Railway Digest July 2020

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Railway Digest | July 2020

Thoughts on the NSW Double Deck Interurban trains at age Fifty.
One of the most successful passenger trains ever built, these EMUs and their successors have been in service for fifty years, with almost no change to the basic design in that time. Locomotive & Rolling Stock Editor Peter Clark takes a look at the development of the well-regarded interurban trains that we know today as the ‘V Sets’.

Rail Train Travels
During late January 2020 Watco Australia proposed to bring a loaded rail train from Midland through to Narngulu (Geraldton) then onto Perenjori, south east of Geraldton for selected rail drops both on the way to Narngulu and between Morawa and Perenjori. Phil Melling decided it would be worth seeing for at least part of its journey, especially as the locomotives would be Watco’s DR1564 and DR1565.

Hunter Rail Cars on tour
The first Hunter Rail Car (HRC) set, 2701+2751, emerged from the UGL plant at Broadmeadow on 11 November 2005, with a short run to Broadmeadow Maintenance Centre and return before its public launch at Newcastle station on 28 November. After that it embarked on a series of tests and trials, which had to be successfully completed before the trains could enter passenger service. These took the HRC sets to some unusual locations, as Basil Hancock recalls.

Same time next year – A Steamfest story
The story of Steamfest began in 1986 as a celebration of steam locomotion, borne out of the demise of the South Maitland Railways – the second-last commercially operated steam railway in Australia – three years earlier. April was chosen as the usual month to tie in with Heritage Week. From then on, over one autumn weekend each year, the young and old alike would descend upon Maitland to see, photograph and ride behind some of NSW’s best-known steam locomotives and share in a kind of communal nostalgia. Chris Walters and Ben Barnes report on what has now become an iconic event in the transport heritage calendar.

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