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Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367

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  • mattjcoleman@netscape.net
    David s question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and 1980s, especially
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 24, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      David's question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we
      can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and
      1980s, especially in places like Eastern Europe and Asia. Oddly enough,
      only some went to diesels, most stayed with steam. The former GDR lines
      got new new locomotives in the 1950s, but most lines hung on with steam
      until the end. But, some lines in India and Africa got fairly modern
      diesels, but they were usually mining lines funded by large companies,
      not common carriers struggling to survive against motor way competition..

      However, if you really step back and look at narrow gauge lines around
      the world, there were two types of lines that survived -- those whose
      main job was to haul passengers and those whose life blood was a single
      commodity (sugar in Java and Australia, timber in China, various
      minerals in Africa and Mexico). Those that depended on mixed freight
      (goods) such as the 2ft lines in South Africa and the 3ft lines in
      Ireland and the USA all withered and died from motor lorry competition.

      If I might commit heresey to a point, the real survivors have been the
      Ffestiniog, the WHR, the Tallylln, the Mt Snowdon line, and others
      around the world whose location and quaintness have made them providers
      of the most desired commodity of the late 20th century -- entertainment.
      In the USA the Durango and Silverton hauls more passengers per year than
      most AMTRAK routes yet you have to drive or fly to get to either
      terminus. Imagine having a railroad that provided such an unique
      experience that people would buy and airplane ticket or drive for days
      just to buy a ticket for the train.

      So David, the real survivors are with us right now and they are almost
      all steam (with diesel backup). Only by going to a second or third world
      country can you find any other type of survivor.

      And to answer David's question more directly, the Vale of Rheidol is the
      perfect example of a Narrow Gauge line that survived all the changes. It
      was absorbed by the Cambrian, the GWR, BR, and made it to privatisation
      and is still running.

      I think the UK has been the world leader in narrow gauge (and standard
      gauge) railroading since 1950. The UK has built more new narrow gauge
      steam locomotives than any other country since 1960 with the possible
      exception of China.

      Matt Coleman

      >Message: 1
      > Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:28:17 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
      > From: David Leslie Taylor <DLTaylor@...>
      >Subject: Something to ponder
      >
      >Dear All,
      > Many moons ago, a friend of mine said he wanted to
      >model the Lynton & Barnstaple in the 1950s, with locos in
      >BR lined black, and coaches painted "blood & custard".
      >This set me wondering. Supposing history had been
      >different, what would have happened if most British narrow
      >gauge railways had not closed down in the 1930s, but
      >instead carried on and been modernised? And from a
      >modelling point of view, what would they have looked like?
      >
      > The County Donegal developed the railcar concept
      >for its ordinary passenger services as an economy measure,
      >and carried on with steam for its goods and excursion
      >traffic. The only line to be fully "dieselised" was the
      >West Clare, and their locos were huge.
      >
      > I am not concerned here with purely industrial
      >railways, where internal combustion locos are designed to
      >haul heavy loads at low speed over short distances, but the
      >"mainline" setup, with passenger and general goods services.
      >
      > What would a "mainline" diesel on, for instance,
      >the Lynton & Barnstaple have looked like? A scaled-down
      >version of the West Clare locos? An enlarged industrial
      >design, with bigger wheels and higher ratio gearbox? An
      >anglicised version of a European or colonial design (like
      >the Welsh Highland Funkeys)? Or even a Yellow Peril?
      >
      > I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this
      >matter, whether practical or purely academic.
      >
      > Compliments of the season,
      > Dave.T 146
      >
      >PS Mr. Editor, please could this go in Blastpipe?
      >
      >----------------------
      >David Leslie Taylor
      >University of Exeter
      >
      >
      >
      >________________________________________________________________________
      >________________________________________________________________________
      >
      >
      >
      >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • John Clover
      One of my nuttier ideas which I propagate from time to time and Christmas is as good an any except April s Fool Day which my concept I firmly advocate does not
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 24, 2002
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        One of my nuttier ideas which I propagate from time to time and Christmas is as good an any except April's Fool Day which my concept I firmly advocate does not belong to .....
         
        Today we have a problem that the car is so convienient that having to walk a half mile to the station as I did in Eltham SE9 as a schoolboy going to Roan by train for a couple of stations and then up over the Heath, is rarely heard of.
         
        Railways have adopted the road-rail or hi-rail vehicles for track survellance and maintenance ...so why not hi-rail buses which cruise the suburbs for passengers before getting on the rail for the trip into the city centre, perhaps coupled up into a 'train' with others.  With satelite positioning and radio communication it should be quite a manageable system.
        johnclover@...
        Dunedin   New Zealand
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 8:16 AM
        Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367


        David's question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we
        can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and
        1980s, especially in places like Eastern Europe and Asia. Oddly enough,
        only some went to diesels, most stayed with steam. The former GDR lines
        got new new locomotives in the 1950s, but most lines hung on with steam
        until the end. But, some lines in India and Africa got fairly modern
        diesels, but they were usually mining lines funded by large companies,
        not common carriers struggling to survive against motor way competition..

        However, if you really step back and look at narrow gauge lines around
        the world, there were two types of lines that survived -- those whose
        main job was to haul passengers and those whose life blood was a single
        commodity (sugar in Java and Australia, timber in China, various
        minerals in Africa and Mexico). Those that depended on mixed freight
        (goods) such as the 2ft lines in South Africa and the 3ft lines in
        Ireland and the USA all withered and died from motor lorry competition.

        If I might commit heresey to a point, the real survivors have been the
        Ffestiniog, the WHR, the Tallylln, the Mt Snowdon line, and others
        around the world whose location and quaintness have made them providers
        of the most desired commodity of the late 20th century -- entertainment.
        In the USA the Durango and Silverton hauls more passengers per year than
        most AMTRAK routes yet you have to drive or fly to get to either
        terminus. Imagine having a railroad that provided such an unique
        experience that people would buy and airplane ticket or drive for days
        just to buy a ticket for the train.

        So David, the real survivors are with us right now and they are almost
        all steam (with diesel backup). Only by going to a second or third world
        country can you find any other type of survivor.

        And to answer David's question more directly, the Vale of Rheidol is the
        perfect example of a Narrow Gauge line that survived all the changes. It
        was absorbed by the Cambrian, the GWR, BR, and made it to privatisation
        and is still running.

        I think the UK has been the world leader in narrow gauge (and standard
        gauge) railroading since 1950. The UK has built more new narrow gauge
        steam locomotives than any other country since 1960 with the possible
        exception of China.

        Matt Coleman

        >Message: 1
        >   Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:28:17 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
        >   From: David Leslie Taylor <DLTaylor@...>
        >Subject: Something to ponder
        >
        >Dear All,
        >    Many moons ago, a friend of mine said he wanted to
        >model the Lynton & Barnstaple in the 1950s, with locos in
        >BR lined black, and coaches painted "blood & custard". 
        >This set me wondering. Supposing history had been
        >different, what would have happened if most British narrow
        >gauge railways had not closed down in the 1930s, but
        >instead carried on and been modernised?  And from a
        >modelling point of view, what would they have looked like?
        >
        >    The County Donegal developed the railcar concept
        >for its ordinary passenger services as an economy measure,
        >and carried on with steam for its goods and excursion
        >traffic. The only line to be fully "dieselised"  was the
        >West Clare, and their locos were huge.
        >
        >    I am not concerned here with purely industrial
        >railways, where internal combustion locos are designed to
        >haul heavy loads at low speed over short distances, but the
        >"mainline" setup, with passenger and general goods services.
        >
        >    What would a "mainline" diesel on, for instance,
        >the Lynton & Barnstaple have looked like?  A scaled-down
        >version of the West Clare locos?  An enlarged industrial
        >design, with bigger wheels and higher ratio gearbox?  An
        >anglicised version of a European or colonial design (like
        >the Welsh Highland Funkeys)?  Or even a Yellow Peril?
        >
        >    I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this
        >matter, whether practical or purely academic.
        >
        >    Compliments of the season,
        >    Dave.T 146
        >
        >PS  Mr. Editor, please could this go in Blastpipe?
        >
        >----------------------
        >David Leslie Taylor
        >University of Exeter
        >
        >
        >
        >________________________________________________________________________
        >________________________________________________________________________
        >
        >
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >

        >



        To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com



        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      • Trevor Shaw
        I used to visit Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the 1990s. SAR still had steam locomotives on the 2ft gauge, shunting the lines on the harbour on a daily basis
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 24, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          I used to visit Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the 1990s. SAR still had
          steam locomotives on the 2ft gauge, shunting the lines on the harbour on
          a daily basis -- black-liveried 2-10-0s if memory serves me right.

          There was a network of 2ft gauge lines around PE, rarely used in the
          1990s except for excursions during the time I visited. I believe their
          original purpose was to ship fruit to the port (and, I suppose, supplies
          to the fruit growers).

          PE NG shed at that time housed a lot of huge 2ft gauge locos, done up in
          very nice green, red and black liveries, not shiny-like-new but nicely
          used-looking with the appearance of something that had been gone over
          with an oily rag more than a few times. Many were in working order, but
          there were also a lot of hulks, mostly parked outside. There was no
          ceremony in getting a look. Just ask, show an interest and you were more
          than welcome to explore wherever you liked and trusted to have the
          common sense to keep clear of the harbour shunter when it arrived back
          from work at about 4pm.

          Having said that, I don't believe the NG lines near PE made a living in
          the 1990s; they must have been subsidised by SAR. Nevertheless, it was
          an enjoyable experience and I regret I never remembered to take a camera
          along.


          --
          Trevor Shaw
        • heininger
          Hi all, I think Matt has a point here about entertainment . . . The Puffing Billy line (2ft 6in gauge) east of Melbourne is a classic example of this . . .
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 25, 2002
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            Hi all,

             

            I think Matt has a point here about ‘entertainment’ . . . The Puffing Billy line (2ft 6in gauge) east of Melbourne is a classic example of this . . . Far more successful today as a tourist carrier than it ever was earlier last century as a common carrier! If any of you don’t know about this brilliant line, I urge you to tap into: http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/

             

            What’s more, we are seeing other similar lines springing up in Australia – the best example of which must be the ABT rack line on Tasmania’s West Coast: http://www.users.bigpond.com/Rhol/index.html

             

            Chrs!

            PeteH.

             

            *******************

             

            Pete Heininger,

            Partner,

            Heininger communications.

            pete@...

            www.heininger.com.au

            http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au

            Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.

             

            -----Original Message-----
            From: mattjcoleman@... [mailto:mattjcoleman@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, 25 December 2002 7:17 AM
            To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367

             


            David's question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we
            can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and
            1980s, especially in places like Eastern Europe and Asia. Oddly enough,
            only some went to diesels, most stayed with steam. The former GDR lines
            got new new locomotives in the 1950s, but most lines hung on with steam
            until the end. But, some lines in India and Africa got fairly modern
            diesels, but they were usually mining lines funded by large companies,
            not common carriers struggling to survive against motor way competition..

            However, if you really step back and look at narrow gauge lines around
            the world, there were two types of lines that survived -- those whose
            main job was to haul passengers and those whose life blood was a single
            commodity (sugar in Java and Australia, timber in China, various
            minerals in Africa and Mexico). Those that depended on mixed freight
            (goods) such as the 2ft lines in South Africa and the 3ft lines in
            Ireland and the USA all withered and died from motor lorry competition.

            If I might commit heresey to a point, the real survivors have been the
            Ffestiniog, the WHR, the Tallylln, the Mt Snowdon line, and others
            around the world whose location and quaintness have made them providers
            of the most desired commodity of the late 20th century -- entertainment.
            In the USA the Durango and Silverton hauls more passengers per year than
            most AMTRAK routes yet you have to drive or fly to get to either
            terminus. Imagine having a railroad that provided such an unique
            experience that people would buy and airplane ticket or drive for days
            just to buy a ticket for the train.

            So David, the real survivors are with us right now and they are almost
            all steam (with diesel backup). Only by going to a second or third world
            country can you find any other type of survivor.

            And to answer David's question more directly, the Vale of Rheidol is the
            perfect example of a Narrow Gauge line that survived all the changes. It
            was absorbed by the Cambrian, the GWR, BR, and made it to privatisation
            and is still running.

            I think the UK has been the world leader in narrow gauge (and standard
            gauge) railroading since 1950. The UK has built more new narrow gauge
            steam locomotives than any other country since 1960 with the possible
            exception of China.

            Matt Coleman

            >Message: 1
            >   Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:28:17 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
            >   From: David Leslie Taylor <DLTaylor@...>
            >Subject: Something to ponder
            >
            >Dear All,
            >    Many moons ago, a friend of mine said he wanted to
            >model the Lynton & Barnstaple in the 1950s, with locos in
            >BR lined black, and coaches painted "blood & custard". 
            >This set me wondering. Supposing history had been
            >different, what would have happened if most British narrow
            >gauge railways had not closed down in the 1930s, but
            >instead carried on and been modernised?  And from a
            >modelling point of view, what would they have looked like?
            >
            >    The County Donegal developed the railcar concept
            >for its ordinary passenger services as an economy measure,
            >and carried on with steam for its goods and excursion
            >traffic. The only line to be fully "dieselised"  was the
            >West Clare, and their locos were huge.
            >
            >    I am not concerned here with purely industrial
            >railways, where internal combustion locos are designed to
            >haul heavy loads at low speed over short distances, but the
            >"mainline" setup, with passenger and general goods services.
            >
            >    What would a "mainline" diesel on, for instance,
            >the Lynton & Barnstaple have looked like?  A scaled-down
            >version of the West Clare locos?  An enlarged industrial
            >design, with bigger wheels and higher ratio gearbox?  An
            >anglicised version of a European or colonial design (like
            >the Welsh Highland Funkeys)?  Or even a Yellow Peril?
            >
            >    I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this
            >matter, whether practical or purely academic.
            >
            >    Compliments of the season,
            >    Dave.T 146
            >
            >PS  Mr. Editor, please could this go in Blastpipe?
            >
            >----------------------
            >David Leslie Taylor
            >University of Exeter
            >
            >
            >
            >________________________________________________________________________
            >________________________________________________________________________
            >
            >
            >
            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >

            >



            To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com



            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

          • John Clover
            When did the mainline 2ft to Avontuur close, which ran Garretts. johnclover@hyper.net.nz Dunedin New Zealand ... From: Trevor Shaw To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 25, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              When did the mainline 2ft to Avontuur close, which ran Garretts.
              johnclover@...
              Dunedin   New Zealand
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 12:34 PM
              Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367

              I used to visit Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the 1990s. SAR still had
              steam locomotives on the 2ft gauge, shunting the lines on the harbour on
              a daily basis -- black-liveried 2-10-0s if memory serves me right.

              There was a network of 2ft gauge lines around PE, rarely used in the
              1990s except for excursions during the time I visited. I believe their
              original purpose was to ship fruit to the port (and, I suppose, supplies
              to the fruit growers).

              PE NG shed at that time housed a lot of huge 2ft gauge locos, done up in
              very nice green, red and black liveries, not shiny-like-new but nicely
              used-looking with the appearance of something that had been gone over
              with an oily rag more than a few times. Many were in working order, but
              there were also a lot of hulks, mostly parked outside. There was no
              ceremony in getting a look. Just ask, show an interest and you were more
              than welcome to explore wherever you liked and trusted to have the
              common sense to keep clear of the harbour shunter when it arrived back
              from work at about 4pm.

              Having said that, I don't believe the NG lines near PE made a living in
              the 1990s; they must have been subsidised by SAR. Nevertheless, it was
              an enjoyable experience and I regret I never remembered to take a camera
              along.


              --
              Trevor Shaw

              To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com



              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
            • Trevor Shaw
              Sorry, John, I m not an expert on SAR but I know a man who is. Unfortunately, he s still in the stone age and has to be contacted by snailmail -- which takes a
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 25, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Sorry, John, I'm not an expert on SAR but I know a man who is.
                Unfortunately, he's still in the stone age and has to be contacted by
                snailmail -- which takes a long time to SA and back. If you are
                seriously interested, post again, and I'll ask him.

                Best wishes

                In message <000801c2ac6e$ddc0b810$b0f458db@beastie>, John Clover
                <johnclover@...> writes
                > When did the mainline 2ft to Avontuur close, which ran Garretts.
                > johnclover@...
                > Dunedin   New Zealand
                >  
                >  
                >> ----- Original Message -----
                >> From: Trevor Shaw
                >> To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                >> Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 12:34 PM
                >> Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367
                >
                >> I used to visit Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the 1990s. SAR
                >> still had

                --
                Trevor Shaw
              • Trevor Shaw
                Puffing Billy is wonderful. Shame about its silly name. This is a serious NG line up into the Dardenongs (I kid you not) near Melbourne. I believe it had its
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 25, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  Puffing Billy is wonderful. Shame about its silly name. This is a
                  serious NG line up into the Dardenongs (I kid you not) near Melbourne. I
                  believe it had its origin as a commuter line into Melbourne sometime
                  around the beginning of the last century. The commuter bit has long
                  since been taken over by EMUs on standard gauge (very tatty and
                  vandalised last time I rode it) and it takes a 45 min ride out of
                  Melbourne before you reach Puffing Billy. Well worth it. I've maybe
                  ridden on Puffing Billy 6 or 7 times on visits to Melbourne in the 1980s
                  and 1990s.

                  Maybe it used to earn its living 80 - 90 years ago. As far as I know, it
                  used to go right into Melbourne city center, presumably to Flinders
                  Street, which is where the electric line to the start of Puffing Billy
                  (Belgravia? -- can't remember) starts.

                  I'll have a look at the Tasmanian ABT line. Sounds interesting.


                  In message <000001c2ac54$89db0da0$0300a8c0@PETE>, heininger
                  <pete@...> writes
                  >Hi all,
                  >
                  >I think Matt has a point here about 'entertainment' . . . The Puffing
                  >Billy line (2ft 6in gauge) east of Melbourne is a classic example of
                  >this . . . Far more successful today as a tourist carrier than it ever
                  >was earlier last century as a common carrier! If any of you don't know
                  >about this brilliant line, I urge you to tap into:
                  >http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/
                  >
                  >What's more, we are seeing other similar lines springing up in Australia
                  >- the best example of which must be the ABT rack line on Tasmania's West
                  >Coast: http://www.users.bigpond.com/Rhol/index.html
                  >
                  >Chrs!
                  >PeteH.
                  >
                  >*******************
                  >
                  >Pete Heininger,
                  >Partner,
                  >Heininger communications.
                  >pete@...
                  >www.heininger.com.au
                  >http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au
                  >Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.
                  >
                  >-----Original Message-----
                  >From: mattjcoleman@... [mailto:mattjcoleman@...]
                  >Sent: Wednesday, 25 December 2002 7:17 AM
                  >To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367
                  >
                  >
                  >David's question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we
                  >can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and
                  >1980s, especially in places like Eastern Europe and Asia. Oddly enough,
                  >only some went to diesels, most stayed with steam. The former GDR lines
                  >got new new locomotives in the 1950s, but most lines hung on with steam
                  >until the end. But, some lines in India and Africa got fairly modern
                  >diesels, but they were usually mining lines funded by large companies,
                  >not common carriers struggling to survive against motor way
                  >competition..
                  >
                  >However, if you really step back and look at narrow gauge lines around
                  >the world, there were two types of lines that survived -- those whose
                  >main job was to haul passengers and those whose life blood was a single
                  >commodity (sugar in Java and Australia, timber in China, various
                  >minerals in Africa and Mexico). Those that depended on mixed freight
                  >(goods) such as the 2ft lines in South Africa and the 3ft lines in
                  >Ireland and the USA all withered and died from motor lorry competition.
                  >
                  >If I might commit heresey to a point, the real survivors have been the
                  >Ffestiniog, the WHR, the Tallylln, the Mt Snowdon line, and others
                  >around the world whose location and quaintness have made them providers
                  >of the most desired commodity of the late 20th century -- entertainment.
                  >
                  >In the USA the Durango and Silverton hauls more passengers per year than
                  >
                  >most AMTRAK routes yet you have to drive or fly to get to either
                  >terminus. Imagine having a railroad that provided such an unique
                  >experience that people would buy and airplane ticket or drive for days
                  >just to buy a ticket for the train.
                  >
                  >So David, the real survivors are with us right now and they are almost
                  >all steam (with diesel backup). Only by going to a second or third world
                  >
                  >country can you find any other type of survivor.
                  >
                  >And to answer David's question more directly, the Vale of Rheidol is the
                  >
                  >perfect example of a Narrow Gauge line that survived all the changes. It
                  >
                  >was absorbed by the Cambrian, the GWR, BR, and made it to privatisation
                  >and is still running.
                  >
                  >I think the UK has been the world leader in narrow gauge (and standard
                  >gauge) railroading since 1950. The UK has built more new narrow gauge
                  >steam locomotives than any other country since 1960 with the possible
                  >exception of China.
                  >
                  >Matt Coleman
                  >
                  >>Message: 1
                  >> Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:28:17 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
                  >> From: David Leslie Taylor <DLTaylor@...>
                  >>Subject: Something to ponder
                  >>
                  >>Dear All,
                  >> Many moons ago, a friend of mine said he wanted to
                  >>model the Lynton & Barnstaple in the 1950s, with locos in
                  >>BR lined black, and coaches painted "blood & custard".
                  >>This set me wondering. Supposing history had been
                  >>different, what would have happened if most British narrow
                  >>gauge railways had not closed down in the 1930s, but
                  >>instead carried on and been modernised? And from a
                  >>modelling point of view, what would they have looked like?
                  >>
                  >> The County Donegal developed the railcar concept
                  >>for its ordinary passenger services as an economy measure,
                  >>and carried on with steam for its goods and excursion
                  >>traffic. The only line to be fully "dieselised" was the
                  >>West Clare, and their locos were huge.
                  >>
                  >> I am not concerned here with purely industrial
                  >>railways, where internal combustion locos are designed to
                  >>haul heavy loads at low speed over short distances, but the
                  >>"mainline" setup, with passenger and general goods services.
                  >>
                  >> What would a "mainline" diesel on, for instance,
                  >>the Lynton & Barnstaple have looked like? A scaled-down
                  >>version of the West Clare locos? An enlarged industrial
                  >>design, with bigger wheels and higher ratio gearbox? An
                  >>anglicised version of a European or colonial design (like
                  >>the Welsh Highland Funkeys)? Or even a Yellow Peril?
                  >>
                  >> I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this
                  >>matter, whether practical or purely academic.
                  >>
                  >> Compliments of the season,
                  >> Dave.T 146
                  >>
                  >>PS Mr. Editor, please could this go in Blastpipe?
                  >>
                  >>----------------------
                  >>David Leslie Taylor
                  >>University of Exeter
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>_______________________________________________________________________
                  >_
                  >>_______________________________________________________________________
                  >_
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  >http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  >7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
                  ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.

                  --
                  Trevor Shaw
                • B.Rumary
                  ... It doesn t - they would have been class NG15 2-8-2S! ;0) ... There was line going west about 100 miles down the Lang Kloof , that did indeed serve the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 26, 2002
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Trevor Shaw wrote:

                    > I used to visit Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the 1990s. SAR still had
                    > steam locomotives on the 2ft gauge, shunting the lines on the harbour on
                    > a daily basis -- black-liveried 2-10-0s if memory serves me right.
                    >
                    It doesn't - they would have been class NG15 2-8-2S! ;0)

                    > There was a network of 2ft gauge lines around PE, rarely used in the
                    > 1990s except for excursions during the time I visited. I believe their
                    > original purpose was to ship fruit to the port (and, I suppose, supplies
                    > to the fruit growers).
                    >
                    There was line going west about 100 miles down the "Lang Kloof", that did
                    indeed serve the local fruit industry. However about 1/3 of the way along
                    the line there was a branch going off to Patensie, and that also served
                    local stone quarries.

                    Brian Rumary, England

                    http://freespace.virgin.net/brian.rumary/homepage.htm
                  • heininger
                    Hi Trevor, I agree with you on the name, Puffing Billy, but this is the name the locals apparently gave the tiny trains not long after the line was opened (a
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 26, 2002
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                      Hi Trevor,

                       

                      I agree with you on the name, Puffing Billy, but this is the name the locals apparently gave the tiny trains not long after the line was opened (a ‘billy can’ is something we Australians use to boil water for tea and coffee while camping). I guess the locals thought the small locos were like puffing/moving billy cans!

                       

                      The original line only went from Upper Ferntree Gully to Cockatoo . . . Ferntree is closer to Melbourne that the present terminus at Belgrave.

                       

                      It has been a few years since I last rode the train, and the latest extension to Cockatoo had not been completed at that stage (they were still working on some major bridge rebuilding).

                       

                      The Victorian Government Railways built a number of these lines in rural Victoria in the late 19th Century to help open up less habited areas. Another line, to the old Walhalla goldfields, in the Gippsland district, is also proving popular as a re-opened tourist attraction: http://www.australia.travelmall.com/travelmall/attraction/Gippsland,%20Lakes%20and%20Wilderness%20(VIC)/Walhalla%20Goldfields%20Railway

                       

                      Another interesting museum (in NSW) is the Illawarra Light Railway Museum, near Wollongong (50mls south of Sydney): http://www.gghome.com/ILRMS/

                       

                      You can also find more pics on my Tunnel Road site: http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au/prototype-images-narrow-gauges

                       

                      Hope this helps!

                       

                      Chrs!

                      PeteH.

                       

                      *******************

                       

                      Pete Heininger,

                      Partner,

                      Heininger communications.

                      pete@...

                      www.heininger.com.au

                      http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au

                      Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.

                       

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Trevor Shaw [mailto:trevor.shaw@...]
                      Sent: Thursday, 26 December 2002 11:52 AM
                      To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367

                       

                      Puffing Billy is wonderful. Shame about its silly name. This is a
                      serious NG line up into the Dardenongs (I kid you not) near Melbourne. I
                      believe it had its origin as a commuter line into Melbourne sometime
                      around the beginning of the last century. The commuter bit has long
                      since been taken over by EMUs on standard gauge (very tatty and
                      vandalised last time I rode it) and it takes a 45 min ride out of
                      Melbourne before you reach Puffing Billy. Well worth it. I've maybe
                      ridden on Puffing Billy 6 or 7 times on visits to Melbourne in the 1980s
                      and 1990s.

                      Maybe it used to earn its living 80 - 90 years ago. As far as I know, it
                      used to go right into Melbourne city center, presumably to Flinders
                      Street, which is where the electric line to the start of Puffing Billy
                      (Belgravia? -- can't remember) starts.

                      I'll have a look at the Tasmanian ABT line. Sounds interesting.


                      In message <000001c2ac54$89db0da0$0300a8c0@PETE>, heininger
                      <pete@...> writes
                      >Hi all,
                      >
                      >I think Matt has a point here about 'entertainment' . . . The Puffing
                      >Billy line (2ft 6in gauge) east of Melbourne is a classic example of
                      >this . . . Far more successful today as a tourist carrier than it ever
                      >was earlier last century as a common carrier! If any of you don't know
                      >about this brilliant line, I urge you to tap into:
                      >http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/
                      >
                      >What's more, we are seeing other similar lines springing up in Australia
                      >- the best example of which must be the ABT rack line on Tasmania's West
                      >Coast: http://www.users.bigpond.com/Rhol/index.html
                      >
                      >Chrs!
                      >PeteH.
                      >
                      >*******************
                      >
                      >Pete Heininger,
                      >Partner,
                      >Heininger communications.
                      >pete@...
                      >www.heininger.com.au
                      >http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au
                      >Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.
                      >
                      >-----Original Message-----
                      >From: mattjcoleman@... [mailto:mattjcoleman@...]
                      >Sent: Wednesday, 25 December 2002 7:17 AM
                      >To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: Re: [7mmnga] Digest Number 367
                      >
                      >
                      >David's question is an interesting one. If we look around the world, we
                      >can see how some narrow gauge lines surived well into the 1970s and
                      >1980s, especially in places like Eastern Europe and Asia. Oddly enough,
                      >only some went to diesels, most stayed with steam. The former GDR lines
                      >got new new locomotives in the 1950s, but most lines hung on with steam
                      >until the end. But, some lines in India and Africa got fairly modern
                      >diesels, but they were usually mining lines funded by large companies,
                      >not common carriers struggling to survive against motor way
                      >competition..
                      >
                      >However, if you really step back and look at narrow gauge lines around
                      >the world, there were two types of lines that survived -- those whose
                      >main job was to haul passengers and those whose life blood was a single
                      >commodity (sugar in Java and Australia, timber in China, various
                      >minerals in Africa and Mexico). Those that depended on mixed freight
                      >(goods) such as the 2ft lines in South Africa and the 3ft lines in
                      >Ireland and the USA all withered and died from motor lorry competition.
                      >
                      >If I might commit heresey to a point, the real survivors have been the
                      >Ffestiniog, the WHR, the Tallylln, the Mt Snowdon line, and others
                      >around the world whose location and quaintness have made them providers
                      >of the most desired commodity of the late 20th century -- entertainment.
                      >
                      >In the USA the Durango and Silverton hauls more passengers per year than
                      >
                      >most AMTRAK routes yet you have to drive or fly to get to either
                      >terminus. Imagine having a railroad that provided such an unique
                      >experience that people would buy and airplane ticket or drive for days
                      >just to buy a ticket for the train.
                      >
                      >So David, the real survivors are with us right now and they are almost
                      >all steam (with diesel backup). Only by going to a second or third world
                      >
                      >country can you find any other type of survivor.
                      >
                      >And to answer David's question more directly, the Vale of Rheidol is the
                      >
                      >perfect example of a Narrow Gauge line that survived all the changes. It
                      >
                      >was absorbed by the Cambrian, the GWR, BR, and made it to privatisation
                      >and is still running.
                      >
                      >I think the UK has been the world leader in narrow gauge (and standard
                      >gauge) railroading since 1950. The UK has built more new narrow gauge
                      >steam locomotives than any other country since 1960 with the possible
                      >exception of China.
                      >
                      >Matt Coleman
                      >
                      >>Message: 1
                      >>   Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:28:17 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
                      >>   From: David Leslie Taylor <DLTaylor@...>
                      >>Subject: Something to ponder
                      >>
                      >>Dear All,
                      >>    Many moons ago, a friend of mine said he wanted to
                      >>model the Lynton & Barnstaple in the 1950s, with locos in
                      >>BR lined black, and coaches painted "blood & custard". 
                      >>This set me wondering. Supposing history had been
                      >>different, what would have happened if most British narrow
                      >>gauge railways had not closed down in the 1930s, but
                      >>instead carried on and been modernised?  And from a
                      >>modelling point of view, what would they have looked like?
                      >>
                      >>    The County Donegal developed the railcar concept
                      >>for its ordinary passenger services as an economy measure,
                      >>and carried on with steam for its goods and excursion
                      >>traffic. The only line to be fully "dieselised"  was the
                      >>West Clare, and their locos were huge.
                      >>
                      >>    I am not concerned here with purely industrial
                      >>railways, where internal combustion locos are designed to
                      >>haul heavy loads at low speed over short distances, but the
                      >>"mainline" setup, with passenger and general goods services.
                      >>
                      >>    What would a "mainline" diesel on, for instance,
                      >>the Lynton & Barnstaple have looked like?  A scaled-down
                      >>version of the West Clare locos?  An enlarged industrial
                      >>design, with bigger wheels and higher ratio gearbox?  An
                      >>anglicised version of a European or colonial design (like
                      >>the Welsh Highland Funkeys)?  Or even a Yellow Peril?
                      >>
                      >>    I would be interested to hear any thoughts on this
                      >>matter, whether practical or purely academic.
                      >>
                      >>    Compliments of the season,
                      >>    Dave.T 146
                      >>
                      >>PS  Mr. Editor, please could this go in Blastpipe?
                      >>
                      >>----------------------
                      >>David Leslie Taylor
                      >>University of Exeter
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>_______________________________________________________________________
                      >_
                      >>_______________________________________________________________________
                      >_
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                      >http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> 
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      >7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
                      ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>  Terms of Service.

                      --
                      Trevor Shaw

                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com



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                    • John Dennis
                      Pete and Trevor, The line known as Puffing Billy was originally built as a feeder to the broad gauge network at Upper Ferntree Gully, and ran through the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 26, 2002
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                        Pete and Trevor,

                        The line known as "Puffing Billy" was originally built as a feeder to
                        the broad gauge network at Upper Ferntree Gully, and ran through the
                        rural Dandenong Ranges to Gembrook. Cockatoo is an intermediate
                        location on the line, between Emerald and the terminus. It was never
                        a commuter line, nobody commuted from that far away from the city when
                        the line opened. It was simply a rural branch line built to open up
                        the country, to transport goods in and out (potatoes and timber) and
                        even in its early days, to transport tourists. The only difference
                        between the Gembrook branch (and the three other NG branches) and the
                        countless broad gauge branches was the gauge.

                        As the spread of suburban living reached Ferntree Gully and beyond to
                        Belgrave, the first section of the line was rebuilt as broad gauge,
                        leaving the Puffing Billy Preservation Society to reopen the line from
                        Belgave, the current headquarters of the preserved line.

                        John Dennis


                        On Fri, 27 Dec 2002 10:13:08 +1100, "heininger"
                        <pete@...> wrote:

                        >Hi Trevor,
                        >
                        >I agree with you on the name, Puffing Billy, but this is the name the
                        >locals apparently gave the tiny trains not long after the line was
                        >opened (a 'billy can' is something we Australians use to boil water for
                        >tea and coffee while camping). I guess the locals thought the small
                        >locos were like puffing/moving billy cans!
                        >
                        >The original line only went from Upper Ferntree Gully to Cockatoo . . .
                        >Ferntree is closer to Melbourne that the present terminus at Belgrave.
                        >
                        >It has been a few years since I last rode the train, and the latest
                        >extension to Cockatoo had not been completed at that stage (they were
                        >still working on some major bridge rebuilding).
                        >
                        >The Victorian Government Railways built a number of these lines in rural
                        >Victoria in the late 19th Century to help open up less habited areas.
                        >Another line, to the old Walhalla goldfields, in the Gippsland district,
                        >is also proving popular as a re-opened tourist attraction:
                        >http://www.australia.travelmall.com/travelmall/attraction/Gippsland,%20L
                        >akes%20and%20Wilderness%20(VIC)/Walhalla%20Goldfields%20Railway
                        >
                      • heininger
                        Oooooppppppsssss . . . sorry John and Trev . . . I shd have known better when I lodged by last post! (about Gembrook being the end of the line); after all, I
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 27, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment

                          Oooooppppppsssss . . . sorry John and Trev . . . I shd have known better when I lodged by last post! (about Gembrook being the end of the line); after all, I was working with some recent notes in my lap (doh!!)

                           

                          Thanks, Jon for the correction . . . and amplification on the line’s purpose.

                           

                          I also meant to mention, Trevor, that Victoria’s “main” railway gauge is 5ft 3” . . . broader than the standard gauge of 4ft 8 ½ inches employed in NSW. And much broader than the 3ft 6in employed in Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and parts of South Australia (as well as on the original Northern Territory system).

                           

                          Our various authorities have been busy in recent years ensuring that major inter-capital routes are laid to 4ft 8 ½ in!! But that’s another story for another day!

                           

                          Chrs!

                          PeteH.

                           

                          *******************

                           

                          Pete Heininger,

                          Partner,

                          Heininger communications.

                          pete@...

                          www.heininger.com.au

                          http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au

                          Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.

                           

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: John Dennis [mailto:jdennis@...]
                          Sent: Friday, 27 December 2002 11:02 AM
                          To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [7mmnga] More on Puffing Billy and other narrow gauge in Australia

                           

                          Pete and Trevor,

                          The line known as "Puffing Billy" was originally built as a feeder to
                          the broad gauge network at Upper Ferntree Gully, and ran through the
                          rural Dandenong Ranges to Gembrook.  Cockatoo is an intermediate
                          location on the line, between Emerald and the terminus.  It was never
                          a commuter line, nobody commuted from that far away from the city when
                          the line opened.  It was simply a rural branch line built to open up
                          the country, to transport goods in and out (potatoes and timber) and
                          even in its early days, to transport tourists.  The only difference
                          between the Gembrook branch (and the three other NG branches) and the
                          countless broad gauge branches was the gauge.

                          As the spread of suburban living reached Ferntree Gully and beyond to
                          Belgrave, the first section of the line was rebuilt as broad gauge,
                          leaving the Puffing Billy Preservation Society to reopen the line from
                          Belgave, the current headquarters of the preserved line.

                          John Dennis


                          On Fri, 27 Dec 2002 10:13:08 +1100, "heininger"
                          <pete@...> wrote:

                          >Hi Trevor,
                          >
                          >I agree with you on the name, Puffing Billy, but this is the name the
                          >locals apparently gave the tiny trains not long after the line was
                          >opened (a 'billy can' is something we Australians use to boil water for
                          >tea and coffee while camping). I guess the locals thought the small
                          >locos were like puffing/moving billy cans!
                          >
                          >The original line only went from Upper Ferntree Gully to Cockatoo . . .
                          >Ferntree is closer to Melbourne that the present terminus at Belgrave.
                          >
                          >It has been a few years since I last rode the train, and the latest
                          >extension to Cockatoo had not been completed at that stage (they were
                          >still working on some major bridge rebuilding).
                          >
                          >The Victorian Government Railways built a number of these lines in rural
                          >Victoria in the late 19th Century to help open up less habited areas.
                          >Another line, to the old Walhalla goldfields, in the Gippsland district,
                          >is also proving popular as a re-opened tourist attraction:
                          >http://www.australia.travelmall.com/travelmall/attraction/Gippsland,%20L
                          >akes%20and%20Wilderness%20(VIC)/Walhalla%20Goldfields%20Railway
                          >


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                        • Trevor Shaw
                          Last time I visited Puffing Billy, the terminus had just been extended to Emerald but I didn t go there. I turned round at the former terminus (can t remember
                          Message 12 of 13 , Dec 27, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Last time I visited Puffing Billy, the terminus had just been extended
                            to Emerald but I didn't go there. I turned round at the former terminus
                            (can't remember the name but it was at the side of a lake -- might even
                            have been called Lakeside). Sorry for calling Belgrave, Belgravia --
                            it's my UK-centric bit showing.

                            Vctoria's railway's standard gauge was 5ft 3in because it was built by
                            Irishmen. Sometime during the 1840s, the British Government became
                            convinced that 4ft 81/2in didn't allow enough room to get all the bits,
                            such as cylinders, between the frames and so authorised the wider gauge
                            in Ireland. This coincided with the Irish potato famine and spread in
                            particular to Victoria, where Irish imigration was especially important.
                            One of my best mates in Victoria (non railway modeller) is Peter
                            Hanrahan. Fairly obvious Irish name, but his family has been in Oz since
                            the 1840s and they still grow potatoes in northern Victoria.

                            In message <000c01c2ad85$3a4e2290$0300a8c0@PETE>, heininger
                            <pete@...> writes
                            >
                            > Oooooppppppsssss . . . sorry John and Trev . . . I shd have known
                            > better when I lodged by last post! (about Gembrook being the end of
                            > the line); after all, I was working with some recent notes in my
                            > lap (doh!!)
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > Thanks, Jon for the correction . . . and amplification on the lines
                            > purpose.
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > I also meant to mention, Trevor, that Victorias main railway gauge
                            > is 5ft 3 . . . broader than the standard gauge of 4ft 8 ½ inches
                            > employed in NSW. And much broader than the 3ft 6in employed in
                            > Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and parts of South
                            > Australia (as well as on the original Northern Territory system).
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > Our various authorities have been busy in recent years ensuring
                            > that major inter-capital routes are laid to 4ft 8 ½ in!! But thats
                            > another story for another day!
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > Chrs!
                            >
                            > PeteH.
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > *******************
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > Pete Heininger,
                            >
                            > Partner,
                            >
                            > Heininger communications.
                            >
                            > pete@...
                            >
                            > www.heininger.com.au
                            >
                            > http://tunnelroad.speedlink.com.au
                            >
                            > Tel: 02/ 4225 3324.
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: John Dennis [mailto:jdennis@...]
                            > Sent: Friday, 27 December 2002 11:02 AM
                            > To: 7mmnga@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: Re: [7mmnga] More on Puffing Billy and other narrow gauge
                            > in Australia
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > Pete and Trevor,
                            >
                            > The line known as "Puffing Billy" was originally built as a feeder
                            > to
                            > the broad gauge network at Upper Ferntree Gully, and ran through
                            > the
                            > rural Dandenong Ranges to Gembrook.  Cockatoo is an intermediate
                            > location on the line, between Emerald and the terminus.  It was
                            > never
                            > a commuter line, nobody commuted from that far away from the city
                            > when
                            > the line opened.  It was simply a rural branch line built to open
                            > up
                            > the country, to transport goods in and out (potatoes and timber)
                            > and
                            > even in its early days, to transport tourists.  The only difference
                            > between the Gembrook branch (and the three other NG branches) and
                            > the
                            > countless broad gauge branches was the gauge.
                            >
                            > As the spread of suburban living reached Ferntree Gully and beyond
                            > to
                            > Belgrave, the first section of the line was rebuilt as broad gauge,
                            > leaving the Puffing Billy Preservation Society to reopen the line
                            > from
                            > Belgave, the current headquarters of the preserved line.
                            >
                            > John Dennis
                            >
                            >
                            > On Fri, 27 Dec 2002 10:13:08 +1100, "heininger"
                            > <pete@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > >Hi Trevor,
                            > >
                            > >I agree with you on the name, Puffing Billy, but this is the name
                            > the
                            > >locals apparently gave the tiny trains not long after the line was
                            > >opened (a 'billy can' is something we Australians use to boil
                            > water for
                            > >tea and coffee while camping). I guess the locals thought the
                            > small
                            > >locos were like puffing/moving billy cans!
                            > >
                            > >The original line only went from Upper Ferntree Gully to Cockatoo
                            > . . .
                            > >Ferntree is closer to Melbourne that the present terminus at
                            > Belgrave.
                            > >
                            > >It has been a few years since I last rode the train, and the
                            > latest
                            > >extension to Cockatoo had not been completed at that stage (they
                            > were
                            > >still working on some major bridge rebuilding).
                            > >
                            > >The Victorian Government Railways built a number of these lines in
                            > rural
                            > >Victoria in the late 19th Century to help open up less habited
                            > areas.
                            > >Another line, to the old Walhalla goldfields, in the Gippsland
                            > district,
                            > >is also proving popular as a re-opened tourist attraction:
                            > >
                            > http://www.australia.travelmall.com/travelmall/attraction/Gippsland,%20L
                            > >akes%20and%20Wilderness%20(VIC)/Walhalla%20Goldfields%20Railway
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > 7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                            > .
                            >
                            >
                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > 7mmnga-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                            > .

                            --
                            Trevor Shaw
                          • John Dennis
                            Hmmm, getting increasingly off-topic in this list, but for the sake of correctness.... Trevor s memory about Puffing Billy is just a little faulty. The line
                            Message 13 of 13 , Dec 28, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hmmm, getting increasingly off-topic in this list, but for the sake of
                              correctness....

                              Trevor's memory about Puffing Billy is just a little faulty. The line
                              was reopened from Belgrave to Menzies Creek, then to Emerald and later
                              to Lakeside (which is beside the lake). Many years after that the
                              line was extended to its original terminus of Gembrook. If Trevor
                              didn't go to the end of the line, but turned around at Lakeside, then
                              the railway was, by then, running to Gembrook.

                              As for why Victoria uses broad gauge, that's a very confusing story.
                              It goes like this:
                              Initially the colonies of Victoria and New South Wales (and possibly
                              South Australia) were planning to build standard gauge railways. The
                              British engineer in charge of the NSW line was then replaced with an
                              Irishman, and changed the proposed gauge to BG. The other colonies
                              followed suit. Then that engineer was in turn replaced by an
                              Englishman, who immediately reversed the decision, and reverted to SG.
                              By then Victoria and SA had already ordered BG stock, and refused to
                              change. There wasn't likely to be a problem, as after all Sydney was
                              over 500 miles from Melbourne, and the lines were never likely to meet
                              :-) So the problem was caused by NSW's inability to settle on a
                              gauge.

                              A sad story which has cost millions of dollars both in lost efficiency
                              and to correct over the years.

                              John Dennis,
                              Melbourne, Oz


                              On Sat, 28 Dec 2002 01:54:48 +0000, Trevor Shaw
                              <trevor.shaw@...> wrote:

                              >Last time I visited Puffing Billy, the terminus had just been extended
                              >to Emerald but I didn't go there. I turned round at the former terminus
                              >(can't remember the name but it was at the side of a lake -- might even
                              >have been called Lakeside). Sorry for calling Belgrave, Belgravia --
                              >it's my UK-centric bit showing.
                              >
                              >Vctoria's railway's standard gauge was 5ft 3in because it was built by
                              >Irishmen. Sometime during the 1840s, the British Government became
                              >convinced that 4ft 81/2in didn't allow enough room to get all the bits,
                              >such as cylinders, between the frames and so authorised the wider gauge
                              >in Ireland. This coincided with the Irish potato famine and spread in
                              >particular to Victoria, where Irish imigration was especially important.
                              >One of my best mates in Victoria (non railway modeller) is Peter
                              >Hanrahan. Fairly obvious Irish name, but his family has been in Oz since
                              >the 1840s and they still grow potatoes in northern Victoria.
                              >
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