Tuesday, September 30, 2014
At the time this was one of NZR's celebrated 'Refreshment Stops'. The luggage van and the first three cars are in Southerner (Christchurch to Invercargill) livery. Today the station is the base of Whale Watch, the train is now the upgraded Coastal Pacific and the Dj locos are history. For more, see our books.
at 2:08 PM
Named after Arras in France, but this is in Wellington: the Arras Tunnel, connecting the Basin Reserve to Taranaki St, commemorates the French town where 500 NZ soldiers dug extensive tunnels during WW1. Media reports of the opening on Saturday showed the tunnel walls lined with large memorial poppies, presumably they will be a permanent feature. (DominionPost pic)
While on the subject of that area, it seems that Transit NZ (roughly the equivalent of a US Department of Transportation) is to appeal a court ruling against its controversial Basin Reserve road flyover. Such a ruling casts doubt over other pet Steven Joyce projects.
at 9:10 AM
Monday, September 29, 2014
"From the beginning of the launch of the Amtrak Residency program this spring, we have been humbled by the overwhelming response not to just the program, but to Amtrak's long-distance service. Our long distance trains don't just connect small towns to big cities, they connect families, friends and loved ones. They offer a chance to connect with other travelers, experience the American countryside without the stress of driving, and to unplug and take in the inspirational experience. Our trains help tie the fabric of this country together and we are excited for the 24 residents to experience the beauty of long-distance train travel and hopefully find inspiration for their writing along the way."
All right then... The XPT was the New South Wales railways version of the British High Speed Train of the 1970s (see earlier post) and used on country services, including interstate services to Brisbane and Melbourne. In the first few years, official vendors on the trains used to sell ornaments and items like the one shown.
The trains had some modifications from the British design, however: the power cars were 50 cm shorter, the Paxman Valenta engine was downrated from 2,250 to 2,000 hp (1,680 to 1,490 kW), gearing was lowered for a top operating speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) as against 200 km/h (125 mph), the suspension modified for inferior track and air filters and the cooling system were modified to cater for hotter and dustier Australian conditions. A different light cluster was fitted along with three high beam spotlights mounted to the roof. The passenger cars were based on a Budd design, rather than the British Rail Mark 3 cars, which were considered unsuitable.
|An XPT in the original colour scheme seen in October 1983.|
at 12:30 PM
By British Columbian 'underground' artist Rand Holmes who, among other things, in the 1970s produced a counter-culture comic book series called Harold Hedd and this scene is from one of them in a well illustrated biography entitled The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective by Patrick Rosenkranz.
at 12:09 PM
at 9:14 AM
Sunday, September 28, 2014
See an earlier post on the metre-gauge MOB. Berner Oberland in German was translated as Oberland Bernois in French (although the Académie Francaise would say hautes terres for Oberland). The EMU looks like a De 4/4 from about a century ago, but the age of the poster is uncertain.
at 6:57 PM
Leaving aside the question of why you would want three of them, the price of a new Lamborghini in Los Angeles is around $200,000 so it's a rather select group who can afford even one.
at 11:10 AM
Superseded by bigger liners, Campania was due to be broken up in 1914, but with the beginning of WW1, the British Admiralty stepped in at the last minute and bought Campania with a view of converting her to an armed merchant cruiser that could carry seaplanes. The original idea was to use float-planes which would be lowered into and retrieved from the water by a crane. Her interior was completely gutted, and room made inside to store up to 14 aircraft. She was also equipped with eight 4.7" guns. HMS Campania lasted until 6 days before the end of the war when she was involved in a collision in the Firth of Forth when at 03:45 she struck the bow of the battleship Royal Oak and then dragged along the side of the battle cruiser Glorious. She began to sink stern first. A few hours later an explosion—presumed to be a boiler—sent her to the bottom. more
at 10:11 AM