In our June 2021 edition

Buy an individual print copy of June 2021 Newsrail here

June 2021 Newsrail is a big 44-page edition, celebrating 70 years of the R Class steam locomotive.

To mark the seven-decade history of the much-loved R Class, we present interviews with seven key people, each of whom has a unique, expert opinion to offer. We were delighted to have the assistance of people from 707 Operations and Steamrail, and the former Victorian Railways and West Coast Railway, in putting together this edition.

The interviewees, and some of the many topics covered include:

  • VR Fitter Neil Harris on maintaining the Rs allocated to the Seymour Locomotive Depot in the 1950s
  • VR Driver and Fireman Cliff Earl on driving the R in express passenger service, and one final run that reached 87 mph (140 km/h)!
  • VR Driver and Fireman Jack Waite on firing the R, and driving the R in freight duties
  • 707 Operations Fitter Rod Stellini on keeping heritage locomotive R707 running in the 21st Century
  • Heritage Driver Trevor Penn on his impressions of driving/firing R Class locomotives
  • WCR Operations Director Michael Menzies on the considerations behind running R Class in public passenger service
  • WCR Workshop Manager Bob Butrims on the performance, and problems, of R711 and R766 running to a modern timetable (click to read excerpt here)
…and there are additional pieces on the travels of R class locomotives interstate, and also the finer points of mechanical stoker operation.
Our insightful interviews are accompanied by photographs from several noted photographers, including John Dare, Bob Wilson, Geoff Oliver, Dave O’Brien, Chris Drymalik, the late F.G. Naylor and Weston Langford, and of course our beautiful cover photo taken by Max Thum. We were also indebted to ‘Hudson Power’ author Robert Carlisle for assisting us with some striking photos of the Rs being manufactured and loaded as deck cargo in Glasgow.
We also have two other features for June:
  • Centenary of the electrification of the Reservoir and former Inner Circle lines: Mark Cauchi and John Thompson present an interesting retrospective of the rise and fall in the fortunes of the Inner Circle line via North Carlton and North Fitzroy on the 100th anniversary of its electrification
  • Visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Flinders Naval Base: with the recent passing of the Duke, Michael Guiney notes the special train arrangements that accompanied his 1954 visit to Flinders Naval Base.
Our News page details the new X’Trapolis 2.0 that will soon be coming out of Alstom’s Ballarat manufacturing facility. Plus we have all the other favourite columns:
  • Rail works
  • PTV reliability
  • Tramways
  • Operations and sightings
  • Preservation
  • Photo in focus
  • Where is it?
  • Taildisc


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