North East Line to Standard Gauge

 
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga


It is fairly clear that the VR initially believed that three S class would be enough for both the Sydney Limited and the Albury express, with one on each train and one spare. It was clear that much more maintenance was needed than initially expected, so a fourth locomotive was required and ordered separately later. Early VR publicity clearly refers to only three S class as being needed for the North East.

Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...

I personally believe that the three cylinder locomotive with the Holcroft-Gresley valve gear was as much the result of misleading publicity and sales pressure as could ever be attributed to EMD, although most of this came from Alco who obtained the US rights to the design. Holcroft warned Gresley about the theoretical deficiencies of this version of his design at the meeting when he explained the design to Gresley in 1918 - basically that valve settings would be hard to set correctly because the valve stems on the outside gears expanded in the opposite direction to that on the centre valve. A result was that the centre cylinder provided more power than the outer cylinders and overloaded the centre big end. The 1930 trials of NSWGR 5711 appear to show this on the few tests that the centre indicator was working...  The valve gear used on H220 actually existed before Gresley adopted the Holcroft design and was used on many more locomotives, even counting the American designs of the 1920s. The three cylinder design increased the cost, compared to the two cylinder 600 class of the SAR which were otherwise equivalent.

I believe the delay in building the B class was nothing to do with EMD but was due to the Federal Government withdrawing the allocation of US Dollars, preventing the purchase of the the engines, generators and control equipment that was to be imported. It was at this stage that the NSWGR withdrew and ordered locomotives from Canada (where US dollars were not required) and the SAR decided to build their own locomotives with English Electric equipment.

Certainly, EMD drawings exist of early versions of double ended locomotives dated as early as 1949, complete with metric dimensions to assist EMD's European partners who were eventually to build locomotives built to tighter clearances but to the same general design.

It is interesting that VR didn't provide two B class for the Spirit of Progress since two B class were regularly assigned to the Overland well before they were used regularly on the SoP. I've been told that if the train was not at maximum loading, the B class could maintain the SoP timing, and it was on days of heavy loading that the delays occurred. Clearly two B class could have kept time with the heaviest load, and there must have been a conscious decision by VR authorities to allow the delays rather than to tie up another B class.

While the B class could produce 1500 HP into the generator from a standing start, a steam locomotive like a S could produce 2000 HP or more but only near its maximum speed. So the B could accelerate faster and would climb grades faster, but would be unable to run as fast on level track. The S also had to haul its own tender, which full of water and coal would be heavier than an additional passenger car.

The additional power in the S class diesels allowed them to maintain the SoP schedules even though they couldn't deliver the same power at high speed as did the steam locomotives.

M636C
"M636C"

Thanks for that,  that tidies my musings up a lot, although in my head I knew why they needed a fourth engine, I did not notice I forgot to mention it.

Don't forget though that they nobbled the B Class by preventing them from accelerating off as quickly, initially. I seem to remember that the new circuitry dropped out about 15 MPH, and then the B would haul away. That initial start off took minutes out of a fast pass time table.

I think B67 had the TZR's removed in the 70's after breakdown, anyway whichever B it was ,it was a pleasure to drive out of Albury on the morning pass. I think the circuits were all removed by West Coast and other private owners in later years
Cheers
Rod

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

Signalling Benalla,
Two more signals have been erected, these are the two gaurding the down end crossover on the up side of it. There were a good number of workers working on both signals sites for this crossover and on the point control equipment.
It appears that it will be likely that the signalling and control of both the crossovers will be finished last in the work around Benalla.

Woodford
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria

Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


I have read somewhere that this was due to its superior climbing capabilities on the Great Divide, something it was designed for had it have actually taken over the Overland on the Western line.

Is this a possible reason for the improved time?
  scott_harder Locomotive Fireman

Location: Rutherglen

Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


I have read somewhere that this was due to its superior climbing capabilities on the Great Divide, something it was designed for had it have actually taken over the Overland on the Western line.

Is this a possible reason for the improved time?
"toxation"


Not an expert however looking through the spec of both the S and H class. The H just appears to be a stronger beast designed and built to pull heavey loads.

As stated it was built to eliminate the need to double-head The Overland however never got to due to it's weight and rail up grades not being conducted.

It's Boiler pressure was rated to 220psi which was greater that the S and it's tractive effort was 55,008lb compaired to the S 41,675lb.

Stats taken from Leon OBERG's Locomotives of Australia

Scott
  M636C Minister for Railways


Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


My apologies: I did read that H220 lost time in an otherwise reliable document. My main point was to emphasise the high maintenance requirements of the S class. It is quite reasonable to assume that, like the B class, the H would gain time on the grades.

I understand that in its later days, H220 was limited to 50 mph even on passenger duties, presumably through concern over its effect on the track. When the NSWGR tested a 57 class on the Melbourne Limited, it was not allowed to exceed 50 mph, which limited its ability to keep time even north of Cootamundra.

The B class had a simplified arrangement of motor connections, in principle similar to that on the GP7 (taking account of the two extra motors). This reduced their usefulness in freight traffic, and may have limited their ability to accelerate a heavy train at lower speeds. The diesel S class had a more conventional arrangement of motor switching, and this, as well as the higher power assisted them in working the SoP.

M636C
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Signalling Benalla,
Two more signals have been erected, these are the two gaurding the down end crossover on the up side of it. There were a good number of workers working on both signals sites for this crossover and on the point control equipment.
It appears that it will be likely that the signalling and control of both the crossovers will be finished last in the work around Benalla.

Woodford
"woodford"


Apologies Woodford
We have got lost on a very interesting discussion here.
Is Wangaratta still not signalled?

Was talking with some mates today who are in Earth moving and road building and other related construction. (I'm talking multi million dollar business)
They told me that several companies associated with the Wodonga bypass have gone bust!
Have you heard anything of that?  I think they might have misread the stop start nature of the work in various places but, they assured me that the Wodonga Station was being finished off by some new firm. Nothing at all in the newspapers that I have seen.

For me it is difficult to tell because all work appears from the outside to be done by SIA.

Their is lots of minor flooding and pumping is ongoing several places south end of bypass. A lot of pits are being pumped clear and new drainage work evident. In one place it appears pits have accidentally been covered in spoil.
Cheers
Rod
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


My apologies: I did read that H220 lost time in an otherwise reliable document. My main point was to emphasise the high maintenance requirements of the S class. It is quite reasonable to assume that, like the B class, the H would gain time on the grades.
"M636C"
Again another fallacy.

H220 maintained the S class times on the significant grades (leaving Essendon, Wallan and Seymour) and actually made a lot of gains on the flat stretches.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner


It is fairly clear that the VR initially believed that three S class would be enough for both the Sydney Limited and the Albury express, with one on each train and one spare. It was clear that much more maintenance was needed than initially expected, so a fourth locomotive was required and ordered separately later. Early VR publicity clearly refers to only three S class as being needed for the North East.

The only thing clear about this statement is that it is based on the articles in the Victorian Railways Magazine and The Locomotive Magazine and not on original source documents viz CME files, VR locomotive maintenance policies etc etc.

To keep two S Class in service on the North East seven days a week requires four locomotives. Two runners, one for AB, ABC,ABCD etc depot level maintenance and one for overhaul (ABCDE) at Newport. S 300 accrued enough miles for its first ABCDE by 1930 and guess what? that was the date S303 entered service. Would you care to provide evidence that "much more maintenance was required than originally expected"? The S Class were introduced into a service that was (for the VR) intensive and hard going. High availability was maintained by a rigorous maintenance program as intimated by the reminicences quoted by Comtrain's colleagues.

The S Class were (comparatively) costly to maintain and the spectacular success of the B Class with their much high utilisation, lower wheel rate etc was their death knell. Originally the S Class were proposed to run through until the late 1950s (boilers were to built in the 1951/52 program) but the B Class, despite their lower power (well recognised by the VR), well and truly won out.

Clyde provided a diagram of a C-C 1500 HP loco in 1949; basically a B Class with buffers. M636C is correct in stating that refusal to release $USD delayed procurement of the B Class. I wrote an article giving the timeline regarding B Class procurement in newsrail a couple of years back.

TW
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Thanks TW; I was trying to write my rebuttal of the myths about the S class numbers, but you have done it better than any.
Sir Thos. has also attacked the myth of H220 losing time versus the S class on the SOP.

The world wonders where these myths originate.
  brasstrain Banned

Location: Banned
In regard to the B class I understood that EMD cast up the bogies for them and then got stuck with them because they could not be imported into Australia because preference was to be given to Empire sourced goods.  Apparently the import of the power units from EMD was just allowed.

EMD then utilised these unloved frames under the SD7 which was the first EMD Co-Co locomotive making the B Class the first Co-Co EMD locomotive in the world.

The source for this info is the 2009 Trains Locomotive Special which covered this fact on their coverage of the remaining ALCOs in Australia, particularly NSW but I have come across this fact from other sources which escape me at the moment.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
Most of what rjaygee and M636C's been saying was covered under The ML2 Story.
  dmgrail Junior Train Controller

Location: Wangaratta Vic. 3677
Back on topic. Information received indicates the following:

Commencing Monday 06-09-2010 a Light engine is to operate on the West line at night time in order to clean the rails and assist with the re-activation of all the electronically protected level crossings (PCR’s)

Commencing Friday 17-09-2010 the West line is tentative scheduled to re-open for limited traffic under a temporary safeworking arrangement until full signalling is commissioned at a later date. Four – Six trains per day will be run on the West line and may operate at line speed subject to any lesser speed account type of service operated. Trains on the West line will operate in the Down direction only at this stage. Trains will continue to run bi-directionally on the East Line at this time.

DMG
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Back on topic. Information received indicates the following:

Commencing Monday 06-09-2010 a Light engine is to operate on the West line at night time in order to clean the rails and assist with the re-activation of all the electronically protected level crossings (PCR’s)

Commencing Friday 17-09-2010 the West line is tentative scheduled to re-open for limited traffic under a temporary safeworking arrangement until full signalling is commissioned at a later date. Four – Six trains per day will be run on the West line and may operate at line speed subject to any lesser speed account type of service operated. Trains on the West line will operate in the Down direction only at this stage. Trains will continue to run bi-directionally on the East Line at this time.

DMG
"dmgrail"


Ah!! Finally !!   Laughing
And the weather is changing for the better, looks like we can start camping out again. Like old times Wink

But I do wonder if they run that many trains a day now though?
I give it 2 weeks before the West line starts breaking up Smile
Cheers
Rod
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

B-60 even had a stint on standard gauge  at one stage to commemorate a broad gauge  SOP  anniversary .
  woodford Chief Commissioner


Even this was not enough and H220 as the only other locomotive capable of working the train, was drafted in on occasions when only one of the four S class was serviceable because of scheduled maintenance coinciding. This didn't happen often, and the H lost time compared to the S...
"M636C"
Wrong.  

I have seen an S circular with noted times for a test run of H220 on an SoP run in 1944.

It ran up from Albury to Melbourne, with the crew under instructions from the various assembled heads in the cab to drive it normally.

On the Down journey the next day, H220 gained 10 minutes on the S class time - so much so it was eased off at Euroa to avoid being held at Wodonga.  Even then it still crept a minute or two in here and there.

So the claim that H220 lost time is, to put it bluntly, utter rubbish.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


I have read somewhere that this was due to its superior climbing capabilities on the Great Divide, something it was designed for had it have actually taken over the Overland on the Western line.

Is this a possible reason for the improved time?
"toxation"


Not an expert however looking through the spec of both the S and H class. The H just appears to be a stronger beast designed and built to pull heavey loads.

As stated it was built to eliminate the need to double-head The Overland however never got to due to it's weight and rail up grades not being conducted.

It's Boiler pressure was rated to 220psi which was greater that the S and it's tractive effort was 55,008lb compaired to the S 41,675lb.

Stats taken from Leon OBERG's Locomotives of Australia

Scott
"scott_harder"


It's the size of the grate area that determines the tractive effort at speed. H220 has a grate area of 68 sqft. Something like 36 percent more than the S class which puts its TE at speed that much more. H220 would likely have managed in the area of 4000bhp at the wheel rims at 60 MPH without raising a sweat, that is without any harm to the mechanics at all. This sort of power at speed is why it did so well.

There a lovely poem to H220 in the waiting room at Seymour station, well worth a read.

Woodford
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
B-60 even had a stint on standard gauge  at one stage to commemorate a broad gauge  SOP  anniversary .
"kuldalai"
A85 also spent a brief period on standard gauge, and T345 did after being sold from preservation.

Pretty much leaves the F class out of any of the diesel classes of locomotive to be broad gauge only.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Back on topic. Information received indicates the following:

Commencing Monday 06-09-2010 a Light engine is to operate on the West line at night time in order to clean the rails and assist with the re-activation of all the electronically protected level crossings (PCR’s)
"dmgrail"


The loco in question is 8122, it is/was (at 1530 today anyway) parked just north of the Seymour crossover with a number of Downer Edi road vehicles adjacent to it. I supose getting ready for tonights run.



Commencing Friday 17-09-2010 the West line is tentative scheduled to re-open for limited traffic under a temporary safeworking arrangement until full signalling is commissioned at a later date. Four – Six trains per day will be run on the West line and may operate at line speed subject to any lesser speed account type of service operated. Trains on the West line will operate in the Down direction only at this stage. Trains will continue to run bi-directionally on the East Line at this time.



A block post was set up at Benalla some time back I am told just for this.



DMG



Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Signalling Benalla,
Two more signals have been erected, these are the two gaurding the down end crossover on the up side of it. There were a good number of workers working on both signals sites for this crossover and on the point control equipment.
It appears that it will be likely that the signalling and control of both the crossovers will be finished last in the work around Benalla.

Woodford
"woodford"


Apologies Woodford
We have got lost on a very interesting discussion here.
Is Wangaratta still not signalled?

"comtrain"

Not as yet, I assume Wang will be done next, the concrete signal bases for Wang are (or were last week) currently stored at Benalla. I also assume there will be some new signal work at the to be decommisioned Chiltern loop which should be the last of such work.



Was talking with some mates today who are in Earth moving and road building and other related construction. (I'm talking multi million dollar business)
They told me that several companies associated with the Wodonga bypass have gone bust!
Have you heard anything of that?  I think they might have misread the stop start nature of the work in various places but, they assured me that the Wodonga Station was being finished off by some new firm. Nothing at all in the newspapers that I have seen.

For me it is difficult to tell because all work appears from the outside to be done by SIA.


Not trying to shoot anyone down here but I have heard nothing of such matters and have found one must take many things that people say with extreme caution. Sadly these days there are few negative consequences for people not telling the truth.



Their is lots of minor flooding and pumping is ongoing several places south end of bypass. A lot of pits are being pumped clear and new drainage work evident. In one place it appears pits have accidentally been covered in spoil.
Cheers
Rod


After any major work there will ALWAYS minor things the need to be attended to.

Woodford
  M636C Minister for Railways


It is fairly clear that the VR initially believed that three S class would be enough for both the Sydney Limited and the Albury express, with one on each train and one spare. It was clear that much more maintenance was needed than initially expected, so a fourth locomotive was required and ordered separately later. Early VR publicity clearly refers to only three S class as being needed for the North East.

The only thing clear about this statement is that it is based on the articles in the Victorian Railways Magazine and The Locomotive Magazine and not on original source documents viz CME files, VR locomotive maintenance policies etc etc.

To keep two S Class in service on the North East seven days a week requires four locomotives. Two runners, one for AB, ABC,ABCD etc depot level maintenance and one for overhaul (ABCDE) at Newport. S 300 accrued enough miles for its first ABCDE by 1930 and guess what? that was the date S303 entered service. Would you care to provide evidence that "much more maintenance was required than originally expected"? The S Class were introduced into a service that was (for the VR) intensive and hard going. High availability was maintained by a rigorous maintenance program as intimated by the reminicences quoted by Comtrain's colleagues.

The S Class were (comparatively) costly to maintain and the spectacular success of the B Class with their much high utilisation, lower wheel rate etc was their death knell. Originally the S Class were proposed to run through until the late 1950s (boilers were to built in the 1951/52 program) but the B Class, despite their lower power (well recognised by the VR), well and truly won out.

Clyde provided a diagram of a C-C 1500 HP loco in 1949; basically a B Class with buffers. M636C is correct in stating that refusal to release $USD delayed procurement of the B Class. I wrote an article giving the timeline regarding B Class procurement in newsrail a couple of years back.

TW
"t_woodroffe"


The actual article in question is entitled "S300 Will Save Thousands" and it appeared on pages 11 and 12 of "The Victorian Railways Magazine" issue for July 1928.

While it is clearly a secondary source, it is an official publication of the VR and it clearly was a "defensive" article responding to unspecified criticism of the cost of S 300 in particular and the class in general. It would carry more weight than some of the other references made in this thread.

The opening words of the article text are: "Twenty One thousand pounds was the approximate cost of the new Pacific locomotive built in Australia."

Later it says "... the cost of the two additional Pacific engines now under construction at Newport [will be] under 16 000 pounds. Consequently, the aggregate cost of the three locomotives will be somewhere in the vicinity of 53 000 pounds." The text continues "the work of five A2s will be done by this trio of steam leviathans. ...five A2s could not be replaced for less than 55 000 pounds, a direct saving in production costs..."

Certainly there was no reference in this article to the need to construct a fourth locomotive within about two years, which might have thrown the figures used for the justification outlined above...

I think that many people reading this article, in an official publication of the railway, might draw the conclusion that only three locomotives were expected to be required for the service.

On the other hand, I would be most grateful if TW were to indicate at what approximate date in the "original source documents viz CME files, VR locomotive maintenance policies" that the need for a fourth locomotive was outlined.

One other thing clear from the article I quote above is that there was a desire to keep the cost of the S class down to about 16 000 pounds. That is just below the stated cost of the SAR 600 Class.

I recommend that anyone interested read the article.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

In regard to the B class I understood that EMD cast up the bogies for them and then got stuck with them because they could not be imported into Australia because preference was to be given to Empire sourced goods.  Apparently the import of the power units from EMD was just allowed.

EMD then utilised these unloved frames under the SD7 which was the first EMD Co-Co locomotive making the B Class the first Co-Co EMD locomotive in the world.

The source for this info is the 2009 Trains Locomotive Special which covered this fact on their coverage of the remaining ALCOs in Australia, particularly NSW but I have come across this fact from other sources which escape me at the moment.
"brasstrain"


I'm disappointed that TW has not rebutted this particular myth, since he could do so more convincingly than I could...

However, this myth originated in a "Newsrail" article on the B class written by Peter Bermingham. This statement did not appear in his book "The ML2 Story". I drew Peter's attention to the problems with this story and he agreed that it was a myth.

The prototype SD7 (later SP 5308) appeared before B60 so it was the first EMD Co-Co locomotive.

The B class bogies are all broad gauge and have a different wheelbase than those used under SD7 locomotives. SP would have been reluctant to buy a single locomotive that used different axles to its other EMD units. All the photos of the SD7 prototype in demonstrator colours or SP livery show the standard longer wheelbase EMD bogies.

Like so many myths, these tend to gain a life of their own and outlive any number of logical rebuttals.

The bogies for GM1 to GM11 were cast by LFM in Kansas, however...

The reason that bogies were not cast for the B class in the USA was the limited allocation of US Dollars to the purchase. It was relatively easy to build the fabricated bogie frames while BK worked out how to cast such frames.

M636C
  brasstrain Banned

Location: Banned
Well the Americans seem to think the story is true and I doubt they have read Newsrail.  I guess if the wheelbase is different then that debunks the story but why would Trains Magazine perpetuate the story?  They seem to reasonably factual with their articles.  I have never read The ML2 Story or the Newsrail article and I am not all that interested in Australian railways being more of a USA rail fan so I will have to chase up where I picked up the story originally.  I have known about it for a long time but this is the first time anybody has rebutted it and M636C is always so accurate in what he states.
  brasstrain Banned

Location: Banned
Here is a photo of the original SD7 which still operates on the Illinois Railway Museum in unrestored condition.

[/img]
  brasstrain Banned

Location: Banned
Checked with some USA rail sites and they claim a SD7 has a WB of 13' 07" whilst I found a diagram of VR B Class which shows a WB of 4014mm which equates to 13' 02" I think.  So 5" difference. Yanks and their Imperial measurements. I was over in Home Depot and asked for 5 metres of cable and they looked at me like I was from Mars.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner


While it is clearly a secondary source, it is an official publication of the VR and it clearly was a "defensive" article responding to unspecified criticism of the cost of S 300 in particular and the class in general. It would carry more weight than some of the other references made in this thread.

Oh really? Richard Hughes was a masterful spin doctor to use the current parlance. If you review Hansard you will find many questions raised in Parliament about the S Class intimating too big, too expensive, addition of extra cars to the Albury trains to justify the use of S Class, why weren't they equipped with mechanical stokers etc etc; Secretary's Files 30/1833 and 35/13129 provide good examples of what the Commissioners had to deal with. These responses are far more relevant than the spin printed in a newstand magazine.

"... the cost of the two additional Pacific engines now under construction at Newport [will be] under 16 000 pounds. Consequently, the aggregate cost of the three locomotives will be somewhere in the vicinity of 53 000 pounds."


The actual cost of the first three locomotives 74,074 pounds reported by the Secretary for Railways to the Honourable the Min on 28 October 1930 with the fourth expected to be about 20,000 pounds.

Please note that the article is reporting in the present tense.


On the other hand, I would be most grateful if TW were to indicate at what approximate date in the "original source documents viz CME files, VR locomotive maintenance policies" that the need for a fourth locomotive was outlined.


1928.

I have read through the Victorian Railways Magazines 1920s-1930s and they are remarkable from the viewpoint of spin. As stated before Richard Hughes had a real talent for accentuating the positive and selling the Victorian Railways brand. He is largely responsible, in my opinion, for the hagiography surrounding Alfred Smith effectively at the expense of more capable (and influential) predecessors and successors. Whilst undoubtedly good journalism I have learnt to take the articles printed in the VRM with something of a grain of salt.

As a matter of interest mechanical stokers were considered for the S Class. The Standard Stoker Co. prepared a drawing dated 7 March 1927 showing a proposed installation of a Duplex D-2 stoker on an S Class ....

Now about the higher than expected maintenance costs? Evidence please? Wheel rates/overheads/shopping costs?

TW

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