Wednesday, November 25, 2020

'Do as I say, not as I do'


The 'Seasider' and the 'Taieri Gorge' tourist trains of Dunedin return this summer

The Seasider excursion train is seen exiting the Cliffs Tunnel between Purakanui and Waitati. For lots more see the official website, and our books.

Ticlio Vista, Peru

This is on the Lima - Huancayo line, see earlier posts.

Škoda to supply new NZ Police cars

(Media release)

After a rigorous testing and evaluation process, New Zealand Police has selected the Škoda Superb as the new frontline Police car. The more environmentally friendly Škoda will become Police’s primary response vehicle, with the first cars expected on roads and in communities as early as April next year.
After General Motors announced it was pulling Holden out of the Australasian market, Police went to tender for a new preferred supplier.

“With more than 2000 primary response vehicles currently in action, selecting a new supplier provides an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and ensure value for money across our fleet,” says Commissioner Coster.

Throughout the tender process, two Škoda Superb models stood out as ideal primary response vehicles.
“Frontline staff said they handled well and they felt confident and safe driving the vehicle,” he says.
“They liked the large doors with a wide opening range, easy-to-read instruments, front and rear visibility, and the spaciousness of the rear passenger area.”

Police will be using station wagons as they offer greater flexibility for deployment and were the preferred body type by staff. The 162KW 2WD and the 206KW 4x4 Superbs will be deployed according to operational requirements.

“As well as the Superbs standing out in our evaluation process, Škoda is repeatedly chosen for use as police and emergency services vehicles throughout Europe. It is used in more than 30 jurisdictions, including Austria, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” says Commissioner Coster.

“More importantly, these new vehicles will deliver significant reductions in our fleet’s carbon footprint.”
The average CO2 emissions for all fleet vehicles in New Zealand is 180.7 grams per kilometre, while the Superbs sit on the greener side at 162 for the 162KW model and 176 for the 206KW.

“When compared to our current fleet, C02 emissions per kilometre could be reduced by up to 38.6 per cent per vehicle, depending on what is being replaced,” he says.

Electric and hybrid vehicles were tested, but limitations including power efficiency and the total cost of ownership meant they were not the preferred option.

“While incredibly promising, electric and hybrid technology are not yet a viable option for our patrol vehicles,” says Commissioner Coster. “However, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and have outlined a ten-year plan to an emissions-free fleet.”

Prime 1 Patrol Vehicles in the existing fleet will be replaced when they have reached the end of their useful life, at a rate of around 400 per year. 

Police is expecting to deploy the first lot of Škodas in April 2021. The new-look Police cars will be revealed early next year.

Frequently Asked Questions
What was the evaluation criteria?
Each vehicle was tested against a rigorous set of criteria. Mandatory criteria included radio interference, performance and brake testing. Non-price attributes (such as emissions and service capability) accounted for 20 per cent of the weighting, physical testing accounted for 40 per cent (such as road testing), and the total cost of ownership accounted for the final 40 per cent.

Does Police use any electric or hybrid vehicles at the moment?
Police has a small number of electric and hybrid cars for use in non-operational roles. Police intends to expand the number of low/no-emission vehicles through the annual replacement programme.

When will a Holden be replaced?
Police cars and car-based models are considered for replacement at an average age of six to seven years or once the clock up 120,000 km, whichever comes first. 

Will the Holdens continued to be serviced?
Holden dealerships are not disappearing completely. Holden will remain available to service Police vehicles for the next ten years. However, should it happen that a Holden service agent is no longer available, Police will continue to work with its partners to maintain the servicing requirements for its operational fleet. 

What is Police’s 10-year plan to an emissions-free fleet?
New Zealand Police is in the process of developing a 10-Year Fleet strategy (2020-2030), which will outline a roadmap to reducing CO2 emissions and improve sustainability across the Police fleet over the next decade.
This evaluation gave Police some real experience with electric and hybrid vehicles and provided practical learnings for their future implementation. While the technology does not currently align with Police’s core business requirements, EVs and hybrids will continue to be tested as the technology improves in terms of vehicle performance and range. 
Police will actively introduce more electric and hybrid vehicles into its fleet for use in non-operational roles from 2021.

How many vehicle submissions did Police receive?
The Request for Proposals (RFP) received submissions from seven suppliers with 27 different vehicles. 12 shortlisted vehicles underwent a process to physically assess a broad range of criteria necessary to perform as a Prime 1 Patrol vehicle (primary response vehicle). When all criteria were considered the two Škoda Superb models ranked the highest.

Lawrence, Otago, a century ago showing its railyard

The railway is now long gone.  For lots more, see our books.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

1937 Rolls Royce 25/30

Moscow trolleybus farewell, Russia

The system was inaugurated in 1933 (see earlier post). Last August the Russian capital announced that it will be retiring all its trolleybuses and replacing them with regular buses and electric buses."The decision to gradually abandon the trolleybus service was not easy for us, but we understand that this is a step forward. The future belongs to innovative electric transport," the head of Mosgortrans, the city's transit agency, told the state-run TASS news agency.

Moscow's transport department said it plans to keep one trolleybus route running as a tribute to the system, with two retro trolleybuses taking passengers from Komsomolskaya Square to Novoryazanskaya Ulitsa, where the second trolleybus route was opened in 1937.

More pics on this webpage.

Soviet trolley and diesel buses 1967

 Which city not stated.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Southbound Christchurch-Invercargill express at Ashburton, April 1959

Pic by Leslie Adkin (1888-1964) -- biography.

For lots more photos like this one, see the book New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour

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


LMS 'Royal Scot' poster illustration, 1938

This poster was part of a series created by author Enid Blyton in collaboration with a number of well known illustrators of the time including Kathleen Nixon, William Fyffe, Ernest Aris, Raymond Shepherd et al. They were designed as teaching aids to create discussion in school classrooms.

The 'ten-wheeler' type LMS Royal Scot class consisted of 70 -- built by North British Locomotive Company (50) and the LMS, Derby Works (20) in 1927 and 1930. They were rebuilt from 1943 to 1955. 

More info

Sunday, November 22, 2020

buses in Tainui Street, Greymouth NZ, 1960s

The red buses belonged to the Kennedy's fleet; there is also a blue and cream NZR Road Services bus visible. (Gary Boucher collection)

Soviet health resorts poster featuring a convertible tourer, 1920s


two bridges, one steam train at Greymouth NZ

A fairly short passenger train headed for one of the mines - Rewanui or Rapahoe - crosses the Grey River which looks slighly swollen in size.  The other bridge was for road vehicles and was later replaced with a higher level one.  This bridge was also replaced more recently with a curved concrete one. No date but likely inter-war years. For lots more, see the book On the Trans-Alpine Trail.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

MV 'Mahout' (1963~1968) MV 'Evagelia S.' [+1982]

A British-built 9153 grt ship; dimensions 146.3 x 19.2 x 11.6 metres; ran aground and was wrecked in the Iran-Iraq war in 1982.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Qantas turns 100

Says CEO Alan Joyce, "... this has probably been the toughest year in our long history, [but] it’s also a timely reminder of how far we’ve come.

"From humble beginnings in outback Queensland, carrying mostly mail, we grew to become the national carrier, flying 50 million people a year. We’ve been there through war, natural disaster and national celebration. We’ve pushed the boundaries of endurance to take generations of Australians all over the world, and bring them safely home again.

"We’ve had the honour of being part of so many journeys – including yours. And that’s what pushes us forward.

"So, in marking the day in 1920 when two recently returned WW1 servicemen and a local grazier decided to start an airline, we acknowledge the huge contribution of all those who have helped make Qantas the Spirit of Australia."

trams and buses on Renfield Street, Glasgow, Scotland, 1950s


'Smartphone addicts are so missing out by not reading real books'


Sunday, November 15, 2020

1954 Nash Metropolitan 1200 [541]

A still from the movie Clueless.

Voroshilov funicular, Sochi, Russia, early 1930s

Sochi has many big resorts and spa treatments called sanatoriums. The Voroshilov Sanatorium had built a funicular in 1930 that allowed residents direct access to the sea. The funicular operation was stopped in 2002 and remained abandoned until, with the Winter Olympic Games of 2014, the funicular was fully reconstructed (track, cars and machinery) by Garaventa. 

The line is 373 metres long with a height difference of 81 metres (a 22% average gradient).  More

zipper boat


Friday, November 13, 2020

1956 Heinkel Kabine 200 microcar

A 3-wheel car with a (reported) 200cc single cylinder engine and 4 speed gearbox with reverse.  Production was fairly limited with 6,000 built over 2 years and they are now rare. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

'I'm so glad I discovered real books'


Russian 2-10-0

A class L of which 4,199 were built between 1945 and 1955.  Here it looks to be losing a smoke contest with a D1 class Diesel-Multiple Unit (see earlier post).

"It was designed and built by the Kolomna Locomotive Works shortly after World War II under supervision by L.C. Lebedyanski. It was originally designated Class P (for Pobyeda, "victory"), but was redesignated Class L in honor of its designer.

"In conjunction with the FD class 2-10-2, it was primarily used to haul mainline goods across the terrain of the Soviet Union...  they operated with the Soviet Railways until 1975."

1938 Hudson Terraplane

Terraplane was a brand and model of the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, built between between 1932 and 1938.

production car speed trials poster, Nice, 1949


Thursday, November 5, 2020

The 2025 car you’re voting for today


Much is in the balance today – election day – including the kinds of cars you’ll be able to buy (or not) in the years ahead.

It’s not on the ballot, per se, but the outcome of the vote will decide that by dint of deciding whether the federal government will enforce the almost-doubling of fuel economy mandatory minimums to nearly 50 MPG by 2025.

The Orange Man opposes this. The Hair Plugged Man endorses it. His predecessor attempted to impose it.

People not familiar with regulatory rigmarole – and what it takes to “comply” with it – may be under the impression that nothing but good could come from a mandate requiring that all cars average nearly 50 MPG. It’s right up there with money for nothing and your chicks for free.

And that’s just how it’s sold – or rather, how it is marketed by politicians such as the Hair Plugged Man, who specialize in the free lunch paid for by someone else.

To the average ear 50 MPG sounds great. If it takes a prod from the government to make the recalcitrant car industry build efficient cars, then so be it.

The cost of this is never explained to people – because then it would not sound so great. How much is a 50 MPG car worth if it costs 25 percent more to buy than a 35 MPG car? If it is twice as complex – and so twice as likely to break down or need an expensive repair at some point during its lifetime?