Aussie railway history question [first post]

 
Topic moved from General by dthead on 24 Dec 2015 22:17
  Rail-newbie Beginner

Hi railfans!

I've just helped write an article on the history of the Australian railway (http://blog.projex.com.au/history-australian-railway/).
I reckon it's ok, but I wanted to check with people much more knowledgeable than myself on these things  - I dont want to be responsible for misinformation.

Have I missed anything? Got anything horribly wrong?

If that's the case, If you could direct me to some good resources, I'd be happy to re-edit and update the article.

Thanks everybody. Look forward to your responses!

RN.

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  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
I like the presentation a lot!

One note - you have a typo in the Gulflander section - "Normanton was the centre of the Croydon gold crush".
  Rail-newbie Beginner

I like the presentation a lot!

One note - you have a typo in the Gulflander section - "Normanton was the centre of the Croydon gold crush".
michaelgreenhill
Appreciate you saying so - been working on my presentation.

Also, noted. Will fix now. Smile
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
You wrote on the blog for QLD; By the 1950s, main railway lines were renamed to Westland (sic), Midlander, Inlander, and Sunlander.

They were only the names of the airconditioned trains that started in the 1950, not the names of the lines. Westlander not Westland.

Try this for more QLD help https://www.queenslandrail.com.au/ourhistory

Good to see your project SmileSmileSmile
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Just a few minor notes ...

Government railways in TAS, WA and QLD initially adopted the 1067 gauge.
SA initially adopted the broad gauge, later added some narrow gauge, then had the standard gauge trans continental line as well.
Wallangarra was the name of the town on the Qld side of the border. The town on the NSW side is Jennings. The narrow gauge opened 1887 and remains open, the standard gauge a few months later in 1888 and abandoned in 1989.
Zig Zag had issues well before the bushfires lit by military live firing on a scorching day contributed to their woes. Whilst the fires didn't help, they did magnify preexisting issues that are too complex to explain in brief.
Dorrigo's status as a museum is highly debateable. Museums normally have visitors.

Regards,
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
In the first paragraph you list pre rail methods of transport. Bullock drays were by far the most common way of moving goods.

Any discussion of rail gauges can be very complex, but in the brief summary box, I suggest you only say that Victoria and South Australia opted for 1.6 metre gauge. (Tasmania built one short "broad gauge" line before changing over to narrow gauge, but mentioning that would just add complexity to your brief summary.) You should also add a paragraph to the box saying that Qld, Tas and W.A. opted for 1,067 mm "narrow gauge", with SA later adding narrow gauge lines when building broad gauge became too expensive.

Victoria. The first line opened between Flinders St, Melbourne and Port Melbourne in 1854. The Adelaide train is/was The Overland, NOT the Overlander. V/line (country passenger trains) is a state government owned company, NOT a private or public company.

South Australia still has trains running on three different gauges today.

There are lots of other errors and misleading statements. If this not a school project, then I suggest you just digest wikipedia articles on the various state rail networks in your own words, as it's clear you're not that knowledgeable on the subject.
  Radzaarty Junior Train Controller

Hey RailNewbie,

There are quite a few errors with the WA section. I'll attempt to list and correct them.

"Perth and Geraldton were connected to the interstate rail network using 1435 mm gauge tracks in the 1900s."

As far as I am aware, Geraldton does not have a standard gauge (1435mm) track to it. Also stating Perth was connected to the interstate network in the 1900's makes it seem like it was connected very early on. It only received the standard gauge connection in 1968.

"Privately owned railways were built to serve the mining areas in the north part of the state using standard gauge tracks. A bogie exchange system was used to transfer locomotives and carriages to the narrow gauge network built by the government."

The second part of this paragraph is basically not true, as the wagons and locomotives built for the mines up north were built to an American loading gauge (They are a lot bigger and heavier) than wagons and locomotives that run on the network down south. They share the same track gauge (standard gauge) but not much else. None of the locomotives ever ran on the government network as far as I'm aware. Also carriages refer to passenger vehicles, whereas basically all the vehicles on trains up north are freight vehicles Ie; wagons, trucks etc.



Under the Preservation section, there was another thing that stated something wrong.

"This railway operates both steam and diesel locomotives. Operated by a group of rail enthusiasts, it runs along a 32 kilometre stretch of the Pinjarra to Narrogin railway line. The railway is entirely staffed by volunteers. After 2011, it was the only railway in the state laid with 1067 gauge tracks."

There is huge amounts of 1067mm (Narrow gauge) tracks around the state. The vast majority of all rail in WA is Narrow gauge.

Also thought a good addition under the museum section would be the Rail Heritage WA museum in Ashfield WA, as no WA museums were included.

Hope this helps.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Hi railfans!

I've just helped write an article on the history of the Australian railway (http://blog.projex.com.au/history-australian-railway/).
I reckon it's ok, but I wanted to check with people much more knowledgeable than myself on these things  - I dont want to be responsible for misinformation.

Have I missed anything? Got anything horribly wrong?

If that's the case, If you could direct me to some good resources, I'd be happy to re-edit and update the article.

Thanks everybody. Look forward to your responses!

RN.
Rail-newbie
An excellent start on a very complex subject that can only provide a broad brush picture in the time and space available. I have not read the article word for word but have noticed one typo in relation to interstate rail.

These differences in track gauge produced serious problems when the different states began interconnecting their rail systems. A traveller going by rail from Sydney to Perth in 1912 had to change train six times. By 1970, passengers were able to travel on the one train, but the problem with incompatible track gauges for interstate rail services was not completely resolved until 1995. Different states still retain different track gauges for regional rail services.

Prior to completion of the Trans-Australian Railway in 1917 it was not possible to travel by train from Sydney to Perth. After 1917 Sydney - Perth passengers would normally change trains at the following locations:

Albury - SG to BG
Melbourne - BG to BG
Adelaide - BG to BG
Terowie - BG to NG
Port Augusta - NG to SG
Kalgoorlie SG to NG

In those days, passengers to/from Perth travelled via Melbourne as the physical route via Broken Hill was not completed until 1927.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Under NSW Rail stations you wrote:

Sydney Central Station was opened in 1855 and is the oldest building in the NSW railway system. A railtrack that runs under Railway Square in Sydney connects to the City Circle, and following the completion of the Harbour Bridge in 1932, to the northern suburbs of Sydney and then onwards to the north of the state.

Both these sentences are wrong....


The present Sydney Central station is on the opposite side of Devonshire Street (now a pedestrian subway) to the original, about one city block closer to the CBD. There were two different station buildings south of Devonshire street so the present station, opened in 1909 is the third Sydney Central station.

The tunnel under Railway Square is still there but is unused. It used to connect to Darling Harbour Goods Yard. That line north west of Railway Square is now the "Goods Line" linear park.

The line to the city circle runs under Belmore Park north of Central and under city streets to Town Hall and Wynyard (and under Hyde Park on the other side of the city circle.

The main line to the North is from Strathfield to Hornsby where it joins the "North Shore" line from the Harbour bridge.

M636C
  Rail-newbie Beginner

Wow - I didn't expect so many awesome responses - thanks so much!

I'll do more research based on the suggestions you've given, and do my best to fix up the article to ensure it's factually correct. (Absolutely should have come to you guys before writing - I'll certainly be doing that next time!).

It seems I've got a lot to learn - but exciting times ahead!

RN
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Hi, welcome to the Forum...

  • 'named the Spirit of Capricorn in 1989. This service runs between Brisbane and Rockhampton and was followed by Spirit of the Outback in 1993, a service between Brisbane and Longreach'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This Spirit of Capricorn RAN between Brisbane and Rockhampton. It was replaced by the Rockhampton Tilt train in 1999.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Spirit of the Outback was introduced in 1993 as an upgrade of the Midlander train and it offered a through service from Brisbane without having to change trains at Rockhampton.
Good luck with your research.


Mike.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Regarding the Tasmanian section, I am unsure whether this section has only just been started and is far from completion, but seems to focus almost completely on the Mt Lyell Abt railway on the West Coast, with only minor references to the original Launceston & Western Railway to Deloraine and the Tasmanian Main Line Railway Co.

As the MLM&RCo. is only a small part of the history of railways in Tasmania and is again mentioned in the section on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, it only needs a brief passing mention in the Tasmanian overview.

The Tasmanian overview would be better placed to describe chronologically the advent of the Launceston & Western Railway, (Lton - Deloraine) initially built to broad gauge followed by the Tasmanian Mainline Railway Co. (Hobart - Lton) built to narrow gauge, then following bankruptcy of both companies, the establishment of the Tasmanian Government Railways that took over both companies, converted the L&WR to narrow gauge and then progressively extended a network across the state, connecting Hobart with Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, Smithton, Scottsdale and many other rural locations. The TGR (and successors) was by far a more significant rail operation in Tas. than the MLM&RCo.

Not mentioned at all, but second in significance to the TGR was the Emu Bay Railway between Burnie and Zeehan, which connected the west coast with the rest of the state! Then there are the various interesting ultra narrow gauge (2' 0" (610mm)) gauge lines, such as the North East Dundas Rlwy, home of the world first Garratt locos, the Tullah Tramway (home of loco, "Wee Georgie Wood"), the Ida Bay Railway (most southerly railway in Australia) and various private "tramways" (private industrial railways) such as the Marrawah Tram (from Smithton to Redpa on Tasmania's far west coast) and the Styx Valley Tramway - home of Tasmania's only geared steam loco (of the "Climax" type) in the Derwent Valley.

There are a lot of interesting railways, past and present in Tas, virtually none of which are mentioned. Whilst Wikipedia is not the most reliable for accuracy, I would strongly suggest looking at it for a bit of an idea of what railways operated in Tas!

Finally, the section on WCWR is virtually completely wrong. The Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Co. started operating in 1892 (though it did "officially" open in 1897) initially to Teepookana on the King River. It only reached Regatta Point on Macquarie Harbour in 1899. It utilised the Swiss "Abt" rack system (not German) named after inventor Dr. Roman Abt. The original railway ran until 1963 (not 1932). It re-opened as a tourist railway in 2002.

The WCWR is not the only preserved railway in Tasmania. Other significant preserved railways and museums include the Don River Railway (Devonport), Derwent Valley Railway (New Norfolk), and Tasmanian Transport Museum, (Glenorchy). There are also popular preserved operations on some 2 foot lines such as the Wee Georgie Wood Railway in Tullah, Redwater Creek Railway in Sheffield (on an ex TGR 3' 6" line formation) and the Ida Bay Railway.

I would suggest you have a lot more research to do and additional information to add for the sections related to Tasmania before even contemplating that the project is anyway close to being finished!
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
....The line to the city circle runs under Belmore Park north of Central and under city streets to Town Hall and Wynyard (and under Hyde Park on the other side of the city circle.....
M636C
Not to be picky, but....

The City Circle lines don't run under Belmore Park, but beside it. They go underground about 300m away, underneath a multilevel carpark (if it's still there) facing Goulburn St.

I'm not sure, but I think the Central to Town Hall section of the Eastern Suburbs Railway might possibly go underneath Belmore Park. That section is deeper than the City Circle lines.

EDIT: The multilevel parking station on Goulburn St is still there.
  M636C Minister for Railways

....The line to the city circle runs under Belmore Park north of Central and under city streets to Town Hall and Wynyard (and under Hyde Park on the other side of the city circle.....
M636C
Not to be picky, but....

The City Circle lines don't run under Belmore Park, but beside it. They go underground about 300m away, underneath a multilevel carpark (if it's still there) facing Goulburn St.

I'm not sure, but I think the Central to Town Hall section of the Eastern Suburbs Railway might possibly go underneath Belmore Park. That section is deeper than the City Circle lines.
"wurx"


Indeed it is the Eastern Suburbs line and not the city circle that runs under Belmore Park, and it lines up with the other lines that pass by the park at Town Hall station.

I can remember the Liverpool Street Portals before the Carpark was built....

My only excuse is that I was trying to indicate that there was a line to Town Hall that passed under an open area near Central, but not under Railway Square.

M636C
  CL1 Station Master

Location: nuri
Broken Hill to Port Pirie was lead and silver ore, not iron ore.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Broken Hill to Port Pirie was lead and silver ore, not iron ore.
CL1
And zinc IIRC
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
Actually the Silverton Tramway was for zinc and lead concentrates as the ore was processed at Broken Hill into concentrates and these were shipped to Port Pirie and other processing sites. In return mining supplies such as fuel for the generators at the mines and timber for underground props.

Iain
  CPH8 Locomotive Driver

Actually the Silverton Tramway was for zinc and lead concentrates as the ore was processed at Broken Hill into concentrates and these were shipped to Port Pirie and other processing sites. In return mining supplies such as fuel for the generators at the mines and timber for underground props.

Iain
Iain
And then there was W44 Broken Hill to Sulphide Junction with double headed Garratt's
  georges Train Controller

Victoria. V/line (country passenger trains) is a state government owned company, NOT a private or public company.
Bogong
The Corporations Act (Commonwealth) recognises two types of company structure in Australia - public companies and private companies. A major difference is that (most) public companies may issue shares to, and borrow from, the public at large. Private companies may not issue shares, or borrow from, the public. Public companies may usually be identified by the words 'Ltd' or 'Limited' (only) at the end of their names. Private companies may be identified by having both the words Pty Ltd (sometimes written as Proprietary Limited) at the end of their names. Public companies must publish a greater range of information about themselves than private companies.

Whether a company is 'public' or 'private' in this context is not influenced by the character of the owner(s). V/Line's formal name is V/Line Pty Ltd. It is therefore a private company. It is registered under the Corporations Act as a private company - http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c?acn=087425269&juris=9&hdtext=ACN&srchsrc=1

V/Line is wholly owned by the Government of Victoria. V/Line's status as a public authority is unaffected by its legal structure.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Actually the Silverton Tramway was for zinc and lead concentrates as the ore was processed at Broken Hill into concentrates and these were shipped to Port Pirie and other processing sites. In return mining supplies such as fuel for the generators at the mines and timber for underground props.

Iain
And then there was W44 Broken Hill to Sulphide Junction with double headed Garratt's
CPH8
W 44 was hauled by double 49 class from Broken Hill to Parkes. A Garratt and 36 hauled it to Molong, where the 36 was replaced by a second Garratt to Orange East Fork. I think a 36 and a Garratt took it to Lithgow where double 46 class took it to Gosford, the train becoming N645 at North Strathfield. A Garratt and an assistant loco took it on to Sulphide Junction (gone now but near Cardiff workshops).

M636C
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
From 1963 I never saw W44 hauled with anything but a single Beyer Garratt running Tender First between Bathurst and Lithgow.
W44 departed Bathurst after 3pm to Tarana to cross W28 the Central West Express, did its 'Loco' while waiting for W28 to clear Rydal passing there around 5.44 pm.
Back then all the wagons were tarped and it was a cardinal offence to cause any delay to the train.

At the Annual Retired Railway Diner 3 years ago, I was fortunate enough to win a painting of W44 standing at Orange but the Garratt was running Chimney first and I asked some of the older Drivers about that and they said it had come in from the West that way but the engine was changed at Orange for another but the outgoing engine was running Tender First.
I believe it was done this way because of the Tunnel at Marrangaroo which is mostly on a nice rising grade and being about the same length as Number 10 Tunnel on the Zig Zag, was very unpleasant for the Driver and Fireman when going through it.
Right into the mid 80's a sack containing masks to attach to the air supply was kept in the SM's office at Wallerawang to issue to the Driver and Fireman if requested.
  M636C Minister for Railways

From 1963 I never saw W44 hauled with anything but a single Beyer Garratt running Tender First between Bathurst and Lithgow.
W44 departed Bathurst after 3pm to Tarana to cross W28 the Central West Express, did its 'Loco' while waiting for W28 to clear Rydal passing there around 5.44 pm.
Back then all the wagons were tarped and it was a cardinal offence to cause any delay to the train.

At the Annual Retired Railway Diner 3 years ago, I was fortunate enough to win a painting of W44 standing at Orange but the Garratt was running Chimney first and I asked some of the older Drivers about that and they said it had come in from the West that way but the engine was changed at Orange for another but the outgoing engine was running Tender First.
I believe it was done this way because of the Tunnel at Marrangaroo which is mostly on a nice rising grade and being about the same length as Number 10 Tunnel on the Zig Zag, was very unpleasant for the Driver and Fireman when going through it.
Right into the mid 80's a sack containing masks to attach to the air supply was kept in the SM's office at Wallerawang to issue to the Driver and Fireman if requested.
gordon_s1942
I've only seen the train west of Orange and can confirm 36+Garratt on two occasions west of Molong. From Molong to Orange the locomotives were often nose to nose possibly so the fresh locomotive from Molong could continue on to Bathurst. Perhaps the painting was based on a photo after the lead Garratt had been removed for servicing before continuing as the sole locomotive. I know Tumulla is basically a major grade for westbound trains, but I would have thought the climb from Blayney required some assistance for a single Garratt. Was the train banked from Bathurst to Kelso?

On at least one occasion I saw, the double 49 class worked through Molong to Orange. I guess it was slower on the hill but it made it.

M636C
  C3827 Junior Train Controller

The major grade from Bathurst heading east is from Kelso (Macquarie River crossing) to Raglan. Most goods trains were assisted up this grade with a pushup loco which dropped off the train at Raglan. The assistant engine was not coupled and so the train continued on without stopping. I am sure W44 was assisted up this grade with PU loco, mostly a 53 or 36 class. After Raglan the grades would have been within the capability of a single garratt.
Some of the mail trains were also assisted up this grade but being passenger trains would have had the assistant loco on the front and would then have had to stop at Raglan to remove it.

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