Questions that you've always been too embarrassed to ask

 
  allan Chief Commissioner

So why was (most of) the Adelaide tram system standard gauge? I well remember seeing a tram going into Islington Works on a truck...

Come to think of it, why a standard gauge system in Melbourne?

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
So why was (most of) the Adelaide tram system standard gauge? I well remember seeing a tram going into Islington Works on a truck...

Come to think of it, why a standard gauge system in Melbourne?
allan
Yes, the original Glenelg Railway was BG and converted to SG for the electric tram
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Victorian Railways Trams
BG: St Kilda - Brighton Beach
SG: Sandringham - Black Rock - Beaumaris

From what I can glean from various sources, the first VR tram line from St Kilda to Brighton Beach was built under pressure from the Premier Sir Thomas Bent (Bent by name; Bent by nature) and opened in 1906. Bent is generally accepted as being corrupt and wanted the line for his land developments. It was one of the first electric trams in Melbourne and referred to as a Street Railway by the VR. Other trams in the area at the time would have been SG cable trams. It was physically connected to the St Kilda rail line, which was used to transfer the trams to either Jolimont or Newport workshops (depending on which source you read) for servicing. I don't know how this was done given the 600V/1500V thing and the fact the St Kilda line wasn't electrified until about 1920. About a year after the service opened a fire destroyed the Elwood depot and all the trams. Some secondhand SG trams were purchased from Sydney and altered to run on BG trucks, salvaged from the fire, within 10 days.

The Sandringham to Black Rock line wasn't opened until 1919, by which time there were other SG electric tramways in Melbourne (and Thomas Bent was long gone). The Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) was formed in 1919.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Early trams tended to be imported, standard designs while railways followed the custom designed path from the start
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Sorry Radioman, BG trams or trains (or in any other way, shape or form) is anathema to me. I am aware of how it developed in Victoria and someone(s) should have been hung drawn and quartered long ago as a result. A few today who are still hell bent on its retention should be treated similarly, of course.

Granted, the VR St Kilda network commenced long before the M & M T B but to do other than adopt the gauge of the various other tram operators in Melbourne just seems isolationist at best and madness at worst to me.

I can accept that there were, no doubt, reasons for the VR building and running the line but the adoption of BG seems like the madness that prevailed in the 1850s between Victoria and NSW only in this case between Spencer Street and Spring Streets perhaps. Did we have idiot politicians then as we have now?

Seems a bit like privatisation of suburban rail and the destruction of commonality that went with it like the modification of the Comengs into two inoperable together groups. Change/variation simply for the sake of it.
YM-Mundrabilla
Why should Victoria be hung,drawn and quartered for this when there was originally agreement between all the states  (particularly Vic and NSW) to be broad gauge then after Vic had laid track and purchased equipment NSW got a new Chief Engineer who was English and change his mind for NSW.

When these decisions were being made even England had yet to standardise to what is now called Standard Gauge. It still had some 7ft gauge main lines
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
What is the origin of the term Standard Gauge? In other words, who said so? There was a veritable plethora of gauges everywhere.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Why should Victoria be hung, drawn and quartered for this when there was originally agreement between all the states (particularly Vic and NSW) to be broad gauge then after Vic had laid track and purchased equipment NSW got a new Chief Engineer who was English and change his mind for NSW.
HardWorkingMan
Not this zombie meme again... Victorian colonial Lieutenant-Governor LaTrobe was fully aware that NSW had changed its gauge to 1435mm before he made the decision on choice of uniform gauge for railways in the colony of Victoria.

From "Australia's mixed gauge railway system: a reassessment of its origins" by John Mills, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 2010-06-1:
https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Australia's+mixed+gauge+railway+system%3a+a+reassessment+of+its+origins.-a0228508618

Many writers, when explaining Victoria's choice of the 5ft 3in gauge, have noted that by the time the committee reported, Victorian railway companies had already placed orders for locomotives and rolling stock at the 5ft 3in gauge. They have further noted that the choice of 5ft 3in was motivated by the need to protect those companies' investments. These writers include Australian Year Book, (32) Pratt, (33) Coghlan, (34) Denniss, (35) Matthews, (36) Kain (37) and Australian Heritage Council. (38) These writers all appear to have assumed that the Victorian railway companies' orders for locomotives and rolling stock were based solely on the New South Wales precedent choice of the 5ft 3in gauge prior to Victoria's becoming autonomous, and prior to New South Wales' reversion to 4ft 8 1/2in.

This assumption appears to be incorrect. Lieutenant-Governor LaTrobe was presented with an unconstrained choice of a rail gauge for Victoria in February/March 1853. He sought advice from Victoria's three railway companies, but their advice was conflicting, and LaTrobe made an individual choice of 5ft 3in. He communicated that choice to Victoria's railway companies at the end of the last week in March 1853.

Much of the evidence for these assertions can be found in the Report of the Select Committee referred to above. This report included copies of correspondence from the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales advising LaTrobe of New South Wales' choice of the 4ft 8 1/2in, (2 February 1853), and from LaTrobe advising the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales that he, LaTrobe, 'cannot feel himself at liberty to advocate adoption of the narrow gauge' (4ft 8 1/2in). This letter was dated 28 July 1853, and indicated that LaTrobe's decision to adopt the 5ft 3in gauge for Victoria was made in advance and independent of the recommendation of his Select Committee.

...

It now seems clear that the select committee which LaTrobe established provided him with an ex-post justification of his selection of the 5ft 3in gauge. There is no record that any student of Australian rail history consulted the minute book of the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Company, the prime original source. Had they done so, LaTrobe's commitment to a gauge of 5ft 3in before the placement of such orders would be clear. The connection to the New South Wales precedent would have been clear, and it would have been clear that LaTrobe's choice of gauge was unconstrained.
Australia's mixed gauge railway system: a reassessment of its origins
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

I think this is over-simplifying things by ignoring:
1. the confusion caused by NSW's initial indecision about  adopting SG or BG; and
2. NSW not subsequently converting to 5'3", despite requests and the recommendations of its   Engineer-in-Chief.

This 1906 paper is a good read:

https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/24373/305903_UDS2013255-16-0016.pdf?sequence=1

As the first steam railway in Australia was 5'3", why didn't the others follow suit?
  allan Chief Commissioner

What is the origin of the term Standard Gauge? In other words, who said so? There was a veritable plethora of gauges everywhere.
Valvegear
"Stephenson's Standard Gauge"... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_gauge
  allan Chief Commissioner

So why was (most of) the Adelaide tram system standard gauge? I well remember seeing a tram going into Islington Works on a truck...

Come to think of it, why a standard gauge system in Melbourne?
Yes, the original Glenelg Railway was BG and converted to SG for the electric tram
Pressman
Ah, but the broad gauge trams  were, as best I can recall, all at Pt Adelaide!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I think this is over-simplifying things by ignoring:
1. the confusion caused by NSW's initial indecision about  adopting SG or BG; and
2. NSW not subsequently converting to 5'3", despite requests and the recommendations of its   Engineer-in-Chief.

This 1906 paper is a good read:

https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/24373/305903_UDS2013255-16-0016.pdf?sequence=1

As the first steam railway in Australia was 5'3", why didn't the others follow suit?
kitchgp
Thanks kitchgp.
What a brilliant and clinical document, written by a professional engineer without fear or favour.
One cannot avoid being impressed, not only with the breadth of content, but with the magnificent use of the English language. There is no spin, jargon, gibberish or acronyms. One does not see documents written like this these days.
A great find and a good reference on a lot of rail topics as well as the gauge of the rails.
Regards
YM
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Interesting stuff. Great research by Melbourne Uni (guess that's what universities are about).
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Hello everyone, I am new here. I can't find Forum Terms & Conditions/Rules. Can anyone please help me. Thanks in advance.
montales
Go to  HELP on the list on the options bar.
T&C are the rules for posting etc, nothing to do with anything Railway if thats what your thinking.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I'm curious why all steam locomotives on UK railways had tenders with wheels fixed directly to the frames*, rather than bogie tenders like everywhere else in the world.

Their small capacity meant frequent stops for water and coal that could have been otherwise avoided. Now I appreciate that some express locomotives had two tenders coupled together to reduce the need for stops and other locomotives deployed water scoops to pick up water from troughs built into the track, but wouldn't bogie tenders have been a simpler, easier and cheaper solution?

* An exception was the 400 American wartime S160 class imported to overcome wartime shortages, but they weren't designed for the UK, but rather as quick and cheap engines with a short lifespan that could be deployed anywhere, a bit like our Australian Standard Garratts (and they were even more flawed than the ASG's).
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
They would not fit the turntables if the were longer bogie wheelbase and they did not need the coal capacity.



RAYMOND
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Thanks.

At least that is a reason, even if it's a slightly lame reason.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks.

At least that is a reason, even if it's a slightly lame reason.
Bogong
Another aspect to consider is Britain is a physically small country with a large population and the population was very much county bound so most journeys were short. Non stop services used troffs and with a stopping service it would only take moments to swap an engine.
The whole country is quite fertile and nearly all food was locally produced so no real need of long distance freight for food. Manufacturing was very high most freight for these though was short distances to and from local ports.

Its also worth remembering Britain had a mass manufacturing economy since at least the 15th century, so the country was used to shipping goods locally.

Another point is Britain was known to produce locomotives with a low water and fuel consumption, this was often bewteen 2/3rds and half of the consumption of most american machines.

woodford
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
When Brunnell laid out the early Railways, he tried to achieve the flatest, straightest lines he could because the loco's of the day which could run fast, were not good on grades.
Remember the vehicles of the day that were used were often wagons hauled by horses and there is a limit to how big you can make them to be hauled by  horses.
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Ok..

So what defines the East end and West end of a rail carriage?

Did a bit of a Goggle and Terms search and came up with naught..

TIA
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ok..

So what defines the East end and West end of a rail carriage?

Did a bit of a Goggle and Terms search and came up with naught..

TIA
cabidass
Don't know about carriages. The only East end and West end in regular Victorian Railways terms in my day related to Flinders Street where the East end was the Swanston Street/Princes Bridge/Richmond end and the West end was the Spencer Street end. These terms were in regular use and understood by all in those days. Carriages, of course, had no such descriptions in those days although the 3 car units on 7 car Taits were always attached/detached on/off the East end.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Ok..

So what defines the East end and West end of a rail carriage?

Did a bit of a Goggle and Terms search and came up with naught..

TIA
Don't know about carriages. The only East end and West end in regular Victorian Railways terms in my day related to Flinders Street where the East end was the Swanston Street/Princes Bridge/Richmond end and the West end was the Spencer Street end. These terms were in regular use and understood by all in those days. Carriages, of course, had no such descriptions in those days although the 3 car units on 7 car Taits were always attached/detached on/off the East end.
YM-Mundrabilla
V/Line carriages follow the same as at Spencer Street trains head either East (East End) or elsewhere (west) when leaving Spencer Street (sorry Southern Cross) and their carriages or sets are rarely turned around.

As far as I am aware Metro don't define their sets as having east and west ends as their trains are regularly turned around by traversing the City Loop making it meaningless.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ok..

So what defines the East end and West end of a rail carriage?

Did a bit of a Goggle and Terms search and came up with naught..

TIA
Don't know about carriages. The only East end and West end in regular Victorian Railways terms in my day related to Flinders Street where the East end was the Swanston Street/Princes Bridge/Richmond end and the West end was the Spencer Street end. These terms were in regular use and understood by all in those days. Carriages, of course, had no such descriptions in those days although the 3 car units on 7 car Taits were always attached/detached on/off the East end.
V/Line carriages follow the same as at Spencer Street trains head either East (East End) or elsewhere (west) when leaving Spencer Street (sorry Southern Cross) and their carriages or sets are rarely turned around.

As far as I am aware Metro don't define their sets as having east and west ends as their trains are regularly turned around by traversing the City Loop making it meaningless.
HardWorkingMan
What is the reason/significance/importance for Vline carriages having east and west ends. Do V/locities and Sprinters have east and west ends?
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Per http://www.pjv101.net/fts/u01/as441.gif

Have seen on international carriages also. Just didn't know how they picked which side was East/West.

Mentioned in here too with regard to Buffet installation under Shell 19 and Carriage Sets.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VicRail_N_type_carriage

I queried it as in the graphic, I presumed that East would be to the right (like a conventional map).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
So are we now talking of east and west ends and north and south sides?
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

So are we now talking of east and west ends and north and south sides?
YM-Mundrabilla

My question was, what defines the 'east' and 'west' of a train carriage.

At first I was thinking east was towards the train. But now I see that (obviously) wouldn't make sense.

So yeah I was just wondering how they chose which side was east or west. And mainly cause it was written on the above schematic, but on the left side of the diagram.

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