RD November 2018 ‘Blurb’
The Waratah Series Two has arrived
Based on the design of the Millenium M set, the Waratah A Set trains had a difficult birth. The consortium supplying the trains was almost sent to the wall by the Global Financial Crisis, requiring a government bail-out, then issues arose concerning design details and build-quality. However, all these problems were eventually resolved, and the A Sets are now regarded as a success by passengers and crews alike. With all the hard lessons now learnt, it was axiomatic that the second series of Waratahs – the B Sets – would be pretty much trouble-free from the start, and as Michael James explains, so they are.
Adelaide’s tram extensions open
With neither fanfare nor ceremony, and with barely 12 hours’ notice via social media and the Adelaide Metro website, services began on Adelaide’s two new tram extensions on Saturday 13 October. The line had been due to open in March this year prior to the State election but a series of delays, aggravated by signalling problems resulting from a construction error, stretched this firstly to July 29, then to October. Ian Hammond was on hand to record the event.
One Fine Day – Puccini, the XPT & the VFT
It’s a fine day, very appropriately, as David Wood travels to Canberra to see Puccini’s famous opera Madame Butterfly. As he travels north on the XPT, then south on the Xplorer, David ponders some of the links between Puccini’s music and Australia’s railways.
‘It must be an alright day then’
The above quote, from a Nepalese bus driver after a harrowing day-long bus trip, neatly encapsulates the Friday 31 August and Sunday 2 September inaugural run of the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre’s standard gauge train set. Max Michell reports on a weekend tour that proved to be anything but boring!
Valley Rattler Revival
On Saturday 6 October, after a long hiatus, the first Valley Rattler train in six years left Old Gympie station for the return journey to Amamoor. The resumption of services along the line was celebrated with a festival at Old Gympie station, while at Anamoor station, the current terminus of the refurbished railway, there were markets, live entertainment and organised activities for children. Darren Tulk was there.
The Rockhampton Purrey Steam Tram
A very little-known and unusual attraction is based in Rockhampton at the old Archer Park railway station in Denison Street. Now unique to Australia, the Purrey Steam trams were built in Bordeaux in France and were operated by the Rockhampton Tramways from 1909 until 1939, and the single, restored survivor now operates monthly along a section of street trackage, as Mike Martin reports.