When were the Red Rattlers actually withrawn from revenue service?

 
  Veyron407 Junior Train Controller


I know that they were 'officially' withdrawn from service on January 12, 1992. However, I know that they kept running revenue services on the Eastern Suburbs Line for some time after that, and i've also heard that they ran revenue services up the Metropolitan Goods Line to Enfield Yard for a number of years after they were 'officially' withdrawn.

I've seen several different withdrawl dates on the Internet, some say they were finally withdrawn by 1994, whilst others say red rattlers operated revenue services as late as 1996.

Does anyone know when they were completely withdrawn from revenue services?

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  V67 Station Staff


I think by December 1992, most of the red rattlers were withdrawn, in fact quite a few had been withdrawn already prior to the introduction of the Tangara. The 1958 built Comeng cars were withdrawn in late 1993, with an apparent exception for set W2, painted in the second Zoo train livery, which was placed out of service in August 1994.

As for 1996, I think that refers to the 1957 built U-set interurban cars which were withdrawn by November 1996.

  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Around 1991 there was an attempt to withdraw them with a new timetable, but they had to bring them back for a while.
  TassieRefugee Station Master

I think the last service was July 1994
  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The last all-single deck suburban electric trains were withdrawn after the evening peak hour on 10 January 1992.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.



  DHT 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.
  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson




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"



Actually, I'm fairly sure they NEVER ran on the ESR (apart from a rare gunzel special), right from Day One (June 23rd, 1979). I think the last great stronghold was Sector 3.

  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia





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"



Actually, I'm fairly sure they NEVER ran on the ESR (apart from a rare gunzel special), right from Day One (June 23rd, 1979). I think the last great stronghold was Sector 3.

"TheLoadedDog™™"

IIRC there was a tacit implication by the SRA when the ESR opened that only "new" trains would run on that line - as in no rattlers. I'm fairly sure that was the case, with the exception of the gunzel run that TLD™ mentions.

Trivia fact: the abovementioned gunzel run actually stopped at the never-quite-was site of Woollahra 8)

  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia

Yes, the original red rattlers are the Taits & Dogboxes of the Melbourne suburban system, known as such AFAIK from the late 1940s and perhaps before that.

And yes, stolen by the Sydney media in the 1980s or thereabouts.

And thirdly you're right about the namesticking; that seems to be an Aussie truism: the more inaccurate the moniker, the more likely it is to stick Rolling Eyes
  Throughwestmail Train Controller




Yes, the original red rattlers are the Taits & Dogboxes of the Melbourne suburban system, known as such AFAIK from the late 1940s and perhaps before that.

And yes, stolen by the Sydney media in the 1980s or thereabouts.

And thirdly you're right about the namesticking; that seems to be an Aussie truism: the more inaccurate the moniker, the more likely it is to stick Rolling Eyes
"wurx"
At last Wurx, I have been waiting for someone to post the information that you have. This term was pinched by one of our state politicians who could not come up with a better name and the railway hating media ran with it. The single deckers had the most comfortable seats of any suburban cars that we have had, and the stupid part of them being called "Red Rattlers"was that this happened after a large number of them had Beclawat windows fitted, so no more rattling windows. I had been travelling on them since 1967 and had never heard anyone call them "Red Rattlers" until the concerted effort to get rid of them by the media.

  ivahri Train Controller


I also thought the term was very unfair and inaccurate. It gave the impression that these trains were frail & ricketty... nothing could be further from the truth. Yes the original windows rattled, normally from the blast of a passing train, but they also had metallic sun louvres that you could lower on a bright sunny day. And as others have pointed out the seats were more comfortable than the modern seats with plenty of leg room too. And the funny thing is that none of us died from the lack of air-conditioning, but then we could open the window without the overwhelming urge to jump out of it or try to amputate a limb. We didn't need to be namby-pamby'ed... not sure how the current risk management people could live with such exposure to litigation (and stupidity).

Cheers

Richard

  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane

Good riddance to the red rattlers. They broke down all the time, the seats were often broken. They had no acceleration.  They were as loud as anything - too loud for conversation when trying to ascend a hill.

Perhaps they became a shadow of their former selves due to lack of maintenance, but I'm perfectly happy they are gone.

  C3600 Train Controller

Location: Coniston
That maybe so but I would give my left nut to go back in time to ride in a STANDARD SET and sink into those comfy seats, slide up the window or better still standing by the open doorway while listening to the growl of the motors on take off just one more time.
  ivahri Train Controller


You might experience a few mechanical breakdowns by the time you reach 70 years of age... they earnt their keep & I doubt anyone could argue that they didn't give back to taxpayers every cent invested in them.

And let's see how much rattling a Millenium or Waratah does 70 years from now. Most will be pots & pans long before then.

Richard

  ivahri Train Controller

C3600... or the sound of their wheels spinning on a wet day and oily track....
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train



That maybe so but I would give my left nut to go back in time to ride in a STANDARD SET and sink into those comfy seats, slide up the window or better still standing by the open doorway while listening to the growl of the motors on take off just one more time.

"C3600"


Or sprinting for the train down the steps and jumping into the carriage after it's started moving off! Used to really enjoy standing in the doorway watching the world go by at the end of a hot summer's day. Not so keen in rain as the water would pour in through the doorway. But, in contrast to the comments above, I believe "rattler" was a very appropriate name for them. That wave of crack/chattering of the windows banging in their guides as another train went by in the opposite direction made the name really appropriate.



  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia



That maybe so but I would give my left nut to go back in time to ride in a STANDARD SET and sink into those comfy seats, slide up the window or better still standing by the open doorway while listening to the growl of the motors on take off just one more time.

"C3600"

Back in the days of my misspent youth, when I was a white collar wurxer back in the early nineteen haties, it used to be my joy to stand adjacent to the rattler doorway in the 3rd carriage - that way I could see the upper quadrant signals fall down to danger as the train wended its way from Chester Hill to Wynyard 8)

  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson


Best memory was of a ride around the City Inner in one, holding on by one hand, near the wide open door.  The invincible feeling of youth was finally slightly threatened, as the interior lights weren't working, and between the Quay and Wynyard, the tunnel had no lighting.  All I knew was that there was empty void to my left, and that I should just HANG ON.

Oh for a chance to do it again, though.  

Likewise, coming into Central, and leaping off - as a matter of teenage pride - wit the train still moving.  One time, I misjudged it, and ended up running with my knees up near my chin, like driving at 40kmh in first gear, to avoid the ignominious disgrace of a faceplant on the platform.  I finally regained control and, of course, kept running towards the stairs, as if to show that I meant to do that all along.

The red sets were a pure joy for all the senses.  It's hard to fathom anybody being happy they've gone.

  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
I'm appalled that, in all of this, no-one has mentioned the wonderful pulsating sound of their compressors randomly firing up while stopped at a station. In 2005 I was overjoyed to discover that the same bit of kit was fitted to a tube train in London. Surely someone has a recording of it?
  ivahri Train Controller


Loaded Dog I used to do the same thing at Strathfield station to get down the ramp before all the "slow traffic" got in front of me... no one batted an eyelid in those days to schoolkids jumping off before the train stopped. Now? Could you imagine the uproar.

Oldfart, I was going to but I couldn't describe the sound in words... there has to be video or an audio recording somewhere.

Cheers,

Richard

  ivahri Train Controller

Another thing no-one has mentioned is the sight of the light covers hanging open... in the days of the incandescent light bulbs the light covers would often be left swinging open...
  hunslet1915 Chief Train Controller




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"
   

With the opening of the Eastern Suburbs Railway back in 1979, all services between Bondi Junction, Cronulla and Waterfall were scheduled to be operated by double deck stock.    For all intents, the use of single deck stock was banned, although there was no reason operationally for this to be the case - just political to be able to say that one part of the network was "all double deck stock".

When Approval was finally obtained for the single deck Heritage Electric Train to operate as part of an excursion over the Eastern Suburbs Railway, Officialdom decreed that the special train should be preceeded or followed by (I forget which now!) by a 46 class electric locomotive, "just in case of failure!".   I have a photo of the 46 class proceeding into the Illawarra Relief tunnel near Erskinville, and of the Heritage Electric Train passing through the site of Woollahra "station".   On a later occasion, the original single deck "Zoo Train" was able to make the trip unescorted to Bondi Junction - I also have some photos of the train at Bondi Junction station.

I am aware of only one occasion where a single deck (suburban) set made it to the ESR tracks.  Details are now vague, but memory suggests that it was on a holiday weekend and as a result of a set failure of the normal double deck set.

Perhaps the most unusual single deck set to operate over the line was 9-car end-platform DUB.63, hauled by double 73 class.   This train made numerous journeys over the line prior to its official opening ... it became a very popular operation, run by "the Railways" as a public relations exercise.

Possibly even a more unusual occasion occurred when the "Sydney Express" overnight train from Melbourne was diverted to the ESR in error at Erskinville Junction.   The train crew accepted the turnout signal and the train proceeded as far Central 24 (underground) platform where it was terminated.   Being no turnback facility for trains in this direction at Central 24, the Express had to be towed back on the wrong lin e back to Erskinville Junction, before being able to continue on its more usual path into Platform 1.

Hunslet

  C3600 Train Controller

Location: Coniston
The W class heritage trams in Melbourne on the free city loop have compressors that sound almost exactly like a standard set compressor.

And yes the chugging of the compressors sounded more like the train was catching it's breath as it pulled up at Redfern after a quick run in from Strathfield.

And the warm glow from the incandescent lighting around the quay or the distinct interior smell they all carried much like an old Holden.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia



I'm appalled that, in all of this, no-one has mentioned the wonderful pulsating sound of their compressors randomly firing up while stopped at a station. In 2005 I was overjoyed to discover that the same bit of kit was fitted to a tube train in London. Surely someone has a recording of it?

"Oldfart"

It was a much slower sound than the compressors that S-sets and all of their descendants had. It was a sort of tick-a-tick-a-tick-a, for want of a more scientific description.

I do recall that a few years prior to their demise, some rattlers had the faster sounding "S-set" type of compressor retrofitted.

  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson




I'm appalled that, in all of this, no-one has mentioned the wonderful pulsating sound of their compressors randomly firing up while stopped at a station. In 2005 I was overjoyed to discover that the same bit of kit was fitted to a tube train in London. Surely someone has a recording of it?
"Oldfart"



Yeah, fantastic sound.  It was even better on the U boats.  Mighta been because, at a place like Gosford, you'd be waiting a while, and there was less background noise from crowds, loudspeakers etc, so the compressors seemed quite loud.

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