We’re delighted to announce that our May 2020 edition has so much great content, we’ve expanded from 32 to 36 pages to fit it all in.
- Our cover features The Overland making its final run through Serviceton station and into South Australia just a couple of hours before the border closed at 4pm on 24 March for COVID-19, and government funding for the service expired a week later. Our opening page has an update on the future of The Overland – it may yet run again!
- Our News section has a report on the XPT derailment, and we have a further addendum detailing the various service disruptions that followed in subsequent weeks.
- The ‘Ick & Wigle’ Tour: a report of a 1956 special railfan tour of inner Melbourne lines (some now closed) written by the legendary correspondent Charles Gavan Duffy, with additional notes by Trevor Penn and Les Poole. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Ian Barkla, Des Jowett, Andrew Blair and the late Brian Goodwin. In 1956 there was no equivalent of the Victorian ‘Newsrail’ magazine, and Gavan Duffy’s submissions to the then national ARHS ‘Bulletin’ magazine were often overlooked. He shared this and many of other works from that era as a typewritten bulletin to a small group of his friends. Now, nearly 64 years later, Gavan Duffy’s report finally gets the prominence it deserves.
- The 1920 Royal Tour: it was 100 years ago this month that Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) visited Australia, fulfilling a promise he made when serving in World War I alongside Australian and New Zealand soldiers. We commemorate the visit with photos including a beautiful image of A2 1053, just two weeks old and paint barely dry, extensively decorated to haul the Royal Train which visited Geelong, Camperdown, Ballarat and Bendigo.
- South Australian border closures: Michael Menzies examines the impact of the closure of the SA border on 24 March in response to the COVID-19 emergency, and compares the current pandemic response to the measures taken by authorities in 1919 to control the Spanish Flu pandemic and their impact on cross-border rail services.
- Our Preservation section includes a commemoration of 50 years of the Geelong Steam Preservation Society. Also, the sad news of a major theft from the N441 locomotive project.
- …plus regular sections Where Is It, Calendar Anniversaries, Tramways, Taildisc, Operations and Sightings, and our new PTV service reliability summary.