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January 2020 Edition

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9 January 2020 marks 91 years since a fatal derailment occurred on the Geelong line at the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing in which rail motor No. 54, running a Geelong to Melbourne service, came off the track at speed and slammed into a telegraph pole after the failure of an axle in its trailing ...Read more
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9 January 2020 marks 91 years since a fatal derailment occurred on the Geelong line at the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing in which rail motor No. 54, running a Geelong to Melbourne service, came off the track at speed and slammed into a telegraph pole after the failure of an axle in its trailing bogie. Its wooden body was torn open in the impact, injuring passengers, one fatally. Nine decades on, author Barry Fell presents key pieces of departmental correspondence that detail how the design fault in the axle was not only well known within the Railways department, but that the greater risk of failure in high speed operation, and the severe consequences of such a failure, had been recognised some months before the accident.

Mark Bau, who has devoted much time to recording and cataloguing the vast range of carriages that the former Victorian Railways operated, has written an interesting article on an uncelebrated but quite notable vehicle: the WS Workmen's Shower cars. These humble vehicles provided essential amenities to the teams of workers carrying out major construction and repair work across the VR network, and their construction is another fascinating example of VR's practice of recycling old rolling stock (or parts thereof) for new purposes.

In the Preservation column, we have a report on the exciting news from Puffing Billy Railway of the introduction of the NG/G16 Garratt locomotive No.129, previously built for service on 2 foot (610mm) railways in South Africa, entering service after a mammoth 23-year restoration that also involved regauging the loco to 2 foot 6 (762mm) gauge.

We also publish the winning entries from the 2019 ARHS Photographic Competition, in which entrants submit photographs that relate to a given set topic for each month. This year's topics were very wide ranging, everything from Electric Locomotives of the VR through to refreshment facilities at a current station.

Also included are all the regular sections:
- General News
- Works (extensive this month, given Victoria's "Big Build"
- Observations
- Tramways
- Where Is It?
- Taildisc

This month's spectacular cover photograph of newly restored NG/G16 No.129 was taken by Michael Greenhill.

 

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