National Railway Museum (Split thread)

 
  ssaunders Train Controller

It's a nice local museum, but it's no national one.

Ss

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  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
It's a nice local museum, but it's no national one.

Ss
ssaunders
I'm sure you feel so much better for getting that off your chest.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
It's a nice local museum, but it's no national one.

Ss
ssaunders
So the 'Tea and Sugar' that lived it's life between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie is local to downtown Lipson Street, Port Adelaide (or even greater Adelaide) how?

Or an even better question, where is an Australian railway museum more deserving of the 'national' label?
  ssaunders Train Controller

So the 'Tea and Sugar' that lived it's life between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie is local to downtown Lipson Street, Port Adelaide (or even greater Adelaide) how?

Or an even better question, where is an Australian railway museum more deserving of the 'national' label?
Aaron

The Tea and Sugar is a local train relative to the rest of the country eg say Tassie or Qld and is displayed in the appropriate museum.

The better question is a good one, Australia doesn't have a national railway museum. Having the word national in the name does not make it so.

Perhaps in a 100 or so years we will, as national operators and network owners dispose of items over the 21st century.

Ss
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Having the word national in the name does not make it so.

Ss
ssaunders
You must be an Adelaide United supporter.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXLTqq_yOuY

About 1.20 in.....
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The Tea and Sugar is a local train relative to the rest of the country eg say Tassie or Qld and is displayed in the appropriate museum.
ssaunders
Point us in the direction of someone (aka a fool, or maybe an American - who is likely to be a fool anyway) who would regard Kalgoorlie as local to Port Augusta... 1800 to 1900km, and across a state line, that is surely within the 'local' pizza shop delivery radius.

I suppose the Indian Pacific and Ghan are local trains too?
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
It's a nice local museum, but it's no national one.

Ss
ssaunders
When you consider the fact that there are items of Rollingstock that have seen use in 5 States (not the same Vehicle) it is about as close to a 'National Railway Museum' as we will ever see in this country.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The Tea and Sugar is a local train relative to the rest of the country eg say Tassie or Qld and is displayed in the appropriate museum.

The better question is a good one, Australia doesn't have a national railway museum. Having the word national in the name does not make it so.

Perhaps in a 100 or so years we will, as national operators and network owners dispose of items over the 21st century.

Ss
ssaunders
Ask people to name famous Australian named trains and I bet along with The IP, Ghan, Southern Aurora etc they will also name the Tea and Sugar train. It is a part of Australia's national history now as it no longer runs. We never saw it in Adelaide it only ran across the Nullabor from Pt Augusta to Kalgoorlie and vice a versa. It ran nearly a quarter of the way or more across Australia and in two states as well. That is more national than most. The next one that comes close would be the Overland operating in 2 states as the same train. I don't count the gauge in Victoria as that was only done in the 1960's or thereabouts. All the other states virtually operated in their own state there were a couple of small exceptions here and there though on some lines.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Point us in the direction of someone (aka a fool, or maybe an American - who is likely to be a fool anyway)  
Aaron

That's a bit unnecessary Smile.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Agree with SAR523, especially as one of the great railway administrators who dragged South Australia into the 20th Century was born in Ohio.
  cpdbear Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Let me try to explain a little history and background to things relating to the "National" in the NRM's name and the orginal part of the collection. I do think a lot of people missunderstand what "National" actually means as destinct from what might be of importance to local state based administrations.

Most people realise the NRM grew out of the Port Dock Station Railway Museum (PDSRM), which intern began as the Mile End Museum (MERM) 50 years ago. Both the MERM and the PDSRM collected items principally from SA and the NT (plus Broken Hill). This was because the other states all had railway museums of their own that saw to preserving the items in their states. The MERM also collected items from the Commonwealth Railways who was at the time the only national rail carrier. Following the amalgamation of the the South Australian Railways, Tasmanian Railways and the Commonwealth Railways which created Australian National the MERM/PDSRM collection expanded to include items from the new national carrier.

Up until the 1992 Australian National was the only national rail carrier in Australia. In 1992 the National Rail Corporation was formed, which resulted in the creation of the environment that lead to the National Rail Network we know today. So the current national system is only around 20 years old so it is really a bit early for a lot of historical stuff to have become available for collection that meeets this criteria.

So what should a 'National Rail Museum" be collecting? Also is it possible for a "relativly" new museum to actually get what it might want to collect? And what should they do with what they already have?

It is my view that the NRM should be collecting items that have "National Significance" prinipally for its collection, but as it is based in South Australia, it is also reasonable for it to have a representative collection of what operated in that state as there is no other museum preserving that states rail heritage. Other states obviously have there own state based museums who do that, so there is no need for the NRM to duplicate that effort by removing items from their native location unless that item has sufficient "National Significance" to warrant it being in the national collection.

So that leads to the question of defining what sort of things have "National Significance"? A good working defintion might be somthing along the lines of: items that have a significant impact on the development, operations, infrastructure & technology used, and social impact of rail systems across Australia (this is my working definition not the museums).

Ok, so does that mean a NSW 80 class is a good item for the NRM collect. Maybe, but I really doubt it. On the other hand a NSW 48 or SAR/Silverton 830 is likely to be. Why you ask? Wll the 48/830 class have operated on all 3 major gauges, been used on nearly all the states at some time and proved to be versatile enough that a private company purchase the model as well.

What about a "Spirit of Progress (SOP)" passenger car? The SOP was obviously a Victorian train that only that state until the completion of the standard gauge when it began operating in 2 states. Does that make is "Nationally Significant"? No, but facts like "it was the first all steel air-conditoned loco hauled train in Australia" and "it set a new design standard and introduced technology advancements that Australian Railways that other states copied in the decade following it's introduction" does. Unfortunately for the NRM despite a SOP car being on their list of desired rolling stock, none of the current owners of suitable SOP cars are interrested in desposing of them.

Will the NRM get an NJ class loco when they come out of service. I doubt it, as the NJ class is really a one off. Its production had no impact on other systems and really didn't introduce anything new of great significance.

People have already mentioned some of the existing rolling stock as representing more than one state or system (e.g. G, NM, W and Y class steam locos). The particular member of the various groupings exist in the collection more by histrical chance and cost considerations than a particular bias to only collect stuff from SA. When it costs $20,000 to move a single carriage, without bogies, from Melbourne to Adelaide you get some idea of why they might be intrrested in collecting something closer to home rather than move it from Queensland, Tasmania or New South Wales.

If you look at what the rolling stock the NRM has collected over the last decade you can see the shift to how it views it's collection criteria through a "National Lens". Sleeping car Alambi was part of the new Overland that introduced modern American rolling stock design into Australia. It's introduction influenced succeding genrations of passenger rolling stock. The Tea & Sugar pay car was obtained to complete the Tea & Sugar train, which has been designated an Australian Icon. In addition the NRM collection of smaller items and displays are taking on a more "national feel".

The unfortunate thing about any collection is it will never contain everyones favourites, but it is my view that the NRM is doing the good job of collecting items that have "National Significance". I agree they do have a lot of South Australian Railways items, but if the NRM had been founded in New South Wales I expect it would have had a lot of NSW stuff instead.

It would be pointless for the NRM to try and duplicate the collections of the other state based museums. Its purpose is to build a collection of "Nationally Significant" Australian Rail items without abandoning its existing collection of historic items that have significant cultural relevance to South Australia.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Agree with SAR523, especially as one of the great railway administrators who dragged South Australia into the 20th Century was born in Ohio.
ssaunders
Ah, yes, but would he have regarded the 'Tea and Sugar' - should it have existed then, as local? No.

Therefore he would not be a fool... Note I said likely to me, not definitely would be.
  crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere
cdpbear - great post. I couldn't agree more.

Based on this the NRM should get a G-12 type locomotive though based on the fact they operated in nearly every state. Now whether that is a QR 1400, VR T, AN CK, or WA A/AA/AB is an interesting thought (you could, and should, include the Whyalla G-8/12 locos as well). Aside from the GM class loco's they would be the only type that covered all states (except Tas account their love of EE's) or if you looked at the G-8 you could include the NSW 49 class.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Ah, yes, but would he have regarded the 'Tea and Sugar' - should it have existed then, as local? No.

Therefore he would not be a fool... Note I said likely to me, not definitely would be.
Aaron
You are all engaging in semantics. The name National reflects the ownership of the rail systems being the Commonwealth government. I suppose renaming it to National was more sexy and made it easier to corporatise and ultimately sell. But it still reflected the fact it owned by the National government.

Therefore, to call a museum (and a very good one too) residing in pokey little Adelaide, a museum reflecting National railway culture, is a bit of a joke. With our essentially, former state based system, and plenty of state museums around, a national rail museum may not be necessary. In 50 years time that may change.

Rod

Staten Island (where Sandy has exposed lots of old B&O tracks)
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
You are all engaging in semantics. The name National reflects the ownership of the rail systems being the Commonwealth government. I suppose renaming it to National was more sexy and made it easier to corporatise and ultimately sell. But it still reflected the fact it owned by the National government.

Therefore, to call a museum (and a very good one too) residing in pokey little Adelaide, a museum reflecting National railway culture, is a bit of a joke. With our essentially, former state based system, and plenty of state museums around, a national rail museum may not be necessary. In 50 years time that may change.

Rod

Staten Island (where Sandy has exposed lots of old B&O tracks)
nswtrains
So you would a collection of rusting hulks that seldom (if ever) left the penal colony at Dorrigo or Thrilmere called the 'National' museum?

At least in SA we for very much the most part shed our preserved rollingstock. SA has another great museum of railways at Peterborough, even that small operation manages to store their rollingstock out of the weather.

The eastern states will never have a decent museum worthy of a 'national' title even if they could call it that until their definition of 'preservation' means more than a new coat of paint when the rain cuts through the last one and generates rust...
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
[nswgrtrains]
... residing in pokey little Adelaide, a museum reflecting National railway culture, is a bit of a joke.


Much Australia is that-east-of-the-great-dividing-range bias there? Adelaide is in the top 10 US cities by population and within the top 50 greater metropolitan areas (which it really is)!



With our essentially, former state based system, and plenty of state museums around, a national rail museum may not be necessary. In 50 years time that may change.


I think that's a key point you may be overlooking. There was nothing "national" about the VR, NSWGR, QR etc. The only national network was the CR, which happens to be represented at the NRM. Albeit a bit after all those fine SAR steam locos, but there you go Smile

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