Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a British 1950s magazine for DIY mechanics

One thing that all the British cars imported into New Zealand for the 25 years or so after WW2 did is create a lot of jobs for motor mechanics; and the appeal of do-it-yourself repairs to save money was certainly there for a lot of blokes. This issue of Car Mechanics from 1959 features a mid-1950s Vanguard on the front cover and it suggests that an even-older Buick could be bought for under £200. One problem is that British roads weren't designed for big cars, something you realise quickly when you drive there.

North American rail freight volumes rise

WASHINGTON — U.S. freight railroads continue to see higher traffic levels than last year, with the week ended November 20 seeing 3.9 percent more traffic moving than a year earlier. According to Association of American Railroads data, carloads for intermodal, the sector most tied to American consumer spending, are up even more sharply.

Railroads have been witnessing a gradual rise in business this year, along with an ability to raise their prices, generating phenomenal returns for investors.

Shipping containers moving over rails rose 11.7 percent over the corresponding week last year, with trailer volumes up a more modest 5.2 percent. Of commodities shipped in railcars, metallic ores were up most sharply from last year at 76.7 percent, followed by metals (22.3 percent), and crushed stone, sand, and gravel (21.1 percent). Those materials are tied to construction, one of the sectors recovering most slowly from the Great Recession.

Canadian and Mexican railroads are showing similar gains, at 5 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.

in Auckland, 85 years ago

Even those who now live and work in this area could be excused for not knowing where this scene was taken as it has changed out of all recognition in the meantime.

It is in fact taken in Beach Road, looking towards Parnell Rise in the distance. There are tram tracks in Beach Road, which disappeared in the 1950s, and the rail tracks mostly disappeared after the 1930s Auckland Station was built. Some remained until recent times, but now there are only the passenger lines leading underground to the Britomart rail terminal. The WAB tank engine near the camera seems to be shunting refrigerated meat wagons.

blog statistics

This month saw page views increase by 1,000 on the October figure to 3,400. NZ visitors increased in numbers but dropped in percentage terms; the biggest increase was in visitors from the USA, up from 18% to 26% of the total.

The next eight countries in order:
United Kingdom
South Korea

The most viewed individual posts in order were:
* the colossal amount paid to Westpac Bank's NZ boss
* Kiwirail's new DL locomotives
* Maersk's giant container ships
* The real Burt Munro
* The return of the Auckland harbour ferry Kestrel

Monday, November 29, 2010

at the Trentham races, 1950s

This scene looking north at the station for the Trentham Racecourse (out of sight across the street to the right) in the Hutt Valley, has an assortment of passenger transport typical of the era.

To the left, departing the platform is a Fiat railcar, probably headed for Masterton and then Woodville; further up on the sidings are two Ew locomotive-hauled passenger trains waiting to take punters back to Wellington at the conclusion of the day's horse races; parked on the grass verge is an AEC Reliance type diesel bus belonging to Wellington City Transport; and parked on the road next to the racecourse is a line of Railways Road Services buses, which will take punters to destinations in the Hutt Valley away from the railway line. Some cars are also parked although a lot fewer than there are on such events nowadays. The man on the platform seems to clutching a fish and chip packet (or maybe his beer supplies?).

'ooh this book from transpress nz is fascinating!'

A piece of pin-up art from 1946 by Edward D'Ancona. Well at least she's reading a book, not watching a small screen or on the phone to one of her friends...

another elaborate book cover

This new book - Cars of the 70s - has its title stamped onto a faux metal plate which in turn is mounted on an indented area of the cover board (after covering with imitation cloth). We are not sure what the 'metal' actually is, possibly a type of ressin.

It would need to be the cover of a lavish book, and it is - 416 pages in oversize format printed all in colour of the products from Detroit during the 1970s; plus a few imports.

The 1970s was a turning point in US car production - the muscle car era and minimal concern with size and fuel consumption and emissions was changed by the oil shock of 1973, a further one in 1979 and growing awareness of air pollution. Small Japanese cars which had only been hitherto an exotic sidebar, suddenly became de rigueur and the American manufacturers had to compete in this market.

This book provides a comprehensive reference, with the illustration count running into 4 digits, of the cars that were seen on American streets and roads during this decade. It is arranged by year, and manufacturer and model within each year. There are companion volumes on the other decades.

Days of future passed

The original advert above by America's Electric Light and Power Companies from the mid-1950s predicted twice as much electricity being available by 1965 and showed this prediction of electric cars operating on autopilot - an interesting concept, which could well be the way things are by 2065.

The second artwork shown was somebody's update on the original, judging from the backdrop, setting the scenario even further in the future.

a pre-WW2 International van

This van for Colda products in NSW is an International D series, which was produced before World War 2, probably a 1938 model, but the photo is probably from the mid-1950s.

That 1d (about 1c) for a Joy Stick seems a real bargain, even allowing for inflation of about 12 times since then!

North Island Main Trunk album

Further to the post of 5 November, the NZR&LS's history of the NIMT has now been published. Essentially it is an album of photos with brief histories of different aspects of the line's history, and its social significance to towns along the way. Given the disappointing book that Graham Stewart produced for OnTrack two years ago on the line's centennial of completion, it is good to be able to say that this one is better. Although quite a few books about the NIMT have been published over the years, Graeme Carter has managed to find mostly fresh photos from the society's archives and elsewhere, and these are b/w and colour in about a 2:1 ratio.

With only 100 pages in landscape A4 format it can't do justice to every aspect of the line's history, for which the late Bill Pierre's book from 1981 remains the best, if you can find it in a library or second hand shop.

There are a few picky criticisms that can be made, starting with the map on the inside front cover, but we'll leave them for NZ Railfan magazine which excells in them. The book is available now in our shop.

first airmail service between New Zealand and Australia

The handwritten message says "The take off from Murawai Beach N.Z. First trans-Tasman official airmail 17/2/34".

Murawai is presumably a mis-spelling of Muriwai, due west of Auckland, and the aircraft is an Avro X; more information from airwaysmuseum.com :-

Following the loss of their Avro X VH-UMF Southern Cloud, Australian National Airways Ltd. (ANA) abandoned their interstate services and went into liquidation. C.T.P. Ulm, one of the principals of ANA, purchased Avro X VH-UMI Southern Moon from the liquidators and had it rebuilt in highly modified form for use on route-proving and record-breaking flights. His hope was to stimulate Government interest in subsidising long-range air services. The aircraft was re-registered on 16 June 1933 as VH-UXX Faith in Australia (c/n 231)... The colour scheme was silver overall with an orange upper wing and fuselage spine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Maersk to build even bigger container ships

Further to our post from 11 November, Maersk Line is in the final stages of negotiation with shipyards for a series of 18,000 teu container ships.

From Lloyd's List (26 November) -

Letters of intent could be signed before the end of the year. A considerable amount of design work still has to be completed, with several South Korean yards in the running for an order that could be worth close to $US 2 billion.

The ships would be of revolutionary design, with new propulsion systems and other technological advances that would considerably reduce slot costs and cut emissions.

Lloyd’s List disclosed in August that Maersk was preparing to order ships with a nominal intake of at least 16,000 teu.

Speculation flared again yesterday when Korea Economic Daily reported that South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering was lining up a 20-ship order with AP Moller-Maersk worth $4 billion.

A delegation from DSME is thought to be in Copenhagen this week, but a Maersk spokesman said the company had not placed an order with the yard. The Danish line would not comment on speculation about any future orders.

Reports that the two sides were in discussion about a $4bn contract appear to be wide of the mark, with the most likely outcome a 10-ship order initially with each ship costing somewhat less than $200 million apiece.

DSME has competition, though, with other shipbuilders also on the shortlist. All are thought to be from South Korea, with none from China.

Containership prices peaked at just over $170 million for a vessel of 14,000 teu nominal capacity in 2007, but have since fallen considerably.

The Danish line has made no secret of the fact that it is preparing a new building programme, but has given little away about the specification of ships it is after.

Maersk pioneered the super-sized container ship, with Emma Maersk the first of a new class of vessel, with a declared capacity of 12,500 teu. Eight sister ships, built by AP Moller-Maersk’s Odense shipyard, were delivered between 2006 and 2008. Other lines are only just catching up, with Mediterranean Shipping Company taking delivery this year of its first 14,000 teu ships, and CMA CGM now receiving its 13,800 teu new buildings.

Emma Maersk is 397 m long and 56.4 m wide, and the ships that Maersk is expected to order next would be bigger both in length and breadth since there would be limitations to container stack heights.

Engines on the new ships would probably be smaller than the 80,080 kw, 12-cylinder main engine on Emma Maersk. With slower service speeds expected to remain the norm, most ships in service today are considered to be over-powered.

The new buildings would almost certainly be earmarked for the Asia-Europe trades where Maersk’s sister company APM Terminals would be well-positioned to install a new generation of cranes at key facilities to handle these leviathans.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The next photo in the series of the coal train near Aickens

Further to the post on 21 November showing the coal train from the West Coast climbing the Otira River Valley just below Aickens, here is the next in the sequence, in fact the last in the sequence as you can see an enormous truck and trailer unit passing by on the road at the same time which blocked out the scenery - ironically fitting in view of what we have to say about big trucks clogging the roads nowadays. (Fortunately the ditch was dry!) Before the Otira Road Viaduct was opened in 1999 these types of truck&trailer units were banned from this road.

'lack of knowledge is the root of evil'

A photo taken in Reichenberg/Liberec this year by one of our directors. The '21 years' is perhaps a reference to the collapse of communism in 1989.

Atmosphere of the steam era - 2

One more photo from the US Library of Congress - this is a view of the Chicago and North Western Railroad's classification yard in winter snow at Proviso, Chicago, in December 1942.

The C&NW at this time operated over 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of track in seven states. The C&NW became one of the longest railways in the USA as a result of mergers such as with the Chicago Great Western Railway, Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railway and others. It retrenched in the late 1970s and by 1995 track sales and abandonment had reduced its total mileage to about 5,000. The majority of the abandoned and sold lines were lightly trafficked branches in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Large line sales, such as those that resulted in the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad, further reduced the railroad to a mainline core with several regional feeders and branches. The company was purchased by the Union Pacific Railroad in April 1995 and the name disappeared.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Atmosphere of the steam era

Another great photo from the US Library of Congress that we can't resist posting: this was taken in the locomotive roundhouse of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad (C & NW RR) in Proviso yard in Chicago, December 1942.

You can see the coal soot in the air, it doesn't require much imagination to visualise the cinders, and smell the smoke.

the Endurance was an aptly named ship for what transpired

The ship Endurance as captured totally encased in Antarctic pack ice by photographer Frank Hurley in 1915. The picture of the photographer with a camera under the bows of the ship was presumably a self-portrait.

This ship was soon crushed by the ice, and 120 of the 400 glass plate negatives were taken by Hurley on the rest of the amazing adventure using very basic transport. Because of their weight, the rest were abandoned. This epic voyage of Ernest Shackleton and his crew - the captain was a New Zealander, Frank Worsley - is well told on this Kodak webpage.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

42% of freight in the USA is moved by rail - in New Zealand it's only 15%

As we compiled the previous post on Cajon Pass, those mere figures had a resonance - BNSF built a third track over Cajon Pass two years ago so that it could move 150 freight trains a day ... that's over 6 freight trains an hour without counting what Union Pacific moves over the same route. And these trains are huge, 10,000 tons is nothing unusual.

The share of intercity freight moved by rail in the USA in the early-1990s was about 35%, now it stands at 42%. In New Zealand in comparison over the same period it has fallen: a sad picture. See our previous posts about the government's extremely pro-truck stance.

Here is another photo taken from a similar position to that in the previous post (as usual, click for the full view): all those freight containers snaking around a long S curve belong to the same train!

125 years of rails over Cajon Pass

One of the most famous stretches of railway in North America - that over Cajon (pronounced Ka-hone) Pass in the San Bernadino mountains of California - marked 125 years of operation this month. We know quite a few railway enthusiasts in New Zealand take an active interest in it.

Since 1972 the highest point on the railway lines has been given as 3,777 feet (1,151 metres), only about half that of Donner Pass further north but snow often falls in winter.

The first line through the pass was built in the early 1880s by the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, as part of a route between the present day cities of Barstow and San Diego.

Today, the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway (the successor to the Santa Fe) use this pass to access Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

The Amtrak Chicago to Los Angeles Southwest Chief passenger train also travels through the pass.

The UP owns and operates one track through the pass, on the previous Southern Pacific Railroad Palmdale cutoff, opened in 1967.

The BNSF had two tracks before a third was completed and began to be operated in the summer of 2008. The railroads have shared trackage rights through the pass ever since the UP gained trackage rights on the Santa Fe portion negotiated under the original Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. The original BNSF (Santa Fe) line was constructed in 1890.

The 3.0% gradient for a short distance on the south track is especially challenging for long trains, making the westbound descent potentially dangerous and a runaway can easily occur if the drivers are not careful. The second track, built in 1913, makes a 2-mile (3.2 km) loop around the hills at a lesser 2.20% gradient. It ran through two short tunnels, but both were removed in order to add the third main track that runs parallel to the 1913 line. Speeds of 60 to 70 mph (100 to 115 km/h) can be seen on the straighter track away from the pass, but are typically 14 to 22 mph (23 to 35 km/h) while ascending and between 20 and 30 mph (32 to 48 km/h) while descending. The third track enables a capacity of 150 trains a day on the BNSF lines.

The older photo from the US Library of Congress shows a steam-hauled freight train ascending the pass in March 1943, and the recent photo shows Burlington Northern Santa Fe D9-44CWs numbers BNSF 4448, BNSF 5243, BNSF 4743 and BNSF 5365 crawl around the long S curve at Cajon Summit with an eastbound intermodal service.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 232 has bolted

Another issue of the Tintin hebdomadaire - "for youth from 7 to 77" - dated 19 December 1953. This features an SNCF locomotive, a 232 R. (The numerals refer to the axle arrangement; the equivalent English classification counting wheels rather than axles is 4-6-4.)

Four 3-cylinder locomotives - class 232 R - and four 4-cylinder compound locomotives - class 232 S - were planned; in 1940, three 232 R and four 232 S were delivered, the fourth 232 R became a 232 U after WW2, delivered with various improvements. The 232 R, S and U were used for express trains from Paris to Lille and Belgium until 1961 when these lines were electrified.

'this book from transpress nz is really good!'

Of course it doesn't say that but 'Intellectuals, defend socialism with science and technology', one of the posters reproduced in the book North Korean Posters.

Given today's news that North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island, killing four and wounding over 20 people, the 'defence' is obviously by building missiles and other armaments, and many of the posters are agressively violent. There are several others, however, which have an entertainment value, portraying the country as a land of smiling happy people who enjoy abundance - the reality is quite the opposite. Will the country's dictators provoke a resumption of the Korean War which ceased 57 years ago? We hope not, but with lunatics who knows?

60 years of the Picasso railcars France

The peculiar looking French class X3800 railcars introduced in 1950 were nicknamed the Picasso "parce que le nez n'est pas au centre!" - the driving cab wasn't in the centre, like Picasso paintings of faces in which the nose and eyes were completely offset.

This example shown was preserved by l'association du Haut Forez.

For those into specifications:

Operator : SNCF
Designation : X 3801-4051 (250 units)
Composition : Railcar only
Couplage : Coupling possible with other railcars
Builder : Régie Renault/ANF/De Dietrich/SACM
Placing into service : 1950-1961
Withdrawal : 1988 except X3997
Gauge : standard
Fuel : gazole (diesel)
Combustion Motor : 1 Saurer BZDSe or Renault
One hour output : 250 kW
Transmission : mechanical
total weight : 31,5 tonnes
Total length : 21.851 metres
Maximum speed : 120 km/h
Seating places : 62 (second class only) or 20 first and 32 second class

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

60 years ago - the Bookmobile

A photo taken at Lake MacQuarie, NSW, in October 1950 featuring a 1948 Austin truck serving as a mobile library. Such mobile libraries also operated in New Zealand, and one was in our book Wellington Transport Memories.

The Top Gear Annual 2011

The title makes it obvious that this TV car show has a big following in the UK and probably here too: not many TV shows get their own advance annual.

The one-hour episodes feature a complete range of cars, from the slickest and fastest on the planet to old bangers. In addition the show has comedy gags and geeky car facts. This book, a kind of scrapbook, has all that plus photographs of the show's presenters - petrol heads, lovable rogues and controversial in one way or another. If you like the show you should like the book. From BBC Books (which is actually a subsidiary of Random House and not the BBC), 96 colour pages in 220 x 290 mm, hardcover.

Union Pacific Railroad wins California's top environmental leadership award

The Union Pacific Railroad has been honoured for developing the ultra-low emitting Genset switching (what we call shunting) locomotive, and expansive use of this technology in its California fleet

These locomotives operate using technology developed by Union Pacific that use modified, low-emission Environmental Protection Agency -certified "off-road" diesel engines (derived from low-emission, truck-style diesel engines), and that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent, emissions of oxides of nitrogen by 80 percent, and particulate matter by 90 percent compared to older switching locomotives. UP currently has nearly 70 of these ultra-low-emission locomotives operating in California.

The Railroad won the 2010 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California's highest and most prestigious environmental honour. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California's resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and building public-private partnerships.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recognized Union Pacific and other GEELA recipients at a reception at the Governors' Global Climate Summit last week.

"This honor recognizes Union Pacific’s ongoing commitment to developing new technologies that bolster our environmentally friendly transportation of freight," said Mike Iden, Union Pacific general director, car and locomotive engineering. "American businesses and consumers depend on Union Pacific to safely and reliably deliver the products they need and use every day. We are proud of our leadership role in developing and implementing new technologies and practices that further our ability to keep America moving with greater environmental efficiency."

new book - Coasters

Coasters is often a reference to coastal cargo ships, but here it means those who live on the coast. The book covers some of these people as well as various landmarks and features of the New Zealand coast, probably inspired by the British TV series (now into 5 seasons) entitled Coast.

Each chapter covers a different stretch of coast - Red Rocks to Pencarrow (Wellington), Hot Water Beach to Whitianga (Coromandel), Cape Brett to Rocky Point (Bay of Islands), Mokau to New Plymouth (Taranaki), Westport to Punakaiki, Doubtful Sound & Fiordland and Birdlings Flat to Lyttelton (Christchurch). These were chosen to represent the wide array of coastal locations within in New Zealand, as well as for their combination of superb scenery and interesting stories.

Although printed with colour illustrations throughout, it is a real shame the publisher (Random House) decided to save money by using white bond paper instead of coated art paper, which has considerably reduced the impact of the photos. Hopefully if it goes to a reprint they will put this right. 288 pages, softcover with flaps.

Monday, November 22, 2010

what's a Lisbon tram doing here?

The passengers in this scene in Birkenhead, England, seem surprised. Even more puzzling may be that the tram track gauge here is standard 1435 mm, while the Lisbon, Portugal, tram track gauge is 900 mm.

That destination of Bangor in Wales seems a reasonable way off for an urban bus too. A picture from the transport-illustrated.blogspot.com site.

Brunner coal mine near Greymouth

Those who travel on the daily Tranz Alpine passenger train to or from Christchurch ride over the tracks in the foreground of this picture, taken about 1900. The mine across the river, the site of which is still reachable by the bridge shown, is the Brunner coal mine which was operated until the early 1940s.

This was the scene of New Zealand's worst industrial accident when in 1896 a misplaced explosive charge ignited gases which killed 65 men and boys inside this mine. A mass grave at Stillwater cemetary a few km to the east is a sad testament to the event. Unfortunately this wasn't the only mining disaster near Greymouth - on 19 January 1967 at the Strongman mine 11 km north east of Greymouth, at just after 10 am an explosion blew through the section of the mine known as Green's No 2 Rise. In seconds the fireball from the explosion fired through the section, killing 19 of the 240 men who were working in the mine at the time.

We are hoping, like everyone else, that the explosion at the Pike River mine last Friday won't be yet another mining disaster, but it has to be said the situation doesn't look hopeful. Methane and carbon monoxide as well as carbon dioxide and nitrogen are gases that coal miners have to contend with constantly. What caused this latest explosion is something that will be determined in due course.


Our sympathies go to the families, friends and workmates of the 29 victims in this the worst NZ mining disaster since that in Huntly in 1914.

Ford cars, mostly yesterday and some today

Freshly arrived from the distributor is this new coffee-table presentation of well-known cars (and a few pick-ups) from American Ford, many of which have come to NZ. Most photos are in colour and most are publicity shots, with some restored examples of older models. 160 pages in oversize format, hardcover.

Rimutaka Incline gold

This photo from the Keith Cullen collection and taken by Derek Cross, shows a double-headed steam train descending the famous Rimutaka Incline near the bottom of it at Cross Creek (the name had nothing to do with Derek Cross) and near the end of the operation of the Incline on 29 October 1955.

As well as the locomotives there are three Fell-type brake vans behind them. The house was a ganger's home about 400 metres from Cross Creek.

Today most of the gorse and broom visible in this photo has given way to regenerated native trees.

For more photos of steam on the Rimutaka Incline, see our book New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour compiled from the Derek Cross collection.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Glasgow Electric 50 years

This scene, of which we have a framed print on our office wall, was painted by famous illustrator/artist Terence Cuneo (1907-1996) in 1960.

The 'Glasgow Electric 50: 1960 - 2010' exhibition opened on Saturday 13 November for a period of two months at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum, Glasgow. The exhibition covers the history of electric commuter trains in Glasgow since they were introduced in 1960 with the iconic and much loved 'Blue Train', climaxing with the reopening of the Airdrie to Bathgate route.

A large collection of original items is in the exhibition such as timetables, posters, badges, postcards, promotional literature, books, transfers, model trains and pictures shown on a DVD player.

Terence Cuneo began his artistic career as an illustrator, but it was his work as a war artist which brought him national recognition. During WW2 while serving briefly with the Royal Engineers, Cuneo was the artist for the Illustrated London News in France. From 1941 he served as an official war artist, producing propaganda paintings for the Ministry of Information, and also illustrated the book How to Draw Tanks. In post war Britain, Cuneo became the establishment artist for much of the latter half of the twentieth century. As official artist at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, his name was put before the public worldwide. He painted portraits, as well as landscapes and industry, but most famous are his railway scenes. His largest painting measuring 20 ft by 10 ft, commissioned by the Science Museum in 1967, was of the concourse at Waterloo Station in London. He was famous for putting a mouse in his paintings; this first appeared in 1953 and subsequently in most of his paintings thereafter. A statue to his memory at Waterloo Station was unveiled in October 2004.

exhibition 'Tintin, Hergé and trains' at the Hergé museum

This poster is for an exhibition of the famous comic book character with the trains that have been part of his adventures in various countries, now showing at the Musée Hergé at Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium until 27 February next. A map of how to get there is included on the museum's website.

Comparison of space required for a railway line and a road

This photo by one of our directors (as usual, click for full version) of a coal train from the West Coast beginning its ascent of the Otira River Valley just below Aickens on the Midland Line demonstrates how little space is required for a railway line compared to a two lane road.

And a railway is far more fuel-efficient than trucks on a road, and presents no impediment to motorists. We've said that before haven't we? Well, perhaps if we and others say it often enough, just maybe Steven Joyce and the government will heed it.

early DC-3 artworks

Further to our post on the book for the 75th anniversary of the Douglas DC-3, here are two items from the early period of this aircraft. We think the American Airlines artwork is just before WW2 and the TWA advertisement is just after.

A large number of this aircraft used in WW2 made their way into civilian service after the war, including in New Zealand - details of most of them will be found in the book The Aircraft of Air New Zealand and Affiliates since 1940 by Paul Sheehan.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a DSB poster from 1934 with a certain propheticality

This poster in the DSB (Danish State Railway) Museum in Odense dates from 1934 and the opening of the København S-Ban or city railway system.

It shows a motley collection of passengers, one of which looks rather like Der Führer of Germany, and someone following him is carrying a valise labelled Argentina, which of course is where many of Herr Hitler's top followers fled to in 1945.

The Copenhagen S-Ban system, like that of Wellington inaugurated 4 years later, is electrified in 1500 volts DC.

Thorpe-Bowker [New Zealand] Independent Bookshop of the year 2010

This is a little belated because the award, decided by both by Thorpe-Bowker and Booksellers NZ, was made nearly 3 months ago; but our congratulations to Page and Blackmore in Nelson for winning this. This shop stands out because its two principals have a good knowledge of a whole range of book subjects, have an excellent range of titles on their shelves and, of course, keep our titles in stock.

If you're passing through Nelson, pay this shop a visit.

Studholme Junction through the years

Returning one more time to the theme of the South Island Main Trunk, here are views of Studholme, or Studholme Junction as it was known until the Waimate Branch, which connected here, closed in 1966.

The Muir and Moodie view (a high res version of which was included in our book New Zealand Railway Memories compiled from the J.D. Mahoney collection) dates from 1906 and the second view is from June 1978. Other views are in the book New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour compiled from the Derek Cross collection.

Today? Well as the Google satellite view shows, not much remains apart from the main line.

View Larger Map

Kestrel and Toroa in 1971

Here is another photo of the Auckland waterfront which was not included in the book New Zealand Maritime Images: the golden years. This shows both the Kestrel and the Toroa steam ferries on the left wharf and other craft, now history, at the centre wharf.