All things Red Sets "Red Rattlers" and W sets "Sputniks"

 
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

I thought of creating a thread to cover the general discussion of standard red sets "red rattlers" and W sets so as not to clutter the F1 thread, which is probably best reserved to discussion strictly on F1 and it's rides. I'm not entirely sure what more I may add to this first post at this stage, however for now, I will post some interesting videos found on youtube showing the standard reds and w sets in revenue service.

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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following is a series of videos posted by "tassiebaz" taken during December 1991 and January 1992 during the last days of the single decker red sets. I've just binge watched a bunch of these videos on youtube and saw that a number of the preserved cars can be seen in action in the very last days or months before being withdrawn and thought it would be interesting to note them down below and the time at which they appeared during the video. This may be of interest to anyone with a general interest in trains or the reds sets, but also those more closely affiliated with F1 or the preserved Sydney Electric fleet to see some of their cars in revenue service.

All credit to tassiebaz for sharing these wonderful videos, which brought back a number of childhood memories.

Last Days of Red Sets Central and Suburban Locations

T4801 - Appears to possibly be T4801, first DD Tulloch seen on W set (2nd car) pulling into Central platform 19 (0:42) for a Campbelltown via East Hills Service

C3426 - seen leading a train into Platform 18 at Central (1:08) for a Penrith service (Redfern, Burwood, Strathfield, Lidcombe, etc). Interesting that this train has mix of 2 and 4 motor cars as well as 3 DD Tulloch trailers and a single deck trailer

T4554 - the first trailer seen after leading motor car with train departing Central Platform 17 (2:20) on an 8-car train comprised of all single deckers. This car is also seen again on the same set (2nd last carriage) pulling into Central platform 17 (5:38)

W1 Set - Not preserved, but interesting to note the Sesqui Zoo train set at (3:05) departing Central Platform 20, probably not long before it got it's Sesqui 1992 livery. I had the chance briefly to ride this train in the "1992 Sesqui" power car (C3710).

C3237 - rear power car of all single deck set heading past Hornsby station towards city (empty from sheds?) at (6:55) Not sure if 3237 still exists.

C7396 - leading power car departing Summer Hill for the city at (16:49) on set M6. The other 3 power cars are all Tullochs.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqUUHwsZFrk


Last Days of Red Sets Underground

C7485 - leading power car on M set (M1?) pulling into Museum station Platform 2 at (8:45) with an East Hills service, next stop Central.

T4790 - 3rd last carriage of train at Wynyard station platform 4 (13:08)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=779aDlWuzmU


Last Days of Red Sets Circular Quay and Harbour Bridge

C3702 - Rear power car on set W5 departing Circular Quay station platform 1 (0:32)

C3104 - leading power car of a mixed bag 8 car set of 2 and 4 motor cars and single and DD tulloch trailers departing Milsons Point and heading over the bridge (3:23).

C7396 - trailing power car on set M6 at Circular Quay station. (7:58). This same set seen in a previous video at Summer Hill



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnwMOxTdTLI


Last Days of Red Sets Rides on Board
- Shows ride on C3726 through city circle loop
- Shows ride on C3256 from Wynyard to Milsons Point



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ksR47ARoI4


Last Days of Red Sets - Driver's cab ride in January 1992 from Flemington to Wynyard



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAU0rDCx0OA
  feuraxt Beginner

I've been lurking on these forums for a while, and I always get amused when I see some poster says that the term "red rattler" wasn't in use until some time in the 80s or 90s.

I first arrived in Sydney in December 1978.  When being shown around the city by my relations that month I was first introduced to the Sydney Train network by my cousin at West Ryde station.  Referrring to the incoming single deck red train, he said "they call these red rattlers".

During the subsequent 4 years I at Sydney University I rode the train almost every day from Lakemba to Redfern.  My fellow students and I always referred to the old red trains as red rattlers.

The term may have originated in Melbourne, but by the late 70s at least some Sydneysiders were using it.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
our red rattlers were/are better!
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

I loved riding the City Circle on the old girls with the doors open and the wind flowing through the car.
The whine as the motors wound up to full speed and then the hiss and squeal of the brakes were like a symphony to me.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

our red rattlers were/are better!
Dangersdan707

Oh really. How many have you got left?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
plenty, just go look in the right places...
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

tressteleg1 has contributed lots of interesting videos of transport history not only in Australia but around the world. The following video was one focused on the parcel vans including the STM/SPER tour on 22 March 1986. This can all been seen from 4:40 onward. This tour featured 3 preserved historically significant cars and by virtue of being part of this tour, added a little extra to their own history as being part of the last electric working over the Ropes Creek line which has since been mostly lost and developed over. Part of the consist was C3102 the oldest remaining steel power car which was part of the first electric train in 1926, a wooden trailer T4279 and Parcel Van C3653 (then numbered 3773), which was one of the only 3 purpose built bi-directional steel vans by Walsh Island Dockyard and entered service 09 November 1928 as C3903. C3902 entered service on the same day and C3901 a week prior. All the other parcel vans which followed (Bradfield and standard 2 motor red cars) were conversions. C3779 (3659) which was also part of the tour was actually the final conversion of a passenger motor car to a bi-directional parcel van in late 1977.

The following is a link to the PDF SPER Newsletter covering news from 1986 and below a list of notes from it in case the link or file were to disappear which covers details of the tour.

DOC LINK: http://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/members.old/SPER_News/SPER%20News%201986.pdf

January 1986 (page 4 / 33 of PDF)

Proposed Rail Tour
- Mentions that Friday 21 March 1986 will see last passenger trains operate on St Marys to Ropes Creek branch line
- Mentions rumours of closure of Sandown and Carlingford branch line, the latter due to condition of Parramatta River bridge and former due to proposal by Goodyear to cease manufacturing tyres at their factory near Sandown
- Mentions that Ropes Creek is not a place to be wearing cameras given its location on Defence Department property and the Munitions Filling plant.
- Plans to organise suburban rail tour for Saturday 22 March 1986 to cover Ropes Creek line for the last time

Rail Tour Progress (page 6 / 33 of PDF)
- An application to operate proposed rail tour on 22 March 1986 submitted to the S.R.A. and the train is to have as part of it's consist 2 parcel vans, wooden trailer T4279, a steel trailer and steel power car C3102
- Tour train to depart Central at 12.05pm or 11.49 via Circular Quay travelling to Carlingford, Ropes Creek, Riverstone, East Hills and North Sydney Car sidings, returning to Central at 6.34pm


March 1986 (page 12 / 33 PDF)
- Mentions the train consist designed to recreate as near as possible the mixed parcel van/passenger train which until October 1985 operated on Ropes Creek and Riverstone lines.
- The last regular passenger service on Ropes Creek branch line operated on Friday 21 March 1986 and the tour train was the last electric train to Ropes Creek the following day
- Mentions the overhead power to be turned off after the rail tour trip and wiring to be removed
- Branch will then be cut back to Dunheved and will become a single track siding.
- Mentions that they have to charge a high price to cover the costs of the tour and must have at least 115 full fare paying passengers to break even.
- Mentions the consist to have 2 ordinary parcel vans, wooden trailer T4279, a steel trailer without Beclawat windows and power car C3102 which has been carefully looked after by the S.R.A. and retains the original Chocolate and Cream interior and red exterior with yellow lines.
- Any profits from tour to go towards the STM's new site.


May 1986 (page 19/33 PDF)

Rail Tour Report
- The tour train represented the former electric mixed train P1 which operated early morning runs on Ropes Creek and Riverstone lines.
- Mentions that the additional steel trailer (with original windows) was required to cater for extra passengers.
- Consist was C3102 (lowest numbered power car in service), T4279 (preserved wooden trailer set aside for RTM), T4391 (Standard steel trailer), Parcel Van C3773 and Parcel Van C3779 (the only parcel van with power operated doors).
- Cost of tour, including cost to pay Traffic Inspector to accompany train and staff at Dunheved and Ropes Creek was $1904.00 which was the most expensive tour operated by STM to that date.
- A total profit of just over $600.00 was made by STM from the tour





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMpMIMzzRFI


I posted this in a Ropes Creek thread but appropriate to post it here. Preserved C3653 during it's duties as part of the mixed P1 train back in the day.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133770415@N04/34737296471/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133770415@N04/34868425945/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133770415@N04/25625420735/in/pool-2772838@N24/


Hopefully when the Carlingford line shuts down for conversion to the planned light rail route, F1 may get the chance to run some shuttles on the last day.
  Colonel Leon Junior Train Controller
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

This is an excellent video posted by Bevan Wall on the last days of usage of parcel vans in 1992 - by this stage used only for occasional trips to collect rubbish around the network. The scenes from 6:15 onward show the preserved Parcel Van C3653 (used for a time as Brake Test Car) paired with C3658 running around the network.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a61hmnkafVs
  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

It was NEVER used as a Brake test car as we had a purpose built Brake test car.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Another great video with Bevan Wall showing single deck red sets on the Chullora line in 1992. Interesting view also from 3:20 which shows the Flemington MC with stabled u-set cars and at 3:50 an 8-car u-set heads west towards Lidcombe with a Blue Mountains service. At 19:10 the leading red set car is the preserved C7485.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzexOzTDHDQ
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
It was NEVER used as a Brake test car as we had a purpose built Brake test car.
Clyde Goodwin2
3653 was used as the Brake test Car from 1993 through to 2002. It still exists - stored at Redfern - complete with the brake test windows and equipment still fitted, if you want to see it.

It last ran as part of my "Wedding tour" on 16th March 2002.

Oh, and the last series of videos above, posted by myself about 10 years ago and originally recorded on VHS when the reports went to air in 1992.

ZM
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

https://www.facebook.com/CAHSoc/posts/1608124895973260

The above is a post about F1 making a special appearance at Campbelltown railway station on Friday May 4, 2018 at 12:20pm where it will remain for 8 minutes to mark the 50th anniversary of electric trains to Campbelltown (May 4, 1968). The inaugural set was a W set as we came to know them with the 1955 Comeng power cars and Tulloch Double Deck trailers, however at the time they were still "S" sets. There were red standard sets there too that day, including one which was a 'Souvenir Special'.

There were some questions as to which direction F1 will come from to Campbelltown (via East Hills or Granville and Liverpool), although I assume it will be the latter given that would have been the line used at the time (i think?).
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
https://www.facebook.com/CAHSoc/posts/1608124895973260

The above is a post about F1 making a special appearance at Campbelltown railway station on Friday May 4, 2018 at 12:20pm where it will remain for 8 minutes to mark the 50th anniversary of electric trains to Campbelltown (May 4, 1968). The inaugural set was a W set as we came to know them with the 1955 Comeng power cars and Tulloch Double Deck trailers, however at the time they were still "S" sets. There were red standard sets there too that day, including one which was a 'Souvenir Special'.

There were some questions as to which direction F1 will come from to Campbelltown (via East Hills or Granville and Liverpool), although I assume it will be the latter given that would have been the line used at the time (i think?).
SydneyCider
C'town via East Hills. Can't be on it tomorrow, committed elsewhere.

Depart Eveleigh 1110 , Via Gate Road and East Hills, Glenfield 1157, Campbelltown Arrive 1220-1228 then proceed to Macarthur, Arrive 1231. Depart Macarthur 1240, Empty, Via East Hills and Gate Road, Eveleigh Arrive 1350.

As usual all planned at the last minute due to crewing. To those not in the know, F1's crewing entitlements sit right at the very bottom of Sydney Trains' priorities. We only get crew if all public services are crewed first and there are still crew available. 2 Drivers, Guard and fitter from Flemo and also Train Manager. Oh yes and Door Mons if any pax are to be carried.

Next outing will be the Transport Heritage Expo. More news http://redsetf1.com.au - go to the bottom and click on the photo under "latest news".
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
C'town via East Hills. Can't be on it tomorrow, committed elsewhere.

Depart Eveleigh 1110 , Via Gate Road and East Hills, Glenfield 1157, Campbelltown Arrive 1220-1228 then proceed to Macarthur, Arrive 1231. Depart Macarthur 1240, Empty, Via East Hills and Gate Road, Eveleigh Arrive 1350.

As usual all planned at the last minute due to crewing. To those not in the know, F1's crewing entitlements sit right at the very bottom of Sydney Trains' priorities. We only get crew if all public services are crewed first and there are still crew available. 2 Drivers, Guard and fitter from Flemo and also Train Manager. Oh yes and Door Mons if any pax are to be carried.

Next outing will be the Transport Heritage Expo. More news http://redsetf1.com.au - go to the bottom and click on the photo under "latest news".
zordmaker
May the Fourth be with you.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Various photographs and articles covering the 50th anniversary celebration. For some reason I didn't think it would be made into such a big event since F1's presence seemed somewhat last minute, but a big turn out and lots of happy people, great to see

https://www.macarthuradvertiser.com.au/story/5381805/historic-moment-as-city-marks-50th-anniversary/

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/macarthur/campbelltown-celebrated-50-years-since-rail-electrification/news-story/8d2170de9aff242834d6b61569c9b0fe?nk=18bbccb1e93e67251d2fb885e4b1c329-1525431709 (includes video of arrival of train)

https://www.facebook.com/CAHSoc/?hc_ref=ARRHyIPYS_FNJsacQDL9W9mF1rb7zLd-_4SZkUQkHfPGHEwwD0o0XMFDcsguIDY7q9s

Same video as above, link to Macarthur Chronicle facebook page as posted

https://www.facebook.com/Macarthurchronicle/videos/vb.51121891134/10155355338076135/?type=2&theater
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

There has been a discussion with speed of trains recently, etc. This was a little tid bit i read in an old issue of September 1992 Railway Digest which may be interesting in regards to the W sets. Under the section "20 years ago today" mentions that:-

A special trial was made between Flemington Car Sidings and Campbelltown on 13 September 1972 to test new bogies which had been fitted to JLV test vehicle. Because of a shortage of diesel fuel and need to run the trial in excess of 65 mph (105km/h) the 46 class electric locos couldn't be used because 65 mph was the maximum permitted speed for a 46, instead suburban cars C3703 and C3711 were marshalled pantograph to pantograph to haul the special.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Full credit to William McCabe for both filming and sharing this interesting and rare footage showing the use of standard red sets to test the newly electrified line from Loftus to Waterfall posted on the facebook page of NSWRailwaysPastandPresent

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2523661977659600/

The actual first "official" electric train to Waterfall was comprised of carriages which make up the S-sets, which comes as no surprise given that they were the most modern suburban trains on the network at the time.

Information from June 1980 Trolley Wire issue Page 22 "The Sydney Scene":-

https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/members.old/Trolley_Wire/188%20-%20Trolley%20Wire%20-%20Jun%201980.pdf


WATERFALL ELECTRIFICATION
- Mentions that after being postponed at the last minute due to track bonding not being completed the first electric train to run to Waterfall under it's own power arrived there on Thursday, 5 June 1980.
- There is mention that a single deck interurban U-set reached Waterfall behind steam in 1966 and that wide suburban cars had passed through previously en route to Port Kembla for scrapping.
- The first electric train to Waterfall was made up of four 2-car sets.
- The train was comprised of (from down end) T45 (C3965-D4091), T28 (C3011-D4021), T15 (C3937-D4069), T14 (D4061-C3829).
- The last car (C3829) was noted as painted in "old" red, while the others were all unpainted.
- The island platform at Waterfall was extended at the up end to accommodate 8-car electric trains, although this work was not complete in early June and the form work on the down side was foul of wide electric loading gauge, hence the first train arrived by the up refuge loop and subsequently ran forward onto the up main then crossed onto the down line of the platform before reversing back into the up platform for departure.
- Mentions that there was insufficient wire over the up track south of the station to allow an 8-car train to clear the loop without crossing to the down line.
- A new timetable was introduced on Sunday, 6 June 1980 when the Illawarra line was integrated with the ESR with all trains to be double deck.
- Electric train services to Waterfall commencing on that same day (June 6) without ceremony.

As far as I understand, the only surviving motor car of the first "official" electric train is C3937 which is still in service on set S66.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

I first went to Sydney as a 13 year old with my late father on school holidays in January 1967. Compared to Melbourne , the Sydney Sparks certainly raced along ! I was amazed that the Motorman stood up , or if he had a seat it was a wooden four legged stool seat with no back and not attached to anything. I was worried that as the train lurched around the corners , that the driver and the stool would go one way, and the train the other !

I also remember catching a first series red train out of Central to Circular Quay , where we sat behind the driver . As the train roared into the tunnel , the dim light bulbs struggled to illuminate themselves let alone the rest of the carriage. As the driver operated the controller, the control contactors, which were located in a clear glass fronted box on the passenger side of the driver's dividing wall, illuminated the carriage in an intermittent blaze of yellow and blue , like an earlier rendition of a disco club. I was very impressed.I also loved the motor whine and the loud airbrakes .

I also observed the Newcastle trains arrive at Central, then still hauled by black with red lining C38 class Pacifics , those 4-6-4T station pilots, gleaming Class 44 Alcos , and the single deck stainless steel long distance sparks with the enormous headlights , though I was disappointed in their seats, but again they went like the clappers ( or "go like a Bondi Tram" which was still an expression of speed in those days ).

We also caught the train to North Sydney and walked back over the Sydney Harbour Bridge , and then visited the Museum in one of the Pylons.

And of course the marvellous ferries and double decker buses , pure joy to a teenager who had only ever seen this on film and had never experienced this before . The last time my Dad had been to Sydney was in WW2 , so a lot of to was new to him as well.

This might not seem such a big deal now , but for a working class family this was a much anticipated big deal then , and I have never forgotten it.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! Smile It's great that some preserved operational examples of the trains and locomotives you mentioned are around for people of all generations to enjoy. It's one thing to hear about them or watch them on video and something else when you actually see them in person and have the actual chance to ride them.


This is an interesting video perhaps not seen by some posted by THNSW for Red Set F1's unveiling back in 2015.

http://www.transportheritagensw.com.au/single-post/2015/06/30/The-night-one-of-Sydneys-beloved-Red-Rattlers-came-out-of-storage


It's even more interesting when viewing the following video you see the same locomotive, 4833, some 23 years prior, hauling red sets cars off to their ultimate fate.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP68uqtQVgY

Details on 4833 on Railpage if anyone is interested:- https://www.railpage.com.au/locos/48-class/4833

As far as I'm aware, it seems this class of locomotive was common in collecting the reds from the various depots to take them to the scrappers.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some updates and photos from NSWRailwaysPastAndPresent facebook page

Red Set car C3218 was picked up from Flemington Maintenance Center today by locomotive 4701 and taken to Eveleigh where I assume it will rejoin the F1 set in the not too distant future.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2573176136041517/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2573424219350042/
  Remy Alonso Beginner

Did the rattlers of the mid / late 20s onwards have electropneumatic brakes fitted or they did they have just basic automatic or straight air too ? Also were the bradfield cars later fitted out with EP or did they work on just automatic till the end ? Cheers
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Full credit to Semi-Retired Foamer posting these on youtube. His channel is very interesting and highly recommend a look of it, it shows various footage taken of our transport system in the 1980's and 1990's. Below is a tour of a 4-car single deck red set. Great to have people share videos such as this that would otherwise deteriorate and remain unseen.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVT_dxSNNdk

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