australia  “Additional Locomotives urgently needed”

During 1940-41 the Commonwealth had called for tenders for locomotives similar to the C Class but no contracts resulted.

The US Army was approached and agreed to assist where possible under the Lend-Lease agreement. When the locomotives did arrive they were of a design from the early 1900’s. The first locomotives were eight Canadian Pacific Railways superheated 4-6-0 type. They were reclassified as CN Class and went into service in November 1942 and February 1943. They had been built in Montreal in 1907 and 1908.

Two further locomotives arrived a few months later, both built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. They were designated the CA Class.

The 10 engines helped ease the situation on the Trans-Australian Railway considerably despite their age and poor condition. Only three managed to survive until the introduction of diesels in September 1951.

Source:  Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways – NRM Adelaide
Train1959

No locomotives came from the Canadian Pacific.

All eight came from the Canadian National, having been absorbed on nationalisation from the Canadian Northern.
Hence the classification "CN".
They were built by the Machine Works in Montreal, later the Montreal Locomotive Works.

http://trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnor/one.htm

This site illustrates one of the CN class in Canadian Northern colours (scroll down about 2/3 of the page).

Peter
  Train1959 Train Controller

Yes you are right Peter, I stand corrected.

The Locomotive and Machine Company of Montreal Limited was created in 1883 producing primary for the growing domestic market – notably the Canadian Pacific, Grand Trunk and Intercolonial Railways and after 1922 for the Canadian National Railway.

In 1901, The American Locomotive Company (Alco) headquartered in Schenectady, New York, was formed by the merger of several struggling locomotive manufacturers. Alco purchased the Locomotive & Machine Company of Montreal in 1904 to tap into the Canadian market with its emerging designs. The Montreal subsidiary was renamed Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) several year later.  

As you would expect there have been plenty of changes and takeovers throughout the years with names including Worthington Corporation, Studebaker and Bombardier to name a few.

According to “Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways” the locos were built in 1907 and 1908 for the Canadian Northern Railway. They had then passed to the Canadian National Railways in 1918 as the H6c class.

The Canadian Northern was an original transcontinental railway in Canada but was merged into the Canadian National Railway in 1923.

Initially the CN’s and CA’s worked the entire Trans-Australian Railway but in later years and lack of reliability the locos were mainly confined to the Port Augusta to Port Pirie run. In time they were taken from main line duty altogether. Some were allocated as standby engines and one as the loco shunter in Parkeston. The final two locos were withdrawn from service in December 1951 although CN76 was in steam as late as March 1952. The locos were scrapped some years later.  

Source:   Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways & Good old Wikipedia!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

Fact 60 / 100 – The War Comes to Australia  “Additional Locomotives urgently needed”

During 1940-41 the Commonwealth had called for tenders for locomotives similar to the C Class but no contracts resulted.

The US Army was approached and agreed to assist where possible under the Lend-Lease agreement. When the locomotives did arrive they were of a design from the early 1900’s. The first locomotives were eight Canadian Pacific Railways superheated 4-6-0 type. They were reclassified as CN Class and went into service in November 1942 and February 1943. They had been built in Montreal in 1907 and 1908.

Two further locomotives arrived a few months later, both built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. They were designated the CA Class.

The 10 engines helped ease the situation on the Trans-Australian Railway considerably despite their age and poor condition. Only three managed to survive until the introduction of diesels in September 1951.

Source:  Locomotives and Railcars of the Commonwealth Railways – NRM Adelaide

No locomotives came from the Canadian Pacific.

All eight came from the Canadian National, having been absorbed on nationalisation from the Canadian Northern.
Hence the classification "CN".
They were built by the Machine Works in Montreal, later the Montreal Locomotive Works.

http://trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnor/one.htm

This site illustrates one of the CN class in Canadian Northern colours (scroll down about 2/3 of the page).

Peter
M636C
I have always been intrigued by the locomotive situation on the TAR prior to and during WW2. I have heard/read of several stories which seemed to reflect badly on the Locomotive Branch but do not really know the true and accurate situation.

Suffice it to say, that up to 1943 2 G class, 2 K class and no less than 12 Ka class locomotives had been withdrawn on the TAR leaving an apparently desperate loco shortage ultimately resulting in the arrival of the 2 Ca and 8 Cn classes from late 1942.

Whilst the Ca and Cn locos would perhaps have been an improvement over the K and Ka classes, the true condition of the withdrawn locomotives and what led up to their withdrawal would be very interesting.

It would also be interesting to speculate on the need for the North American locos had a fair proportion of CR's own withdrawn locos been available for traffic especially taking into account in that NSWGR had large numbers of more or less identical locomotives which remained in service for up to 10 years after WW2.

Perhaps there was a level of non cooperation/assistance from the NSWGR, I don't know. On the other hand the level of assistance to CR from the SAR, WAGR and QGR on the CAR and NAR was immense.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I think water condition might have been the problem for those withdrawn locomotives once a boiler is badly corroded inside it is next to useless and getting new boilers during war time or just preceding it might just have been out of the locomotives branch grasp. Even repairing if possible these old boilers might have been put on the back burner to keep the operating ones going as long as possible and when it was realized that there was a shortfall of traffic-able locomotives then calls went out for anything suitable. As most State railways including the NSWGR were almost in the same boat then it was not possible to source whole locomotives in a hurry in Australia so they were sourced overseas. And It looks to me that even the US and Canada had trouble finding locomotives that could be spared and hence the locomotives were elderly and almost at the end of their lives! There is possibly some truth in what I stated!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I think water condition might have been the problem for those withdrawn locomotives once a boiler is badly corroded inside it is next to useless and getting new boilers during war time or just preceding it might just have been out of the locomotives branch grasp. Even repairing if possible these old boilers might have been put on the back burner to keep the operating ones going as long as possible and when it was realized that there was a shortfall of traffic-able locomotives then calls went out for anything suitable. As most State railways including the NSWGR were almost in the same boat then it was not possible to source whole locomotives in a hurry in Australia so they were sourced overseas. And It looks to me that even the US and Canada had trouble finding locomotives that could be spared and hence the locomotives were elderly and almost at the end of their lives! There is possibly some truth in what I stated!
David Peters
Admittedly a long time ago. Of the 16 locos listed in my earlier post all but 2 of them were withdrawn in 1942/43 so whether they all 'collapsed' at once (like the Vlocity wheels, perhaps Smile) or whether the Ca and Cn had a greater impact than anticipated who knows?

Granted boilers were a never ending problem but it is a story where much is unknown.

I do recall that some local people lit a coal fire in the smokebox of a stowed loco at Rawlinna or Zanthus (I think) many years ago and supposedly ruined the boiler in the process so this may well account for one of the early withdrawals.
The subject is one worthy a great deal of research as the availability of spare boilers prior to WW2 is interesting.
  M636C Minister for Railways

And It looks to me that even the US and Canada had trouble finding locomotives that could be spared and hence the locomotives were elderly and almost at the end of their lives!
David Peters
As I understand it, the problem was that locomotives in the USA were being built to higher axle loads than could be accepted on the Commonwealth Railways. The change occurred well before the First World War, and by the end of that war the USRA standard locomotives, which set the standards for all but the largest locomotives in the USA, had axle loads around 30 US tons.

This was less true in Canada, where the Canadian National found themselves with thousands of miles of relatively light lines from the railways taken over by the government in 1920. This was still a consideration at the end of the 1960s, when Montreal Locomotive Works developed their new design of three axle locomotive bogie (generally known as the "Dofasco" after the steel company that made the castings.) This was specially designed to reduce lateral force applied in curves compared to earlier designs of three axle bogies and was scientifically tested by Canadian National and was used on many MLW, Bombardier and GE locomotives  bought by CN for some years.

Eric Adam's autobiography gives some idea of the condition of the CNs and CAs. The CNs were generally in better condition, if I recall correctly.

It should be remembered that the NSWGR had many non-superheated 50 and 53 class in storage from 1931 until 1939, and many of these were rebuilt with the new design of standard boiler introduced in 1937. The extent of this work is evident by just checking the dates of superheating of NSW 50 and 53 class locomotives.

Many didn't last until 1939, being sold as scrap to Japan, becoming part of the reason for RG Menzies' nickname of "Pig Iron Bob". But enough remained that rebuilding with new standard boilers met much of the NSWGR's need for locomotives during WWII. I've never seen a 53 or 55 with a tapered boiler, although some might have survived until after WWII.

Peter

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