Questions that you've always been too embarrassed to ask

 
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Could you imagine fitting a 'Differential' to the axle of every rail vehicle to allow the wheels to turn at different ratios on a curve?
The weight and structure alone plus its something else to wear out and break down to make it hideously expensive to use.
The 'Differential' effect is achieved by angling both the head of the rail and the wheel face and of course wide curves.

Some years ago a Dutch company call DAF made a small vehicle that used 2 cones and belts to achieve a clutchless almost infinite number of 'Gears' as well as allowing each wheel to rotate at its on speed on a curve.
This system is still used on Ride On 'yard' tractors used for large area lawn mowing today.

BTW, in the DAF Company museum in Holland is a small van that was driven from Cape Town in South Africa to Amsterdam using this drive method.
gordon_s1942
With an Aussie flag on the front if I recall.

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  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Could you imagine fitting a 'Differential' to the axle of every rail vehicle to allow the wheels to turn at different ratios on a curve?
The weight and structure alone plus its something else to wear out and break down to make it hideously expensive to use.
The 'Differential' effect is achieved by angling both the head of the rail and the wheel face and of course wide curves.

Some years ago a Dutch company call DAF made a small vehicle that used 2 cones and belts to achieve a clutchless almost infinite number of 'Gears' as well as allowing each wheel to rotate at its on speed on a curve.
This system is still used on Ride On 'yard' tractors used for large area lawn mowing today.

BTW, in the DAF Company museum in Holland is a small van that was driven from Cape Town in South Africa to Amsterdam using this drive method.
gordon_s1942
Driven by two Aussie's across Africa without a GPS or mobile phone
  Valvegear The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Norda Fittazroy
And now for something completely different . . .

When the line to Ballarat via Bacchus Marsh was built, it was the start of the main line to Adelaide, and was single line.
The Bendigo line which, by comparison went nowhere, was double line.

Why?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Was not the original route to Adelaide via Geelong C, Meredith and Ballarat?
I thought that the route via the Marsh started out as two dead end branchlines that were eventually joined.
Open to correction, however.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Do trains have speed reductions when it is foggy/raining?
  br30453 Train Controller

And now for something completely different . . .

When the line to Ballarat via Bacchus Marsh was built, it was the start of the main line to Adelaide, and was single line.
The Bendigo line which, by comparison went nowhere, was double line.

Why?
Valvegear
Bendigo was where the gold was.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Tristan da Cunha
Bendigo was where the gold was.
br30453
Not really true.

Right from when they were founded in the latter part of 1851, Ballarat and Bendigo have both have been very similar towns of the same size and of similar massive wealth competing to be THE premier goldfield town. In a way, that continues right through to today, both have around 100,000 people and both continue to compete with each other.

The only real differences were climate (cool and wet v. warm and dryer) and the type of gold found in each town. After the initial rushes for near surface alluvial gold, Bendigo specialised in reef mining where companies built shafts thousands of feet deep to access rich gold reefs far below the ground, while Ballarat specialised in "deep leads" which were essentially gold rich creek beds  which had been buried by volcanic activity which stopped as recently as 10,000 years ago. At Ballarat small syndicates of around 4 men spent at least 6 months digging through the volcanic rock to where they thought the buried gold bearing creek would be. If they were right, they would be rich. If they were wrong, they had wasted a years work and would be broke. So by 1862 Bendigo was the home of big company mining where miners had a secure wage, while Ballarat's mining was a hit or miss affair where partnerships were the major type of mining.

But I digress. The railway arrived at both cities in 1862 and it is impossible to rate one as having more gold than the other, although their economies operated in quite different ways. As gold mining was starting to be less profitable in both cities, the cheaper prices that rail transport brought allowed smaller, more marginal mines to continue operating.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
[Quote="james.au"]Do trains have speed reductions when it is foggy/raining[/quote]Normal running, no they don't. In fact if you didn't need to see lineside signals and had a mileage display in the cab I venture most driver's would be able to get you to your destination without looking outside at all.
The caveat to that is passing an automatic signal at stop, which must be sone at a restricted speed - defined as a speed at which you can stop short of an obstruction. Straight track, sunny day that speed may be 50-60kph maybe more, for an ECP-equipped train. Curves in the rain or fog you might be down to 10 if you feel it safe to move at all on a pneumatic train.
  gordon_s1942 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
[Quote="james.au"]Do trains have speed reductions when it is foggy/raining
KRviator
Normal running, no they don't. In fact if you didn't need to see lineside signals and had a mileage display in the cab I venture most driver's would be able to get you to your destination without looking outside at all.
The caveat to that is passing an automatic signal at stop, which must be sone at a restricted speed - defined as a speed at which you can stop short of an obstruction. Straight track, sunny day that speed may be 50-60kph maybe more, for an ECP-equipped train. Curves in the rain or fog you might be down to 10 if you feel it safe to move at all on a pneumatic train.[/quote]  


I will disagree with part of this reply because there were staff, usually Fettler's appointed as 'Fog Signalers' who were called out when needed.
Also the regulations contained instructions for Detonators to be placed at signals or outside the Signal Box in foggy weather in lieu of a flagman.
Obviously on a heavy rising grades, a Driver would have to maintain a suitable speed to avoid 'sticking up' but otherwise, they would reduce their speed  depending on the prevailing conditions.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

How did passengers board or alight the narrow gauge trains at Colac, Wangaratta and Moe? The signal diagrams for the era don't show any platforms. Upper Ferntree Gully had a platform. Colac and Moe would have required crossing the main line.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

How did passengers board or alight the narrow gauge trains at Colac, Wangaratta and Moe? The signal diagrams for the era don't show any platforms. Upper Ferntree Gully had a platform. Colac and Moe would have required crossing the main line.
kitchgp
Neither Wangaratta or Colac had NG platforms, the yard surface was built up to just below the head of the rails and the carriages have a step on there sides to allow passengers to get in.
Colac did not have an assigned passenger area, a siding closest to the station was used. I believe there were plans to rearrange the yard and put a platform in but this was never done.

woodford
  BrentonGolding Deputy Commissioner

Location: Kollingwued when I'm workin', Maldon when I'm Trainin'
And now for something completely different . . .

When the line to Ballarat via Bacchus Marsh was built, it was the start of the main line to Adelaide, and was single line.
The Bendigo line which, by comparison went nowhere, was double line.

Why?
Bendigo was where the gold was.
br30453
There was also a lot of gold coming out of Forrest Creek (Castlemaine) which is why when you look on a map the line makes a noticeable deviation from Elphinstone, though the tunnel to The Maine and then heads back in the other direction towards Harcourt. The original plan was for the line to run direct from Elphi to Harcourt following a similar alignment to the Old Calder with a branch back from Harcourt to Castlemaine (due to the hills between Elphinstone and Castlemaine) but the good burghers of Castlemaine successfully lobbied for the deviation due to the enormous wealth of the town. This resulted in a much more expensive alignment including the Elphinstone Tunnel and added a good deal of running time to each and every Bendigo train with the obvious bonus of added fuel costs.

One can only imagine what a different place Castlemaine would be today without the railway, presumably the branch from Harcourt would be long closed!

The rest of the story of the Bendigo line is tied up with the port of Echuca and the Colony of Victoria's desire to win the river trade from NSW and stop it being taken out by Paddle Steamer via the Port of Goolwa in South Australia.

Started as a private project by the Melbourne, Mount Alexander and Murray River Railway Company (note the last part of that name) it was taken over by the colonial government when funds ran dry. The line to Bendigo was designed and built to British Mainline standards and it's construction almost bankrupted the colony which may be why no further attempts were made to replicate it's design!

BG
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

And now for something completely different . . .

When the line to Ballarat via Bacchus Marsh was built, it was the start of the main line to Adelaide, and was single line.
The Bendigo line which, by comparison went nowhere, was double line.

Why?
Valvegear

The first line to Ballarat was from Geelong, completed in the 1860s, about the same time as Bendigo. It was double line and had bluestone bridges and station buildings. The line via Bacchus Marsh wasn't completed until the 1880s, a different era. The Geelong - Ballarat line was mostly singled in the 1930s, although some sections were done earlier, eg Moorabool Viaduct problems.

From the Victorian Railway Resources site:
http://www.vrhistory.com/Locations/index.htm
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

Neither Wangaratta or Colac had NG platforms, the yard surface was built up to just below the head of the rails...........................
woodford

Thanks. It appears Moe was the same.

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