Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sydney Central Station concourse a century ago

The mechanical train destination board and the clock further along were both well known features; today the displays are electronic.  In the area to the left today is the ARHS Bookshop, one of the world's best for books on things that run or have run on rails.

steam and snow in Norway, 1913

The photographer managed an impressive composition with this view of a steam train climbing the Bergen Railway at Vatnahalsen.

Kaiapoi river port 1963

For details, see the book The Era of Coastal Shipping in New Zealand: the small motor ships

steam loco over water channel at Sparreholm, Sweden

A settlement in central Sweden amidst lakes. a view from probably the 1900s.

'a well written book really gets me thinking'

Lockheed Vega in London, 1931

The Vega was a six-passenger monoplane of which 132 were built by Lockheed from 1927, and among other notables, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly the Atlantic single handed in one, and Wiley Post flew his around the world twice.

G-ABGK was a one-off special, based on the metal-fuselaged DL-1, was built by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, and exported to the United Kingdom for Lt. Commander Glen Kidston. It was initially registered in the UK as G-ABFE but rapidly re-registered as G-ABGK to incorporate Kidston's initials. This Vega was used by him to set a record-breaking time from the UK to South Africa in April 1931.

heavy rail street trains, Sønderborg, Denmark

Jernbanegade (Railway Street) in Sønderborg literally had a railway running along it, part of a now closed system of lines (see earlier post). These railcars look to have been photographed early 1950s.

This view shows the main railyard (now much reduced serving a small passenger train terminal) with the extension running over the bridge and then veering right through the streets.

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black and silver planes

Another photo taken at Wellington airport shortly after the one posted yesterday showing a Jetstar Airbus A320 and in the background another of Air NZ's "All Black" planes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'The Prospector' 'Perth-Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 1971

A promotional photo taken about the time the original Prospector overnight diesel multiple unit (built by Comeng) train began running between the WA capital and the outback mining centre of Kalgoorlie in November 1971.  This cut the time for the 655 km trip to 8 hours - with the present trains introduced in 2004 the time is 6 hrs 45 minutes.  One notes the dual gauge (standard and 3'6") track. website

loading mammoth dump trucks at an open cast mine in Western Australia

No date or precise location.

Oriental Bay tram terminus, Wellington, 1920s

Another photo considered for, but not used in the book Wellington Transport Memories.

2-6-2 tank locomotive with normal gauge wagons on metre gauge track, 1928

A personal photo taken at Sonderborg in Denmark; according to the back, locomotive number 41.  The normal gauge wagons have been jacked up onto metre gauge carry-wagons.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado art

As featured on a Tobler Chocolat card (Swiss) of the time.

Doctor Who bookcase

One of 18 inventive and wacky bookcases on this webpage

1926 Bentley

With solid wood wheels, 3-litre 4-cylinder engine with an overhead camshaft. Top speed was stated as 100 mph (161 km/h).

Air NZ black and blue

Seen at Wellington Airport is the Raytheon 1900D of subsidiary Eagle Airways in Air NZ's management's beloved rugby supporter 'All Black' colour scheme, behind it a standard liveried De Havilland Canada DHC-8-311Q Dash 8. For more on the fleet, see the book The Aircraft of Air NZ and affiliates since 1940.

Ruston steam crane working in New Plymouth, circa 1940

Excavating to enlarge the harbour.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1911 Rover Tourer

Western Pacific articulated steam on the Keddie Wye, California

An issue of Railroad Magazine from March 1945 which seems to depict one of Western Pacific's 2-8-8-2 articulated steam locos on the Keddie Wye, a well-known split viaduct feature in the Feather River Canyon (see earlier post), since 1983 on the Union Pacific system.  Data on this steam loco class is here

trains at Mouchard, France, then and now

a steam train in 1906
an SNCF Z9600 class electric multiple unit, 2012 (Geoff Churchman pic)
See earlier post.

early Rochers de Naye, Switzerland, cog wheel railway action - 2

See earlier post.

1947 Pontiac Streamliner Sedan-Coupe

'ah, ex-libris transpress nz, that's good'

compulsory vehicle inspection frequency in NZ reduced

Drivers whose cars are now less than 13 years old will only need annual warrants of fitness checks rather than six-monthly, under changes to the WOF system aimed at saving motorists $159 million a year.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges has just announced the changes after reviewing the WOF system earlier in the year.

AA spokesman Mark Stockdale says the changes to WOF inspections would save time and money without compromising safety.

"The reduced frequency will be accompanied by more roadside enforcement of unsafe vehicles and better education for owners about regular maintenance. The AA believes this will result in safer vehicles at less cost,'' he said.

Mechanical defects were involved in 2.5 per cent of all accidents and such defects were the sole cause of less than 1 per cent of all accidents, Mr Stockdale said.

The changes include:

* new cars will have an initial inspection but no further WOF check will be required until the vehicle is three years old. After that, they will require annual inspections.

* vehicles which are more than three years old and first registered after 1 January 2000 will require annual inspections.

* older vehicles which were first registered before 1 January 2000 will still require 6-monthly checks.

read the rest 

Grand Prix de France, Monaco, 1933

The first Grand Prix de France was held in 1906 (this was issued by the Ivory Coast in 1981) although the first World Championships were organized in 1925 with the French Grand Prix, the Italian Grand Prix, the Belgian Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500.

The French Grand Prix was part of the Formula One championships from their inception in 1950 until 2008. It was designated the European Grand Prix four times between 1924 and 1966, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one grand prix race in Europe.

The race has been held at various racetracks throughout France, such as the Autodrome de Montlhéry. Since 1991 its permanent home has been the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. (wikimedia)

electric mountain railway - South America?

One of those intriguing personal photos you can come across among postcards for sale.  At a guess this is the trans-Andes line between Chile and Argentina (see earlier posts).

the Atlanterhavsveien (Atlantic sea road) Norway

The road is built on several small islands and reefs, and is crossed by eight bridges, several roads and overpasses. This road offers a view of the open sea, which is rare on the roads along the Norwegian coast. You can see fjords and mountains near the road.

The spectacular road quickly became a tourist attraction, and precautions should be displayed while driving, because of the attendance of the road by the local population and visitors.

General Beeger's three-wheeled staff car, WW1

While on the subject of three-wheel contraptions (if the spare isn't counted), here is a WW1 postcard showing the "German commander of the conquered Belgian fortified town Dinant".  At least the rubble has been cleared from the street for him to ride around in relative comfort.

homemade three-wheel car using an aircraft fuselage style, 1934

"The American Moodie who  is the the inventor, gets high speeds out of it". Hopefully his life insurance was paid up.

Monday, January 28, 2013

1933 Bugatti type 57 Galibier

The Bugatti Type 57 was presented to the Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris (Paris World Motor Show) in October 1933 as a successor for the Bugatti Type 49.  It was produced in a number of different bodies; the Galibier was the first.
It used a Bugatti Type 49 chassis, but its mechanics were more advanced with an 8-cylinder in line engine of 3.257 litres with a double overhead cam head producing 135 hp at 4500 rev/min (140 hp from 1935) for 155 km/h.

1931 supercharged 4.5 litre Bentley

These developed 240 hp with a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h)

narrow gauge steam trains on the Viaduc de Revigny, France

Photos from the 1900s. This was on one of the lines of the 193 km system of the metre-gauge Chemins de fer vicinaux du Jura which were built in the first decades of the 20th century and closed between 1938 and 1950.

Today this viaduct is on a chemin randonée, roughly a rail trail.  In 2004 the Tour de France was routed over it.  More photos here

Royal Windsor, the celebrated regenerator of hair

A French company selling a hair tonic under the name Royal Windsor?  And it seems this name was used well before the King of England decided to change the family name to Windsor from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha for obvious reasons in 1917.  Joseph Jackson of Paris, France, registered this brand name as a Trade Mark in 1892 (TM #21,987). He claimed to have been selling the brand since 1879. 

Just as odd are the use of children and steam trains in these promotional cards - wouldn't children have little need for hair regeneration, and how would steam locomotives affect it?

Matangi electric multiple unit set at Takapu Road, Tawa

A double Matangi set from Waikanae stops at the second to last station before Wellington on a summer morning.  See an earlier post for a Ganz Mavag set in autumn at the same location. (Geoff Churchman pic)

Amtrak GE Dash 8-32BWH in Oakland, California

Oakland is in the greater San Fransisco region. Two of this class of 20 units from 1991 were bought by Amtrak for Capitol Corridor trains.  They are a Bo-Bo type with a 3,200 hp GE 7FDL-12 prime mover.   (

Sunday, January 27, 2013

one-horsepower train at a quarry in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

to Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner, Montana, by Northern Pacific

Something you could do between 1903 and 1948.  The arch visible is the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

ship being towed through the government locks, Seattle Washington

No date.  wikipedia page on these locks

the traditional home of the British press

For a very long time Britain's main newspapers were based in Fleet Street.  But in the 1980s they began moving out and the last major name, Reuters, left in 2005.

This 1960s view has a couple of London icons in it, as well as an outlet of newsagent W.H. Smith on the left.

'books are important for good learning'

Jean Bugatti 1909-1939

The eldest son of Bugatti founder, Ettore Bugatti, Jean Bugatti (born Gianoberto Maria Carlo Bugatti) was a noted automotive designer and test engineer in his father's business. On 11 August 1939, while testing the Type 57 tank-bodied racer which had just won a Le Mans race, not far from the factory on the road near the Alsace village of Duppigheim, he was killed when he lost control and crashed into a tree while trying to avoid a drunken bicyclist who had gotten onto the track through a hole in a fence.

chopped chopper hangar

from a viral e-mail

1951 Ford V8 pickup