Steam Locomotives on Sydney Harbour Bridge?

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mattb27j Chief Commissioner

Location: Berowra


NT25 Grafton Daylight XPT drops off the Harbour bridge into Milsons Point station due to trackwork being carried out between Strathfield and Hornsby on February 25th, 1996.


XP2000 against the backdrop of Sydney as it trails a special 3 car Marketing XPT set across the Sydney Harbour Bridge on HT94 on February 19th, 1997

All images from http://www.trainman.id.au/

Matt

 
BrianB Chief Train Controller

Location: Brisbane

In 1932, 96 steam locomotives were positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the Bridge...

- Tsubame800



As was noted, this was one third of NSWGR's steam locomotives.

Had the bridge collapsed...  Exclamation

I recall the photographs, a magnificent sight. Were they still in steam on the bridge?

It certainly provided proof to the Sydney-siders that the bridge was "safe".

Found one photograph...

>>>>>
"(Static) Load-testing of Harbour Bridge when

fifty steam locos were run on western side."


larger image here...http://libapp.sl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus/ENQ/PM/FULL1?51282,I

cheers... marvin  Very Happy

--------------------

- marvin

When you have a closer look at that photo, there is no evidence of any of them being in steam.

Also many of these locos do not have tenders attached, and there are a few locos of older classes no longer in revenue service.

 
mattb27j Chief Commissioner

Location: Berowra

They wouldn't of been allowed to travel over the bridge lit up, imagine the ashes dropping from the bridge onto the wooden sleepers and even down to the boat below.

 
steam3801 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Newcastle

Me wiv me box brownie .....

 

 
nosecone Chief Commissioner

They wouldn't of been allowed to travel over the bridge lit up, imagine the ashes dropping from the bridge onto the wooden sleepers and even down to the boat below.

- mattb27j

There was quite a discussion on the topic of test locos (7,000 tons of them) and there being only a couple in steam to bring the dead ones out onto the Bridge, starting here:
http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11302697-0-asc-s30.htm

Electra quotes from David Keenan's book, listing the classes of locos and the quantity of each class used.

 
marvin Chief Train Controller

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"

............

When you have a closer look at that photo, there is no evidence of any of them being in steam.

Also many of these locos do not have tenders attached, and there are a few locos of older classes no longer in revenue service.

- BrianB



Fair comment. It was the only photo that I could find at short notice. I'm sure that later testing was done, with locos on both sides of the bridge. At this stage I have not been able to find the relevant photo.

...   and there being only a couple in steam to bring the dead ones out onto the Bridge,  /

- nosecone



...and no doubt get them off the bridge if they thought something was going wrong.

marvs.

---------

 
marvin Chief Train Controller

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"

..........[gallery=http://gallery.railpage.com.au/modules.php?set_albumName=album06&id=4492_4489_6268_Argyle_3_10_93&name=gallery&include=view_photo.php]

Thanks for the photo Marvin Very Happy

How many locos did they use ShockedQuestion .

- Syd3642



I had seen this photo in the gallery some time back, and kept a copy on my hard drive. When I was preparing the post I was intrigued by the caption...
4492_4489_6268_Argyle_3_10_93

4492 is leading, with 4489 as second loco. "Argyle" would be around Argyle Cut at The Rocks.  I would imagine from the way the caption is written that 6268 is a tailing loco, but what sort of motive power is "6268"? I have been having a look in John Cleverdon's Locopage, but the only reference that comes close is: GM28.....62-268.....2/1963.....Preserved in the VR - V/Line - VLP/ FA Locomotives page

If not a loco, was 6268 a run number?

Unfortunately there is no reference to the photographer, nor to the member who uploaded the photograph.

Cheers... Marvin  Confused

--------------------

 
42101 Banned

Location: Banned

6268 IS THE train number marvin.

 
marvin Chief Train Controller

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"

6268 IS THE train number marvin.

- 42101

Thanks for that. Cheers.

.

 
mattb27j Chief Commissioner

Location: Berowra

..........[gallery=http://gallery.railpage.com.au/modules.php?set_albumName=album06&id=4492_4489_6268_Argyle_3_10_93&name=gallery&include=view_photo.php]

Thanks for the photo Marvin Very Happy

How many locos did they use ShockedQuestion .
- Syd3642



I had seen this photo in the gallery some time back, and kept a copy on my hard drive. When I was preparing the post I was intrigued by the caption...
4492_4489_6268_Argyle_3_10_93

4492 is leading, with 4489 as second loco. "Argyle" would be around Argyle Cut at The Rocks.  I would imagine from the way the caption is written that 6268 is a tailing loco, but what sort of motive power is "6268"? I have been having a look in John Cleverdon's Locopage, but the only reference that comes close is: GM28.....62-268.....2/1963.....Preserved in the VR - V/Line - VLP/ FA Locomotives page

If not a loco, was 6268 a run number?

Unfortunately there is no reference to the photographer, nor to the member who uploaded the photograph.

Cheers... Marvin  Confused

--------------------

- marvin

The picture is originally from this website http://www.trainman.id.au/

Matt

 
mattb27j Chief Commissioner

Location: Berowra


8603 leads a northbound freight into the Sydney Underground due to a track closure on the line from Strathfield to Hornsby on October 1st, 1993.

Image found at  http://www.trainman.id.au/

Matt

 
nadnerb_2000 Chief Commissioner

Location: between my hat and my shoe soles

They wouldn't of been allowed to travel over the bridge lit up, imagine the ashes dropping from the bridge onto the wooden sleepers and even down to the boat below.

- mattb27j

Imagine!

Funnily enough, every sleeper on the network at that time would have been made of . . . wood.

Steam trains still run over hawkesbury river bridge. Four 38s in steam running parallel tested that bridge at various speeds. The sleepers? WOOD. And boats below.

Locomotives do not normally drop copious amounts of ash during a trip.

The locomotives were positioned using only a few in steam. Having them all in steam would have been rediculous - why would you crew, prepare, coal, water and service all those locomotives to run when say 10 will do?

Prior to this scene a 30 class tank engine ran across the bridge, basically the first train across. Bradfield rode this locomotive as I understand it. Film footage exists and I believe it is part of a 50 minute video about the construction of the bridge sold at Bridgeclimb. Its an interesting video.

 
Syd3642 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

I will look out for that too nadnerd-2000 Very Happy

 
blakjak Chief Commissioner

Location: Sid-en-aye, Ostralya

About the XPT.

In my memory, in 1998 I was taking some photos at Waverton.

When a XPT rumbled pass.  Very Happy

- Syd3642

Compare the Hawksberry River bridge & have a look at the Syd Harbour Bridge, IIRC 3801 was allowed to steam thru Hawksberry Bridge at full speed with a full consist during operations. So if it can go there, the SHB should have no probs.

In a book I have here about the SHB, it is claimed that when they tested the load bearing capability of the SHB using those 90 odd steam locos, it was only taken to about 52% of it's capabilities.

Dr Bradfield knew the strength of the SHB & had no fears of it failing (it is very over engineered), the loco test was mearly a media stunt to show the ppl of Syd that the bridge wont fall (as alot of bridges had been doing around that time). For that reason, it was very important for the SHB to not only be strong, but to also look strong.

(shouldn't this be in the Railway Archaeology thread were everything else about steam trains & the SHB is?)

 
Syd3642 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

blakjack: The SHB and steam loco would not fit Railway archeology.

Because, the SHB still carries trains and cars.

 
TheLoadedDog Minister for Railways

For that reason, it was very important for the SHB to not only be strong, but to also look strong.

- blakjak

Hence the inclusion of four very expensive sandstone pylons, which between them carry a load of precisely bugger all (apart from their own weight).  They are purely ornamental.

 
hornetfig Assistant Commissioner

Hence the inclusion of four very expensive sandstone pylons, which between them carry a load of precisely bugger all (apart from their own weight).  They are purely ornamental.

- TheLoadedDog™

Worse - they're granite. So much granite in fact that a quarry existed for its entire life for the sole purpose of supplying Harbour Bridge granite

 
Sonofagunzel - Moderator Chief Commissioner

Hence the inclusion of four very expensive sandstone pylons, which between them carry a load of precisely bugger all (apart from their own weight).  They are purely ornamental.

- TheLoadedDog™

One of them is an exhaust stack for the SHT.

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

Hi,

As the Sydney Harbour Bridge turns 75 years old in March. Smile

I would like to know if any steam locomotives eg. 3801 ever ran on the bridge. Question

In the beginning The bridge was used for tram, then suburban cars for the North Shore Line.

If steam did cross the bridge I would like to see some photos  Very Happy .

Thanks,Syd3642

- Syd3642

These two threads will give you a fair amount of information:

keyword - Sydney Harbour Bridge and Similar Bridges

keyword - How to wire a Tunnel

Apart from a Z.19-class 0-6-0 tender loco and two D.50-class 2-8-0 tender locos (which were in steam on construction and wiring trains), the other steam locos used for weight testing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge were "dead" (not in steam).

The Bridge carried trams on the two eastern tracks (which were intended for electric "heavy rail" operations) from 1932 to 1958.  David Keenan's book "The North Sydney Lines of the Sydney Tramway System" (which may still  be available from ARHS Sales in Sydney) contains full details - and plenty of piccies - of the Bridge being used for trams.

The western "heavy rail" tracks have been used continuously since 1932 for that purpose.

A lot of info on the Bridge can also be gleaned from the late Richard Waxworthy's book, "The Unreasonable Man - The Life and Works of JJC Bradfield" which is unfortunately now out of print.  

The wiring work in the tunnels between the southern end of the Bridge approaches and Wynyard was done by L.707 tramway motor (which is now preserved at the Sydney Tramway Museum, Loftus).

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

42101: It was a bad joke  Embarassed

But would the Harbour Bridge really cope with the weight of a 38 class Question  (serious)

- Syd3642

Even the 96 locos dead weighed more than 8,200 tons.  The approach grades in the tunnel are 3.3% (1 in 30), and 1 in 42 (2.4%) in the "daylight" between Argyle Stairs and the southern portal of the arch.  The arch itself has 1 in 40 grades from both portals and the climb from Milsons Point station to the northern portal is 1 in 38 to 1 in 42.

No steam locomotive has ever been authorised to work through the tunnels, to my knowledge, because of the smoke and heavy gradients, not even on the "Bring Back 3801" tour in 1966, where a 46-class electric hauled the special train across the Bridge to St Leonards where the electric handed over to a pair of non-streamlined 38-class locos.

I was unaware of the 59-class + 85-class trip.

According to a paper by Margaret Simpson, Curator of the Powerhouse Museum, presented at the Engineering Heritage Seminar at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney on 22 September 2005, there was a proposal in 1930 for Locomotive No.1 to run over the Bridge for its opening, but this proposal did not proceed.  [See paper entitled "Locomotive No.1 - The First Steam Locomotive in New South Wales"].

Even electric and diesel loco-hauled trains have been kept to a minimum due to the skeletal nature of Town Hall and Wynyard stations.

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

Yep C3102 was last based at Hornsby sheds and was on the first train across afaik. Smile

- 42101

The car in question is C3426. However, as a result of heavy rebuilding in 1975-76, involving the fitting of a large guards compartment, additional doors on its sides and the fitting of Beclawat window, it bears little resemblance to how it looked in March 1932.  [Interestingly, C3426 is the only member of the heritage fleet to have Beclawat windows].

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

Now all we need is the other 2 power cars eh. Wink  Will see what i can find.

- 42101

The 50th anniversary tour (Run 130) ran on 20th March 1982 with:

C3091, D4279, T4395, C3102, with the STN stating that the other cars to comprise 7XXX (4 motor power car), 4XXXX (any pre 1940 trailer car), 4XXX (same) and 7XXX (same). Ran Central - Rockdale - Bondi Junction - Chullora Junction - Central - North Sydney - Lavender Bay - City Circle - Central.

A light 46 was rostered to run from Delec to Martin Place and return as X132 and X133 in case the tour got into trouble.

Would you believe the ARHS tour notes don't list the cars used on the first run? Will have it somewhere..

- MBAX

If all else fails, search through the STNs - assuming that the ARHS RRC in Sydney have them going back that far.

In May 1982, there was a four-car single deck electric tour using C.3102, T.4301, T.4279, C.3591 (Elcar pilot renumbered back to C.3082).

The 8-car set used for the 1932 Bridge opening, from available photos, seems to be a decorated matching set of four 1927-type standard control motor cars and four 1927-type non-control trailers.

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

In 1932, 96 steam locomotives were positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the Bridge...

- Tsubame800



As was noted, this was one third of NSWGR's steam locomotives.

Had the bridge collapsed...  Exclamation

I recall the photographs, a magnificent sight. Were they still in steam on the bridge?

It certainly provided proof to the Sydney-siders that the bridge was "safe".

Found one photograph...

>>>>>
"(Static) Load-testing of Harbour Bridge when

fifty steam locos were run on western side."


larger image here...http://libapp.sl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/spydus/ENQ/PM/FULL1?51282,I

cheers... marvin  Very Happy

--------------------

- marvin

All of the test locos were dead-hauled from Hornsby to North Sydney by 'live steam' - and all of the dead locos had been in storage because of the Depression.  There were STNs issued in January/February 1932 which nominated individual numbers for the test locos, and some of the references given in the  Sydney Harbour Bridge and Similar Bridges thread will lead to ARHS Bulletin issues which actually list those numbers.

It's interesting to note that Lindethal tested Hell Gate Bridge in New York which crosses the East River with 60 steam locomotives before its opening, and that bridge still uses 3 of the 4 tracks originally provided - 2 for Amtrak purposes and 1 mainly for CP Rail freights using "full-sized" diesel-electric locos.  Yet Lindethal decided on the reverse spandrel arch bridge for the Hell Gate crossing after discarding parabolic arch designs, cantilever type bridges and suspension bridges.  Bradfield decided on the reverse spandrel arch design after discarding parabolic arch designs, cantilever type bridges and suspension bridges.  It is notable that in Richard Raxworthy's book, "The Unreasonable Man - The Life and Times of J J C Bradfield" there is an early 1900s drawing in the NSW Public Works Department of a 1,600-foot single arch span (without pylons) of the arch type later used for the bridges in both Sydney and New York.  That drawing pre-dates Hell Gate (1,017-foot span) by around 16 years and predates the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1,651-foot span) by nearly 30 years.

 
Electra Chief Commissioner

They wouldn't of been allowed to travel over the bridge lit up, imagine the ashes dropping from the bridge onto the wooden sleepers and even down to the boat below.

- mattb27j

There was quite a discussion on the topic of test locos (7,000 tons of them) and there being only a couple in steam to bring the dead ones out onto the Bridge, starting here:
http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11302697-0-asc-s30.htm

Electra quotes from David Keenan's book, listing the classes of locos and the quantity of each class used.

- nosecone

While David Keenan's book mentions that for a few weeks in early 1932, the only time that heavy rail vehicles ever used the eastern bridge tracks, the articles with the actual numbers of the locos (which mainly comprised Z24, Z25, D50 and D53 classes) were published in ARHS Bulletin some years ago.  I've listed those references in the thread Sydney Harbour Bridge and Similar Bridges.

 
Syd3642 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

Thanks, Electra for the informations. Very Happy

 

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