Monday, September 29, 2014

Space age travel, NSW, 1980s

All right then... The XPT was the New South Wales railways version of the British High Speed Train of the 1970s (see  earlier post) and used on country services, including interstate services to Brisbane and Melbourne.  In the first few years, official vendors on the trains used to sell ornaments and items like the one shown.

The trains had some modifications from the British design, however: the power cars were 50 cm shorter, the Paxman Valenta engine was downrated from 2,250 to 2,000 hp (1,680 to 1,490 kW), gearing was lowered for a top operating speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) as against 200 km/h (125 mph), the suspension modified for inferior track and air filters and the cooling system were modified to cater for hotter and dustier Australian conditions. A different light cluster was fitted along with three high beam spotlights mounted to the roof. The passenger cars were based on a Budd design, rather than the British Rail Mark 3 cars, which were considered unsuitable.

An XPT in the original colour scheme seen in October 1983.

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