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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3351
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Saturday, 15 June, 2019 - 11:30:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

As many of you may be aware, I am both a motoring enthusiast and a railway enthusiast of long-standing. At 8 years old, I had a footplate trip on a NSW C38 steam locomotive pulling the legendary Newcastle Flyer from Sydney to Gosford as a consquence of pestering my father to go and have a look at the engine before the train left Sydney.

The driver saw my admiration and invited me to climb into the cab to have a look around; ever the show-off, I started to tell the driver what the controls did. The driver climbed down from the cab and had a few quiet words with my father and climbed back into the cab. He then said the forever magic words "would you like to ride in the cab with us to Gosford". Would I what!!!!

So I sat on the tender jump seat behind the driver with strict instructions not to move and away we went. End result, a young lad getting off at Gosford somewhat dirtier than when he got on and who could not stop talking about what he had seen. 56 years later in 2002, I won a raffle on an AHRS excursion to the NSW Maitland SteamFest with the prize being a cab ride from Maitland to Broadmeadow on C3830 double-headed with C3801. This was a repeat of my first cab ride with the added experience of seeing how a double-headed steam train functioned plus a wide-open throttle run down the Hexham straight around 85mph [140Km/hr].

In between these years, in 1980 I spent a year in West Australia including two visits to the Pilbara iron ore mines operated by Hammersley Iron and Mount Newman relating to their present and future use of Comsteel's railway products. The first visit was to observe a high-speed test run with a train of empty ore wagons to investigate a "hunting" [i.e. the bogies were moving from side to side causing instability of empty wagons] problem that meant the trains back to the mine sites had to be speed limited to 80km/hr increasing the "turnaround" times for ore shipments from the mine to the port. I was appointed camera operator to video the test run [so I could be blamed if anything went wrong causing a very expensive derailment with consequent shipping delays] from a car running alongside the train between the 7 Mile Workshop and Dingo Siding about 60kM up the line. The train travelled around 120kM/hr for most of the trip and we had trouble keeping up with it in the car as we were on a rough access road and the train was on what was arguably the best laid rail track in the world at the time.

The train driver was ecstatic at the experience of driving wide-open throttle instead of the strict 80kM/hr limit for empty trains returning to the mine. Later on when we viewed the video back at 7 Mile, we were horrified to see the bogie "hunting" to the point we could see daylight between the wheel tread and rail head when filming from a lower level when the train was on an embankment. We were very lucky that there was not a derailment.

39 years later, the same rail network has entered a new era with all trains now being fully automated and supervised by computer technicians based in Perth 1250kM away [straight line distance]. Trains now - how long before cars are operated in a similar way and driving will be a lost skill for most of us??

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/no-more-training-wheels-rio-tinto-launches-world-s-biggest-robot-20190614-p51xxj.html

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Omar M. Shams
Grand Master
Username: omar

Post Number: 1830
Registered: 04-2009
Posted on Saturday, 15 June, 2019 - 12:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear David,
Fascinating story.
driving as we know it will indeed die but there will be hard core enthusiasts that will stay around to enjoy classic cars forever.
The car manufacturers are tearing their hair out in the USA - as less and less under 18s are looking forward to their "first car". The kids these days dont want cars and the hassle that comes with car ownership. They want to use Ubers and public transport.
Oh dear.....
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Graham Phillips
Frequent User
Username: playtime

Post Number: 127
Registered: 03-2019
Posted on Saturday, 15 June, 2019 - 13:28:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

G'day everyone,....



Funny thing is I am a model railway fan myself.

I am also a founding member of a model railway club that I incorporated.

Trains are Cool!




Graham.
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Larry Kavanagh
Grand Master
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 460
Registered: 05-2016
Posted on Sunday, 16 June, 2019 - 12:52:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I'm a fan of rail travel too and love to visit railway museums. My Dad served as an employee of British Rail for 40 years and probably introduced me to my liking for trains. I too have fond memories of being allowed onto the footplate of a steam engine at Rugby railway station in the UK when I was a kid. I'm a fan of "The Man in Seat 61" a site promoting train travel which was created by another ex-British Rail employee. Trains sure are cool and overnight sleepers are a fun way to travel, there are trains in Europe where you can take your car along for the ride and I'm planning such a trip in the not too distant future.
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Patrick Ryan
Grand Master
Username: patrick_r

Post Number: 2099
Registered: 04-2016
Posted on Sunday, 16 June, 2019 - 21:47:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great read David.

I too am a bus and train nerd.
Love em all.

My wife and I are visiting the bus museum in town soon then the train museum at Loftus soon after we get some planned battle field tours completed.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3353
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Monday, 17 June, 2019 - 09:33:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Patrick,

The Loftus Tram Museum is very interesting as they have trams from interstate and some from around the world.

The Museum shop has some excellent books on the various Sydney tram systems and, whatever you do, do not leave without a copy of their video "Shooting Through" especially the segment from Randwick Racecourse after a day at the races:

https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/

https://arhsnsw.com.au/product/shooting-through/

Fortunately, I am old enough to remember the Sydney trams when they were still operating including going on them to the Royal Easter Show and the 1954 Royal Visit, the trip from the Taronga Park Zoo wharf to the top entrance, the Watson's Bay, La Perouse and Bondi Beach lines and the tram station at Wnyard for the North Shore Line.

In later years, I was also fortunate to know Jim Miatt who was the Manager of the Randwick Tram Workshop which was the major repair centre for the tram network whilst it was operating and still had a lot of equipment still installed, a priceless archive of documentation from the tram days plus intimate knowledge of the events leading up to the now-acknowledged disaster of the shutdowns in the late 1950's and the final closure of the La Perouse line in 1961. Now just over half a century later, trams have returned to the streets of Sydney and Newcastle [I can remember seeing the remains in 1953 of the Newcastle tram track to Glebe where my grandparents lived].

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/sydneys-original-tram-network-what-happened-curious-sydney/9610328

.
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Mike Thompson
Frequent User
Username: vroomrr

Post Number: 658
Registered: 04-2019
Posted on Monday, 17 June, 2019 - 11:46:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Not many people know this but Los Angeles California had a Electric streetcar systems (18871963) (before that horse drawn).

I had always heard they were taken out by the oil and car companies. Here is a history.

https://la.curbed.com/2017/9/20/16340038/los-angeles-streetcar-conspiracy-theory-transit-myth-general-motors

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Railway
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3355
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Monday, 17 June, 2019 - 17:56:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mike,

I have read the story of the L.A. Streetcar demise elsewhere in a well-documented and researched article - the story is similar to what occurred with the Sydney Tramway system and largely corresponds to what Jim Miatt described to me in our discussions.

As always, follow the money trail associated with who benefited from the closure to determine the source of the associated political influence. In Sydney's case, the overhead wiring and electric power supplies were invariably disabled and removed within 12 hours of closure to prevent restoring the service in response to public outrage. Trackwork was still being laid in concrete 4 weeks before some closures and overhauled trams ready to be returned to service were taken out and burned in the storage yards behind the Randwick Workshops so claims could be made the system could not cope with demand so replacement with buses was the best alternative. The public voted with their feet by not using the noisy, uncomfortable buses and used their personal cars instead creating far more congestion and problems than the trams ever did.

In NSW, the tram systems were replaced by diesel buses to the financial benefit of UK bus manufacturers who benefited from British Commonwealth trade preferences, tyre companies and petroleum product suppliers from both Britain and the USA. Following the recent return of trams to Sydney and Newcastle with more services to come, the trams have proved to be more efficient and popular than buses for inner-city public transport. The main drawback at present is the operators do not have enough trams available to meet demand meaning services are often over-crowded especially in peak periods.
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Mike Thompson
Frequent User
Username: vroomrr

Post Number: 682
Registered: 04-2019
Posted on Sunday, 23 June, 2019 - 14:33:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David why have I been bumped down to Frequent User just curious?
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3359
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Sunday, 23 June, 2019 - 16:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mike,

I will contact our Administrator as he may have been doing some Forum maintenance and this may be associated with the change.
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Mike Thompson
Frequent User
Username: vroomrr

Post Number: 687
Registered: 04-2019
Posted on Monday, 24 June, 2019 - 07:45:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Now someone is deleting my posts in General Discussion about V12 engines in Rolls Royces.

Are the Administrators giving me a hint to go away?
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3360
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Monday, 24 June, 2019 - 09:17:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mike,

They haven't been deleted - our Administrator moved them to a new topic to reflect their content rather than being "tacked on" to an existing non-related thread.

http://au.rrforums.net/forum/messages/16947/36816.html?1561321961

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