Monday, December 31, 2012

another year over

This year we managed to arrest the downwards slide in sales over the previous 4 years, although not reverse it.  An industry like ours is very affected by the vagaries in the general economy so here's hoping that will improve significantly in 2013!

Thanks go to customers, readers and supporters during 2012.

electric tram and clock tower on High Street, Christchurch

A postcard mailed in 1908. The clock tower was built at the intersection of High Street and Manchester Street in 1898.  By the late 1920s the tower was considered a traffic nuisance and it was moved in 1930 to a new location at the junction of Victoria, Salisbury and Montreal streets. A full history of it is here

John Deere 4200 tractor at Whitefish

Used for Amtrak passengers luggage, seen here platform side at Whitefish station, Montana. This Tudor revival style building was opened in 1927. (Geoff Churchman pic)

'I'm so much enjoying this transpress nz book'

former ferries to Algeria at Port Vendres, France

Port-Vendres is close to the border with Spain and is one of the few deep-water ports in this part of the French Mediterranean coast. These show three different ships, in the days before Algerian independence in 1962, the names not given.

the Forth road bridge, Scotland

this shows the proximity of the rail and road bridges

Sunday, December 30, 2012

1935 Hillman Aero-Minx

Hillside railway workshops, Dunedin, 1875-2012

One of the indigenous builders of several NZ locomotives, and in more recent times renovator of rolling stock, was hocked off this month to an Australian firm, Bradken, who said they will retain a small part of it and the rest was closed on 21 December, with the loss of 90 jobs. KiwiRail have said they intend to allocate some work to the new owners, while other work will be done at the company's Hutt workshops near Wellington.

All part of the steady demise of rail transport in NZ at the hands of the present government :-(

Channel 9 video

the Forth railway bridge, Scotland

Nearly 1.5 km long.  A separate nearby road bridge was opened in 1964.

1959 Chevrolet advert

The year of the fabulous 'bat wings' - they don't make 'em like this any more :-(

electric tram on High Street, Christchurch, late 1920s

Apart from the Port Hills skyline in the distance, everything in this scene is history.

East Lancashire Railway, England

A British Railways Standard '4MT' ten-wheeler, number 75078, visiting from the nearby Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, and a ten-coach train cross the Brooksbottom Viaduct of this preserved railway operation, closed by BR in 1972 and reopened between Bury and Rawtenstall by 1991. (from an old calendar, credited to Dick Manton.)

early electric trams on Lambton Quay, Wellington

A pic considered for but not used in the books Wellington: a Capital century and Wellington Transport Memories.  Those who have these books will know what is in this scene.

Missouri Pacific completely dieselized, 1956

Missouri Pacific or MoPac as it was popularly abbreviated, was absorbed into the Union Pacific in the early 1980s. You may wonder about the "Pacific" as it didn't extend to the West Coast, however, most of the system was west of the Mississippi.

Czech railcars at Louny

A railcar and trailer at the platform. This is another placename which is likely to appeal to English speakers, although it is not pronounced "loony", but Lo-oo-ny.

Café "immediately after the book"

Seen in Denmark next to a bookstore.

the last Studebaker, the Avanti

The Avanti was released in 1962 - the following year on 20 December 1963, the South Bend, Indiana, factory closed, with about 5,700 of the 2-door coupe having been produced.  The Avanti is one of the best known Studebakers. It had a 289 cubic inch (4.7 litre) 240 hp (179 kW) V8 engine.

This pic is from a brochure, the rest of which is downloadable here

Saturday, December 29, 2012

a paquebot with tourists arrives at Casablanca, 1930s

a general view and the maritime station

Train Bleu novels

Different works but the covers suggest a similarity of theme.

unorthodox plane movements at JFK Airport, NY

A postcard montage intended to trumpet the arrivals building in the early 1960s, but more likely to cause consternation than pleasure - isn't that plane on the left coming in at far too steep an angle, and with a significant bank?  What is that plane on the right doing cutting across?  Shouldn't planes take off and land in the same direction?

the Wellington Star 2

Three ships carried the name Wellington Star.  Info from

Built:   John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank, Scotland    
ON:     184692    
Dimensions:     522.2 x 72.7 x 37.1 feet    
Tonnage:     Gross: 11,994  Net: 7342    
Propulsion:     Two 6-Cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. Doxford oil engines by shipbuilders, driving twin screws     
Type:     Refrigerated Cargo Liner    
Launched:     07/05/1952 (Yard N. 670) as Wellington Star for Blue Star Line Ltd.
Completed:     08/1952    
Sold:     1976 to Broadbay Shipping Co. Ltd., Panama and renamed Hawkes Bay. Converted into a livestock carrier at Singapore.    
Sold:     1979 to Nan Kwan Steel & Iron Co. Ltd., Taiwan and arrived at Kaohsiung to be broken up.

1955 Pontiac Strato-Streak V8 advert

Things that could or would travel into the stratosphere was a subject of popular attention then.

The Baltimore & Ohio's Royal Blue, 1938

Ten years later a diesel-powered passenger train would be standard in the US, but at the time the streamlined cars of the Royal Blue hauled by new EA units from EMD was something notable.

grammar peeves

From the Grammarly Facebook page.

We actually think "it's" should be accepted as the possessive of "it" - there is no good reason for an exception to the possessive apostrophe formation - and as someone points out on the page, "effect" may also be used as a verb, meaning to bring about or to cause to come into being and is separate from the verb "affect."

'I love to read a transpress nz book in bed'

Simca 1000 brochure

Probably produced for the first model year of this rear-engined, four-door saloon, 1961. See earlier posts.

an electric Glasgow suburban Blue Train approaching Craigendoran, 1966

See the earlier post on the famous Terence Cuneo poster.

Friday, December 28, 2012

electric tram on King William Street, Adelaide, Australia, 1920

Adelaide's trams were electrified as from 1909, at that stage 56 route km.  The tram lines steadily closed during the 1950s, the last in 1958 - the sole exception being the line from the city to Glenelg which survives (see earlier posts).

tram on Kent Terrace, Wellington, late 1920s

A photo considered for, but not used in the book Wellington Transport Memories (a better one was used instead).

This actually shows Kent Terrace on the left and Cambridge on the right, both leading to the Basin Reserve.  In the centre is the statue of Queen Victoria where it was relocated after she had become older history.  In the medium right is the original building of St Patricks College.  For much more, see the book.

cars in Grant's Pass, Oregon, early 1940s

The Hotel del Rogue was a notable building and commercial art prints of it are still available.

View Larger Map

a Russian merchant brig in rough seas

A painting by Grigorij Ivanovich Kapustin (Ukranian, 1865-1925), probably painted about 1900.

narrow gauge steam charm, Colorado

Another Christmas card received this year.

"dig those crazy freeways", Los Angeles

More retro porn for Steven Joyce :-)  The interchange between 4 freeways.

Baldwin "Babyfaces"

The Baldwin DR-4-4-15 was a  diesel-electric powered by a 608SC 1,500-horsepower (1,100 kW) prime mover.  A total of 22 cabbed A units and 11 cabless B units were produced between November 1947 and June 1950. It was produced in two different body types, nicknamed the "Babyface" and "Sharknose" styles by rail enthusiasts, although Baldwin used the same model number for both.

Here 2 of the ten A units and 1 of of the five B units ordered by the Central Railroad of New Jersey are seen at Scranton PA in January 1961.

multiple unit train at Carthage, Tunisia

Carthage is a significant place in Mediterranean history.  This train looks electric powered but it's hard to be sure. 1930s?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Russian steam trains in winter artworks

No dates but the scenes are probably pre-WW1.

Braunschweig main station, Germany

An architectural sketch produced before this station building was built in 1960. It is the sort of architecture that not everyone likes, but it was typical of the 1950s and 1960s in both West Germany and the DDR as well as other countries.  Today it is under Denkmalschutz or heritage protection. Braunschweig is often rendered as Brunswick in English.

Fiat railcar and reversing Y at Cass

A photo taken by Jack Creber on 23 March 1968 at Cass on the Midland Line from a nearby hill.  The Y or Wye was a means of reversing the direction of (normally) steam locomotives without a turntable.  This feature has now gone from Cass.

Ford Raptor pickup

from USA Today -

In an age of downsized dreams, high-priced gas and a general disdain for supersized living, Ford Motor continues to have a sales star in a four-by-four pickup that kicks sand in the face of convention.

It's the Ford SVT Raptor, an F-Series pickup sporting a fuel-gulping 411-horsepower V8 and riding atop big-wheel oversized tires. And now it is making new fans for its performance in ice and snow and on rocky hilltops, not just roaring over desert dunes.

read the rest

it seems the owner of this one has been picking up :-)