Sunday, March 31, 2013

1953 Flxible and Twin Coach buses advert

Southern Pacific 'Black 'Widows' art

A reference to the original diesel livery which began to be replaced in 1958 by the familiar Lark Grey/Scarlet Red scheme.  This painting by John Winfield shows a freight train headed by a trio of F7's somewhere on the California coast.

1948 Dodge truck advert

Tatra 813 truck

A heavy truck built from 1967 to 1982 the the Czech Tatra manufacturer and was available in 4, 6 or or 8 wheel drive.

'this transpress nz book is so well written'

the Milwaukee Road 's "Little Joes"


This was the nickname of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific (Milwaukee Road)'s EF-4 and EP-4 class electric locomotives. Together they comprised 12 units built by General Electric as part of a larger 20-unit order for export to the Soviet Union in 1946, and were originally designed to operate on the Soviet Railways (SZhD)'s 3,300 volt DC overhead system.

However, because of deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union, GE did not deliver them. Fourteen were built to the Russian broad gauge (5 ft or 1,524 mm) and the final six were built to standard gauge.

The Milwaukee Road had offered to buy all twenty, plus the spare parts inventory, for $1 million, little more than scrap value—an offer which GE accepted. However, the Milwaukee's Board of Directors would not release the money.

After the start of the Korean War, the Milwaukee needed more locomotives on their electrified mainline, and was also beset by a coal strike which necessitated sending most diesels back East (Milwaukee Lines East steam engines still burned coal, unlike Lines West steamers which were oil-burning). The Board of Directors returned to GE only to discover that eight locomotives and all the spare parts had been sold, and that the price for the remaining twelve locomotives was $1 million. Of the eight sold, three had gone to the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (the South Shore Line), and five to the Companhia Paulista de Estradas de Ferro of Brazil.

The Milwaukee's railroaders referred to the units as Little Joe Stalin's locomotives which was eventually shortened to simply Little Joe.

The Milwaukee was not impressed with these locomotives to begin with, finding them prone to wheelslip. The WW1-vintage General Electric motor-generator substations had difficulty supplying more than two EF-4s under heavy load and the controls were initially labelled in Russian.

After being given increased weight, and provided with adequate power, the EF-4s were excellent performers and very reliable. Some substations were later modified to supply up to 3,400 Volts to provide more power. Three units used on the South Shore Line were designed for 1500 Volts.

Later modifications to the EF-4s included the removal of driving controls and windows at one end to allow the relocation of some troublesome electrical equipment (improved main circuit breakers) into a cooler environment. (The model for this modification was the EP-4s, in which the Milwaukee workshops replaced the operating controls in the "B" end with a steam generator before they entered service.) The loss of this cab was inconsequential, as many Milwaukee electric locomotives were normally turned at the end of their runs in Avery, Deer Lodge or Harlowton, the road having preferred to maintain only one set of controls even on double-ended units. The most important and final major modification was the provision of multiple unit controls for trailing diesel-electric locomotives. It was not uncommon to see several diesel-electric locomotives being led by, and controlled from, one or two Little Joes or a set of Boxcabs in the 1960s and 1970s (as in the first pic)

The main external difference that distinguished class EP-4 from EF-4 was the use of roller bearings on all axles on the E20 and E21 as delivered. The EF-4s were delivered with roller bearings on the forward (unpowered) trucks only, though they would have individual roller bearing axles substituted piecemeal in the shops whenever an original plain bearing axle on the motorized sets burned out or otherwise failed.

The Little Joes lasted until the end of electric operation on the Milwaukee on 15 June 1974, by which time they were the Milwaukee's only electric road locomotives, all the GE Freight Motors (except two which were used together in multiple unit operation as the Harlowton switcher) having succumbed to old age.

Axle arrangement  2-Do+Do-2
Length:  88 ft 10 in (27.08 metres)
Width:  10 ft 7 in (3.23 metres)
Height:  14 ft 5 in (4.39 metres)
Locomotive weight     545,600 lb (247.5 tonnes)
Weight on drivers: 406,000 lb (184 tonnes)
Traction motors  GE750
Top speed 68 mph (109 km/h)
Power output:  One hour: 5,530 hp Continuous: 5,110 hp
Tractive effort  75,700 lbf (337 kN)
Locomotive brake   Air, 8-EL

(edited from wikipedia)

1923 Buick Tourer

train outside Hoffman's starch factory, Amsterdam,1899

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 on Archer Hill, Cheyenne, Wyoming, August 1956


This has long been considered as one of the best places to observe Union Pacific action which is constant.  No. 3920 was built in 1937, renumbered 3820 in 1944 and scrapped not long after this pic was taken. Today the trains are longer, heavier and have greater power than in steam days although big steam had a more dramatic effect.

Different modes of transport poster, Denmark, circa 1950

A poster for a travel agency in Sonderborg.

Wellington Ed class electric locomotive in Preston, England

The prototype of the Ed class is seen at English Electric's Preston plant prior to being shipped to NZ in 1938.  For much more, see the book Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand.

traffic in Allenby Road, Tel Aviv

Date not given but looks late 1940s.

pleasure cruise vessel on Lake Taupo

The telephoto lens has increased the apparent size of the volcanoes including Mt Ruapehu in the distance.  Date not recorded.

trams in Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, Sydney, circa 1930

View Larger Map

dedicated right of way for light rail, Bordeaux, France


One of the key ingredients for smooth traffic flow.  Originally tram/streetcar tracks were laid along main city streets as there wasn't much competition from independently powered and steered vehicles.  But as the latter increased in the 20th century the trams were in the way and they went.  Modern thinking is that private cars should be kept out of city centres as much as possible.

See the earlier post on Bordeaux's modern light rail.

'he reads us a transpress nz history book as we go rafting along the river'

Swedish vehicle history stamps

An issue from 1980.  Left to Right, top to bottom: G Erikson's Akvagn (1898); Vabis flat bed truck (1909); Scania (1903); Tidaholm firetruck (1917); Volvo (1927).

Montreux-Oberland-Bernois railway poster, Switzerland, 1950

See earlier post.

BMW M-1 concept design

The actual BMW M1 (E26) was produced as a 2 conventional door sports car from 1978 to 1981, a total of 456 being made. This was a result of an agreement with the Italian automaker Lamborghini to build a production racing car sold to the public.  It was the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced and employed a twin-cam M88/1 3.453 litre 6-cylinder engine with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection.

The design above was presumably promulgated as a proposal in the late 1970s before finalization of the actual design. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chinese phone cards featuring American trains

They seem to be fans of the former Southern Pacific :-)

Soviet truck stamps

Issued in 1986; the truck model years are given in brackets.

1957 Volvo promotional card

1952 Sunbeam Alpine convertible

1966 Saab Sonett, Sweden


This was powered with a 841 cc Saab two-stroke engine as a racing car, but with this engine being unpopular it was replaced with a 1,498 cc Ford Taunus V4 engine the following year.

Pekin, Illinois, train depot, 1910s

Some quite distinctive French style turrets.  Trains still run through here; what happened to this depot?

'this transpress nz book has what I want'

1969 Dodge Charger advert

The sort of ad that the Political Correctness brigade would frown on nowadays.  A 1969 Dodge Charger was the star of the TV series Dukes of Hazzard (see earlier post).

1961 Ford Anglia Estate Car brochure cover


Although showing a left hand drive model, this was used in NZ.  Estate Car was the British term for what in America and A/NZ was called a station wagon.

Air France poster for services from France to Africa, 1947

Presumably depicting a DC4.

Nickel Plate 2-8-4 steam loco in action

A 2-8-4 type, seen in Indiana, obviously taken before it was withdrawn from service in June 1958.  It was sold to Purdy & Co in April 1961. See the earlier post on preserved number 765.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

'travel on the state railways', Italy, 1938

streetcar in Baltimore, Maryland, 1961

Two years before the end.  If you want to see streetcars there now you need to go to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum at 1901 Falls Road (see earlier post). But, as in other North American cities, there is now a campaign to bring the streetcars back - details.

Skagit River, Washington, electric locomotive, 1952

One of 7 trolley style freight locomotives, (45 tons, 500 hp, built circa 1914) that were used on a steep (4-5%) and winding 9-mile (14.5 km) section of the Skagit Railway over which steam power was impractical. As well as the locos, two electric box motors from defunct Seattle and Tacoma lines provided the motive power. Four classic wooden interurban cars from the Puget Sound Electric Railway and five more from the Oregon Electric were all demotorized and used as passenger trailers. The line had no electric-powered passenger cars, although they had two old J.G. Brill rail-buses for low-volume through service with the steam division.

Both the electric operations, and the railway itself, ended in 1954. More info here

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique poster circa 1939

Bouillon buses, Belgium, 1930s

A town in Belgium (whose name in French means broth) close to the border with France.

'even at the bathhouse I like to read a transpress nz book'

Ocean flight with BMW motors, 1931

Walter von Gronau flew a Dornier flying boat from the Island of Sylt at the top of Germany (see earlier post) to New York via Greenland between 18 and 26 August 1930.

North Platte, Nebraska, Railfest, this September 20-22

With Union Pacific's huge Bailey Yard nearby, North Platte is a railroad town, and Union Pacific, like the other railroads, is keen to celebrate its role and heritage with communities and its fans.  A reader has sent us this link to a webpage detailing events that will be occurring this coming September including steam locomotives.

Union Pacific Railroad Wins Green Leadership Award from Sacramento Business Journal

Three Union Pacific trains are seen at Caliente, California, on a spring day
Not only do the railroads in America play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reducing the amount of freight that travels on the highways, they also have a commitment to reducing locomotive emissions as much as they can.  (You may think, wouldn't that be best achieved through electrification, but the answer there is that only about 14% of electricity in the US is produced from renewable sources.)

The Union Pacific media release:-

Union Pacific honored for effort to test experimental locomotives to further reduce emission

Roseville, Calif., March 26, 2013 – Union Pacific Railroad received the Green Leadership award in transportation from the Sacramento Business Journal. The award recognizes companies, agencies and individuals demonstrating a strong commitment to making the Sacramento region a thriving hub for clean technology.
"Union Pacific consistently works to reduce locomotive emissions by developing and implementing new technology," said Mike Iden, Union Pacific general director, car and locomotive engineering. "This award recognizes our industry-leading role in emissions reduction and the positive impact that these efforts have on the communities where we operate trains."
Union Pacific's Green Leadership Award stems from the company's $20 million investment to launch a series of 25 experimental locomotives based in California as part of a rigorous test of emissions-reducing technologies. This initiative is Union Pacific's latest effort to further reduce emissions and move closer to the U.S. EPA's Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards for new locomotives starting in 2015.

About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP). One of America's most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. From 2007-2012, Union Pacific invested $18 billion in its network and operations to support America's transportation infrastructure, including a record $3.7 billion in 2012. The railroad's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Southern Pacific freight train at Tehachapi, California, 1980s

With a GP40-2 on the point.

International Coca Cola truck

Seen on an Interstate in Ohio about 20 years ago.

1992 Seagrave Fire Truck 100' RM

100' is roughly 30.5 metres. RM stands for Rear Mount.

San Sebastian, Spain, trolley bus, 1956

1956 Mack B42 truck

sailing ships in Calliope Dock, Devonport, Auckland

The Calliope Dock stone drydock in the grounds of the Devonport Naval Base was built in 1888 to service ships of the British Royal Navy, and is still in use. It was named for Calliope Point, out of which it had been hewn by hand over three years. Coincidentally, one of the two first ships to enter it was HMS Calliope (the first ship visible in the pic?).

tank wagon

A sign announcing the former mining town and now ghost town in San Bernadino County, California, seen some years ago.  Presumably it was originally used to transport water.

'which book shall I read next?'