When were the Red Rattlers actually withrawn from revenue service?

 
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

I first moved to Sydney in 1990 and I'm sure I saw the Pacel Vans zipping around Central on the odd occasion

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  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson




So whilst nearly all bar one are going into a swoon remembering "the good ol' days" - the sights, the sounds, the smells (usually hot brake block complete with asbestos compounding Exclamation) there is probably not a real lot separating the air compressor types - the older reciprocating ( ker- chucka-chucka-chucka-chucka-.....-chuckka-chuuuckkkaaa) and the more modern rotary compressors (ummm.... how do you describe their whine in words... Rolling Eyes). Obviously it is all to do with economics. Which compressor type delivers the air volume at the rated pressure in the most cost efficient manner including lubrication, general maintenance and operating efficiency is the type to be used also bearing in mind that you want the minimum number of variations to ensure compatability within the fleet. Maybe http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-compressor-types-d_441.html might help some understand some of the why's and wherefore's.

"3l diesel"


You're conflating two different things.  We're not denying the need to modernise, but rather engaging in some harmless nostalgia.  By your measure, there would be no heritage steam, either.   This is not the point.  We don't need to be educated as to how compressor technology has advanced.  Sheesh.

  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Hey guys, is that whistling sound you hear on Tangaras also the compressors?
  electrax Assistant Commissioner






I think the last service was July 1994

"TassieRefugee"


The last all-single deck suburban electric trains were withdrawn after the evening peak hour on 10 January 1992. Approximately 130 single deck cars were affected by this change. These single deck cars were immediately placed into storage at various locations around the Sydney suburban area.

The 10 January 1992 also saw four 8-car single deck sets taking part in the ceremony on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the final withdrawal of the single deck traIns. One of these sets included C3426 (now a member of the CityRail heritage fleet) which had led the official first train across the Bridge on 19 March 1932.

From January 1992 only hybrid 8-car (single deck control motors/double deck non-control trailers) sets operated over the Sydney system. These sets comprised two types: the "M" type sets with single deck control motors of the '7000' series (mainly Tulloch type) and double deck trailers (Tulloch type) which operated on a 36 volt dc control system and the "W" type sets with single deck control motors of the Comeng '3701-3740' series and Tulloch double deck trailers which operated on a 120 volt dc control system. The "M" sets were withdrawn by November 1992, while the "W" sets were withdrawn by November 1993. Two four-car "W" sets - the ones that were painted for the Taronga Park zoo train (and giving prominence to McDonalds) which had been an 8-car set - lasted a bit longer; these were replacements for the H22 8-car single deck Zoo train withdrawn in 1992. [The replacement Zoo train was necessary to fulfil a contract between the SRA and Taronga Zoo for publicity purposes]. The second zoo train also provided employee services to and from the Chullora area circa 1994.

The single deck parcel vans ceased in 1989.

Along with some others I tracked down the rolling stock at the various locations after withdrawals had taken place. Some of the information has been published in various books, including "Coaching Stock of the NSW Railways - Vol.3 - Electric Cars" (Eveleigh Press, Sydney, 2012) and "Sydney's Electric Trains - A Personal History" (ARHS, NSW Division, Sydney, 2010). These titles are currently available.

The 1996 date refers to the end of the single deck interurbans.



"electrax"
"Coaching Stock of the NSW Railways - Volume 3 - Electric Cars" (Eveleigh Press, Sydney, NSW 2012; p340, explains the means by which vehicles are condemned and relevant sections of the railways administration and operating authority notified accordingly:

"From the mid-1960s the word "condemnation" was used for all write-offs.  It was then possible for condemned vehicles to continue in use but for non-revenue purposes.  The condemnation procedure involved a submission to the Commissioner listing the vehicles concerned; with the process usually taking from one to two months before approval was granted.  In the majority of cases, the final approval was followed by the dispatch of the vehicles concerned to a private contractor for cutting up as scrap.  However, some cars had been scrapped prior to the date of the Commissioner's approval, an example being Leeds Forge car C3112 which was condemned on 2 November 1978, but had been dispatched for scrapping some six months earlier on 15 April 1978.  However, many single-deck cars condemned between 1988 and 1996 were sold privately for uses such as private residences, school buildings, farm sheds or holiday accommodation."

I might add that a number of cars did appear to hang around for some time after their January 1992 withdrawal date, such vehicles being condemned in February 1992.  But many of these had been sold and were in storage awaiting collection by their new owners.

Prior to the January 1992 event I had made arrangements with various railway officials to visit some of those locations with stored single-deck cars to which members of the public did not have access.  I also witnessed some final runs of the single-deck stock in in the morning peak hour; by day's end it was all over!

  electrax Assistant Commissioner




A small point of order towards the end, it was very rare to see red rattlers on the eastern suburbs / illawarra lines. This went all double deck early on.

"DHT"


They were never intended for use on the Eastern Suburbs Railway, which was solely worked by double deck stock from the start in 1979. (Through services to and from the Illawarra line commenced the following year). What I suspect you may have seen on the Illawarra were the red hybrid sets (Comeng single deck motors/Tulloch double deck trailers); I've found that by adopting the term "red rattler" people tend to use the term as an "umbrella" to describe all sorts of train compositions. Briefly, the carriages originally intended for the Eastern Suburbs Railway (ESR) were drawn from the Comeng double deck series C3858 - C3911 (motor cars), D4011 - D4020 (driving trailers) and T4921 - T4962 (non-control trailers). These had been ordered under Commissioner Neal McCusker's administration, but were put into general service when construction of the ESR was delayed until 1979. By then, additional double deck cars of both Comeng and Goninan build were available for Sydney service, and the opening trains for the ESR comprised Goninan control motors and Comeng driving control trailers, the actual compositions being published in Geoff Moss's book "Sydney Electric Trains - A Personal History" (ARHS NSW Division, Sydney, 2010.

By the time that the ESR had opened, the Sydney railway system was being administered by Alan Reiher as Chief Commissioner of the Public Transport Commission of New South Wales. Alan Reiher left the PTC in 1979 and in 1980 David Hill appeared as the Chief Executive Officer of the State Rail Authority of New South Wales.

Prior to the mid-1970s, some 325 single deck suburban electric cars had already been withdrawn from traffic.

  electrax Assistant Commissioner




I first moved to Sydney in 1990 and I'm sure I saw the Pacel Vans zipping around Central on the odd occasion

"gw0071"


Until the end of parcel van services in Sydney, these vehicles generally worked to schedules.  However, in their twilight years they were often used for picking up vandalised seating, transferring electric train equipments between depots and towing single and double deck cars to and from Elcar Workshops.  Some were also used as brake test cars, profile cars and as depot and workshop shunters.  As towing vehicles, it was not uncommon to see 4 of them towing a set of up to 6 double deck passenger cars.  The most exotic looking parcel van was the Elcar shunter C3994 in its candy livery.

  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Official trains for the opening of the Eastern Suburbs Railway on 23 June 1979:
8-car train - C3004, D4083, D4082, C3003 (S54 Set), C3002, T4102, T4101, C3001 (S55 Set).
8-car train - C3008, D4073, D4072, C3007 (S57 Set), C3006, D4084, D4080, C3005 (S56 Set).
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry

Last video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-O5a2_5n88

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-O5a2_5n88


  From about 9:40 to 12:00

  electrax Assistant Commissioner




Thanks for those newsclips Bowral. I note how in the ABC article, they commented about the single deck suburbans were "unreliable, uncomfortable and unsafe". It is curious how an editor's perception is put forward as "fact" (in the way it came across to me at least). "Unsafe" were they?? Maybe one day someone will discover that there are machines called "motorbikes" on the roads. I wonder what they might say then? But then I noted in the Ch 10 article a mention of a Coroner's recommendation. Aside from age, and many were getting a bit old at that, it probably would be very difficult for a government to ignore a Coroner (rightly or wrongly).

We can only look forward to seeing the real stuff out again hopefully courtesy of HET and/or SETS...

"3l diesel"


During Reg Winsor's time as NSWGR Commissioner in the first half of the 1950s, the matter of passenger safety was also raised.  This led to the equipping of the F39 set of Tulloch cars with power-operated doors which, as the interior sign said, "were opened and closed by the guard."  Passengers were told to "at all times stand clear of the doors."  From the appearance of the Comeng "Sputnik" cars in 1958, most Sydney electric trains have been fitted with power-operated doors; the exceptions being some Tulloch double deckers built with manual doors and worked with the older single deck stock, many of these Tulloch double deckers being later fitted with power-operated doors.  Only 25 Tulloch double deck cars, T4896 - T4920, spent their entire lives with manually operated doors.

  electrax Assistant Commissioner




Around 1991 there was an attempt to withdraw them with a new timetable, but they had to bring them back for a while.

"simonl"

to some extent, the single-deckers had to fill in for problems encountered with Tangaras, notably with their bogies.  This meant that the new timetable wasn't instituted at the time.  Geoff Moss, who retired from the SRA of NSW in 1987 as Assistant Chief Mechanical Engineer (Electric Trains), briefly mentions the Tangara problems in his book "Sydney's Electric Trains - A Personal History" (ARHS NSW Division, 2010).

  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW



Does anyone know when they were completely withdrawn from revenue services?

"Veyron407"


As mentioned previously, and if we are to consider that ""Red Rattler" consists of all single deck cars with (at least the possibility of there being included) 2 motor 1927 type cars with manual doors in "revenue service", officially the 10th January 1992.

However at the risk of sticking my nose out, the very last time these vehicles ever ran with passengers was just over ten years later on 16th March, 2002 - conspicuously the same date as my wedding.

It's hard when you watch your wedding videos and cry. Oh well, at least the set still exists. Maybe one day when everyone else is dead, something might happen. 50th wedding anniversary, perhaps?..


http://tromberg.dyndns.org/~paul/Wedding/Wedding.html

ZM



  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU



Whilst appreciative of the effort that it takes to run tour trains, what exactly has stopped heritage electric operations?

"3l diesel"


The red tape neccessary to make a train "Safe" enough for heritage operations, particularly the red sets because of their lack of power doors and traction interlocking. That's what got them withdrawn in the first place.

  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW





Whilst appreciative of the effort that it takes to run tour trains, what exactly has stopped heritage electric operations?

"3l diesel"


The red tape neccessary to make a train "Safe" enough for heritage operations, particularly the red sets because of their lack of power doors and traction interlocking. That's what got them withdrawn in the first place.

"s3_gunzel"


umm, sadly, wrong on all counts. Try these:

1.) A lack of drive from those charged with their care and a fear that doing anything more might result in the whole lot being lost.
2.) A belief that it is better to go it alone and re invent the wheel than to partner with others and piggy back on to their experience.
3.) Inability to run enough trips to keep crews qualified with a minimum number of hours as a result of (2).

The doors issue was solved back in the late '90s. Traction interlocking was never an issue however provision of things like train radio and registration is, just the same as for any other main line operator.

Alas I, like many others, wait patiently for those concerned to finally admit that their way "doesn't work" and that they might be wrong, and that it's time to ask someone else for help - before there's no "someone else's" left to ask.

ZM

  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Hmm... Alright so it's a lack of qualified personnel.
  newington Chief Commissioner

Location: Here, very occasionally.

But "traction interlocking"... umm ...could you enlighten me please?
"3l diesel"


Traction interlocking (If I'm not mistaken), is where the train controls are wired up in such a way that the train cannot accelerate (from a station), until all doors are closed. It's a way of ensuring that no trains get around with the doors open, the train physically can't leave the station until all doors are closed, but there are ways for the guard to override it in exceptional circumstances.

  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW



But "traction interlocking"... umm ...could you enlighten me please?
"3l diesel"


Traction interlocking (If I'm not mistaken), is where the train controls are wired up in such a way that the train cannot accelerate (from a station), until all doors are closed. It's a way of ensuring that no trains get around with the doors open, the train physically can't leave the station until all doors are closed, but there are ways for the guard to override it in exceptional circumstances.

"newington"


The fix for red rattler tours on this one was to do it all manually using two way radios. Each car has a car attendant (or two attendants if the train was carrying ticketed public passengers). These attendants signal to the train controller via radio when doors are secure after which standard procedure applies. It's labour intensive but not seen as a liability for special trips and more than enough to keep the authorities happy. You may note the presence of the orange vested attendants on the Wedding tour videos from 16/3/02.

And lack of personnell? In a nutshell, yes. Not through lack of those who want to try though. Everyone is standing trackside until the top end refocuses it's aims.

ZM



  electrax Assistant Commissioner






But "traction interlocking"... umm ...could you enlighten me please?
"3l diesel"


Traction interlocking (If I'm not mistaken), is where the train controls are wired up in such a way that the train cannot accelerate (from a station), until all doors are closed. It's a way of ensuring that no trains get around with the doors open, the train physically can't leave the station until all doors are closed, but there are ways for the guard to override it in exceptional circumstances.

"newington"


The fix for red rattler tours on this one was to do it all manually using two way radios. Each car has a car attendant (or two attendants if the train was carrying ticketed public passengers). These attendants signal to the train controller via radio when doors are secure after which standard procedure applies. It's labour intensive but not seen as a liability for special trips and more than enough to keep the authorities happy. You may note the presence of the orange vested attendants on the Wedding tour videos from 16/3/02.

And lack of personnell? In a nutshell, yes. Not through lack of those who want to try though. Everyone is standing trackside until the top end refocuses it's aims.

ZM



"zordmaker"
It's a pity that we have a variety of cars retained for the purposes of preservation that cannot at present be used for tours and public display.

On a related topic, I believe that for the first few days of F39 set being run in 1956, traction interlocking was employed - until school kids with their school cases worked out that the doors could be jammed open. The doors were then opened and closed by the guard without traction interlocking; hence the notice about keeping clear of the doors in the vestibules of F39 and S1 - S9 sets.

  Jahommed Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney



Hey guys, is that whistling sound you hear on Tangaras also the compressors?
"Watson374"

Yes, compressors on the Tangara are on the trailer carriages e.g. the first and last of each 4 car set.

  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW



On a related topic, I believe that for the first few days of F39 set being run in 1956, traction interlocking was employed - until school kids with their school cases worked out that the doors could be jammed open. The doors were then opened and closed by the guard without traction interlocking; hence the notice about keeping clear of the doors in the vestibules of F39 and S1 - S9 sets.

"electrax"


Hmm Ive heard that one too, several times so yes, IMO you're right. It didnt last long though. Geoff Moss would be the one to ask. If he's still alive that is.

ZM



  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

Hey guys, is that whistling sound you hear on Tangaras also the compressors?
"Watson374"




Yes, compressors on the Tangara are on the trailer carriages e.g. the first and last of each 4 car set.
"Jahommed"


Thanks for that! It's a very nice sound, actually.

  electrax Assistant Commissioner

SRA Rolling Stock Returns have 113 single deck cars condemned on 14-2-1992 and 12 single deck cars condemned on 4-2-1992.  The only exceptions for single deckers were the Comeng Sputnik power cars used in the W Sets and the 7000 series power cars used in the M Sets,  although some of the single deck cars intended for preservation were listed in the rolling stock lists as heritage vehicles.

There were 2 KHG/NVKF brake vans stationed at Elcar for the purposes of loco-haulage of electric stock as required.  These vehicles, NVKF.34236 (renumbered to NDMF.2990) and NVKF34250 (renumbered to NDMF.2991), in September 1991 Both vans were branded for CityRail use.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

From looking at newspapers around the late 1970s/early 1980s it would appear that the term "Red Rattler" came into media use after the late Alan Reiher had gone to Melbourne and David Hill had become CEO of the SRA of NSW.  The Ashfield derailment and side swiping of three electric trains in 1982 and the St Marys derailment in 1983 seem to have been reported (by at least some sections of the press) without the "Red Rattler" tag.
  TheLoneGunMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: At NF88.7 taking pictures
Hi All,

I think that the 2 main reasons why RailCorp don't want the single deck suburbans on the network is 1 they don't want them out there full stop and 2 they don't want any rail vehicle touching their precious overhead catenary network. I don't think that it has much to do with devices like "traction interlocking" or dataloggers or speedo's etc. As for the safety of vehicles with "manual" doors, there are enough 3801 Ltd, RTM & LVR cars out there running successfully with manual doors, so why not these cars? I think that you will find that the main reason is point 2 that I made. Why do you think that there are "no" electric locomotives running in the RailCorp electrified network these days? Not from from power usage, but RailCorp would claim that too.  

TLGM
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
Hi All,

I think that the 2 main reasons why RailCorp don't want the single deck suburbans on the network is 1 they don't want them out there full stop and 2 they don't want any rail vehicle touching their precious overhead catenary network. I don't think that it has much to do with devices like "traction interlocking" or dataloggers or speedo's etc. As for the safety of vehicles with "manual" doors, there are enough 3801 Ltd, RTM & LVR cars out there running successfully with manual doors, so why not these cars? I think that you will find that the main reason is point 2 that I made. Why do you think that there are "no" electric locomotives running in the RailCorp electrified network these days? Not from from power usage, but RailCorp would claim that too.  

TLGM
TheLoneGunMan
In other words, sheer bloodymindedness on RailCorp's (read: the Garv Mint) part.

They keep these old trains off the tracks simply because they can, and because it suits them to be that way about it.

And I expect, will continue to do so ad infinitum Sad

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