Our July edition is a delight for those who remember Melbourne’s beloved red rattlers as we mark two important anniversaries: the centenary of electric train services to Heidelberg, and the 95th anniversary of the first electric train test runs to Hurstbridge.
John Anderson grew up in the Heidelberg area and recounts in great detail the experiences of riding the Swing Door “dog box” trains from Eaglemont to Princes Bridge Station in the late 1940s and early 1950s. John’s vivid descriptions bring to life the experience of riding these antiquated wooden carriages, which dated back to the 1880s and were converted to electric operation around 1920, as well as their more modern sliding-door “Tait” counterparts. John discusses:
- Princes Bridge Station
- The wooden electric train fleet
- Features of the Heidelberg Line
- Management of dogbox trains on the Heidelberg Line
- Features of the line beyond Heidelberg
- The line prior to electrification
The article is beautifully illustrated with photographs from the SLV and PROV collections, the author’s own collection, and the collections of George Coop, Bob Wilson and Trevor Penn.
Our front cover features a beautiful photograph from 1981,taken by George Coop, of a four-car Tait set looking well-weathered after six decades of service as it crosses the historic Eltham wooden trestle bridge.
Our July edition also features:
- News and Announcements – including details of Arden Station works, plastic sleepers, the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme, and the recent near-miss on the Seymour Line
- Rolling stock update – VL89, Sprinter refurbishment, SCT locomotive leasing
- Rail works
- PTV reliability
- Operations and sightings
- Preservation – news from the Yarra Valley and Bellarine Peninsula Railways
- Where is it?