Wednesday, June 29, 2016

West German V60 class diesel art

As featured on the cover of the 1963-64 Märklin catalog. An impressive total of 942 of the C type diesel-hydraulic shunters (switchers) were built between 1956 and 1964. Engine output was 480 kW (640 hp).

More info

1941 Plymouth promo

The cover and one of the internal pages of the promotional brochure;

'there's nothing like a book that you can feel'

not what it first seems

Someone has gone to a bit of trouble with this.  from a viral e-mail

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

flower power cycling, Netherlands

from  a viral e-mail

someone watches too much Star Wars

SIAI-Marchetti SF.260

Now Finmeccanica SF-260, this is an Italian light aircraft marketed as an aerobatics and military trainer. It was designed by Stelio Frati, originally for Aviamilano, which flew the first prototype of it (then designated F.260) on July 15, 1964. Actual production was undertaken when SIAI Marchetti purchased the design soon thereafter and continued with this firm until the company was bought by Aermacchi in 1997. The military versions are popular with smaller air forces, which can also arm it for use in the close-support role.

cars in the parking lot get Hummered

from a viral e-mail

Bedford bus and van advert, circa 1950

train travel in Egypt, de nos jours

It looks like a steam train at left but may be a diesel making more smoke than it should.

Part of a French travel article.

"The Egyptian railway network is the oldest in the Arab world.  The train is without contest one of the most practical forms of travelling and without doubt the most popular among Egyptians.  The smallest towns have a station and are regularly served.  Second class air conditioned cars are of a good standard.  If you want to travel more comfortably you opt for first class which provides apart from very wide seats, the diffusion of color Egyptian action films!"

a Fiat railcar rolls northbound through Takapu Road, north of Wellington, November 1971

Probably bound for Gisborne. The scene has changed a bit since then, including new passenger shelters. See earlier posts  (John Herbert pic)

boats and cars on the Yarra River, Melbourne, early 1950s

What is that first car?

Monday, June 27, 2016

road making, tram, a camel and pyramids in Egypt, 1933

A double page drawing from Le Pèlerin (the pilgrim) dated 1 January 1933. This publication still exists.

a pair of Brünigbahn Deh 4/6 cog-wheel luggage van locos, Switzerland, 1970

Or, SBB Brünigbahn Zahnrad-Gepäcktriebwagen Deh 4/6 as they are called in German.  A total 16 of these were built over 1941-1942 for the metre-gauge Bunigbahn (see earlier posts).

a 2-6-0T tank loco in Serghaya station yard, Syria

No date, but it's probably a few decades ago.  Another photo of this class is here

A Serghaya station yard reference pic is here. Serghaya is close to the border with Lebanon.  What it looks like now is anyone's guess.

cyclic sculpture, Zurich, Switzerland

It may be a depiction of how the EU works...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Egypt transportation & communication stamp set, 1959

Ship, train, aircraft and a motorbike and sidecar on the cover stamp. Six individual scenes on the others. Clearly 1959 was the 50th anniversary of something.

British big gun on rails, WW1

Presumably on the Western Front. See earlier posts.

'I like to read a real book, not a smartphone'

Brisbane trams, 1966

Location not stated, a reader may know.

a Pacific on the Pacific coast

Ab 798 with a northbound passenger train headed towards Picton from Christchurch.  In the background is where the area known as the Blue Slip begins. For lots more, see the book New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour

Saturday, June 25, 2016

traffic on 6th Street at Spring Street, L.A., pre-WW1

Engelberg to Mt Titlis aerial cableway poster, Switzerland, 1928

This was opened the year before, and reached an elevation of 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) at the summit. Later (1967?) the system was upgraded and incorporated rotating floor cars offering a turning view. These have now been adopted in a number of spots around the world but Mt Titius is the father of the “rotair”.

That central graphic is rather cryptic.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad graphic

We haven't actually visited this line, based in North Carolina, but this was on a tote bag we got recently.


the currency speculators had a good day, but it will soon back to normal

The figures on the USD value as expressed in British Pounds over the last week.  No doubt the speculators are all very pleased with themselves; the last time they had a day like this was when Switzerland unpegged its currency.  Within a short time, however, this will simply appear as a strange blip.

Now for the positive times ahead -- lots of countries want to conclude their own direct trade agreements with Britain, and A/NZ will be at the head of the queue. Dealing with the Brits should be a whole lot easier than with the Eurocrats. Remember the good old days before 1973 when A/NZ and Britain were major merchandise traders? Market distortions in Britain caused by ridiculous EU grants to relocate industries elsewhere in Europe are over, the costs of complying with silly EU regulations are going, there is now every reason to invest in Britain and manufacturing should recover -- good for jobs. Britain will soon no longer be paying the European bureaucrats a net contribution of about £8.5 billion annually (£233 million a day), and will be able to spend that money at home instead.

In all, it's time to be happy!

Friday, June 24, 2016

a Dj with the Christchurch to Greymouth passenger train on the Big Kowai viaduct, mid 1980s

In 1987 this train was replaced with the tourist orientated and highly sucessful TranzAlpine -- see the book On The TransAlpine Trail. 

This is a common photo location.  The zoom lens effect on the apparent size of the Torlesse Range mountains in the background was applied here.

why did Britain vote to leave the EU? here's a clue

"Notorious Muslim hate preacher Anjem Choudary Backs ‘Remain’ – Says EU Courts Are Softer On His Islamist Friends"

full story

If you want a good reason for voting for something, look at the people who are opposing it.

Of course, that was not the only reason, far more significant was the nature of the EU, a big expensive bureaucracy in which unelected officials hold considerable power.

It's good news not only for Britain, but also for its traditional Commonwealth trade partners; Britons should expect to see NZ lamb in their supermarkets again!

The actual departure date from the EU will be some time from now, however, as Britain's untangling itself from the EU's legal web will take upwards of 2 years.

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, Colorado

this dome car was apparently originally built in the 1950s for the Santa Fe

This runs west-east between Alamosa in the San Luis Valley and La Veta in the La Cuchara Valley over the La Veta Pass (9,500 ft/2900 metres elevation). Originally it was opened in 1878 as a 3 ft gauge line and was standard gauged in 1899.

Unlike the typical museum or preservation railway, this actually hauls freight over the former UP lines.  But the passenger excursions are a major part of it and trains are often used to take concert goers at the summit, a place called Fir, where there is an ampitheatre.

Facebook page

'allahu akbarist' gets 5 months home detention for threatening the US consulate in Auckland

It reads like a joke, but apparently it's true:  a 27-year old Muslim named Niroshan Nawarajan wearing an ISIS T-shirt walked into the US Consulate in Auckland, saying ISIS was here and was the consulate bomb proof?  Police found he had ISIS videos on his laptop.

But his sentence was to be sent on a bus to Wellington where he will spend 5 months in home detention at his brother's home.

Newshub story

"Now, now, don't be a naughty Muslim and don't do this again, all right?"

Thursday, June 23, 2016

F45 on the point of a Santa Fe freight train at Needles, California, 1972

See earlier posts.

gun control proprosals in Congress go nowhere - who's surprised?

Congressional Republicans clearly agree with the NRA that "the right to bear arms" is an absolute one and not a qualified one.  Opinion polls, however, are that a majority of the population disagree.

The other problem is that anything the Democrats put up is automatically opposed by the Republicans -- and vice versa.

The situation therefore remains that psychos and Muslims can legally buy the most destructive portable weaponry they like to murder as many people as they can. And that is intolerable.

There are questions about why the FBI failed to do something to intercept the San Bernardino and Orlando murderers when there were glaring warning signs about their jihadist inclinations and state of mind, but that is a separate issue.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CTC on the Rotorua Branch

Those familiar with this line -- which now only sees the tourist-style rail buggies shown -- may think "yeah, right".  But it is literally true, the buggies are radio controlled from the Mamaku station where they are based.  

A pic from 2014.  For more, see our books and earlier posts.

1941 Ford trucks ad

1937 Buick Special

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Israel is planning to build a $5 billion Artificial Island with a port and an airport off the coast of Gaza to connect Gazans to the outside world

A $5 billion island could be constructed by Israel to connect Gaza with the rest of the world.

The Israeli government's security cabinet is debating the proposal which is backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The island would be linked to Gaza by a three mile bridge and could provide an airport and sea port.


You may wonder why Israel is willing to spend this kind of money on a pack of Islamists who have been launching rocket and suicide bomb attacks on Israel for a long time.  However, it could be part of Israel's ambition that Egypt annex the Gaza strip -- a facility like this would make that a more attractive proposition for Egypt.

steamer at Ostende, Belgium, 1900s

Probably a cross-Channel ferry, name not stated.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Leadville, Colorado & Southern in winter

Colorado & Southern engine 641, a 2-8-0, the line's last operating standard gauge steam locomotive, used on the Climax-Leadville run until 1962 and now displayed close to the station in Leadville.
one of two GP-9 engines that are used for the sightseeing trains
what you see from the train.
Actually it was late spring, but it looked and felt like winter.  The LC&S takes passengers along the old Denver, South Park & Pacific and Colorado & Southern lines to the Continental Divide and has the distinction of being the highest standard gauge railroad in the U.S with the town being at an elevation of 10,200 ft (3100 metres).  The tracks climb another 1,000 ft (305 metres) above the starting point at the station in Leadville to the furthest point at 12.6 miles or 21 km away.  It was originally a narrow gauge operation, but was standard gauged in the 1940s.

The operation is a family affair and was bought from Burlington Northern for the sum of $10 in 1988.

Amtrak's last printed timetable


Amtrak has stated that there will be no more printed compendiums and that this 136-page issue is the last.  Amtrak no doubt figures that everybody now just downloads apps to their smartphones.  Needless to say, we got a couple for the library.

It's also very hard to get printed state road maps now, presumably for the same reason -- we suggest buying them where ever you see them.

5 days to the Brexit referendum...