The cover of our May edition features a striking image never seen before: a VR blue and gold S Class diesel at Sydney’s Central Station, preparing to haul the Southern Aurora to Melbourne. The 60th anniversary commemorative run of this train was in peril after flood damage to the Thirlmere Line stranded the Trasnport Heritage NSW diesel fleet. Enter Seymour Rail Heritage Centre, which was not only able to provide S303 and T357, but in just two weeks was able to negotiate the necessary modifications or waivers required to enable vintage blue and gold VR locos to venture onto the Sydney Trains network. In our Preservation column, we interview SRHC President John Crofts about the frantic work that took place behind the scenes.
We have some wonderful historic feature articles:
- Andrew Blair presents another of his photographic essays; this time he takes us back to 1972 and the former railcar service that linked Swan Hill and a series of small Rail Motor Stopping Places in the nearby vicinity to Piangil. In addition to Andrew’s beautiful black and white photos, we also have some colour slide photos from the era as an extra bonus.
- Nick Anchen presents interviews with two more former Gippsland enginemen, both now sadly deceased. Ted Smith, a fireman from Moe in the 1940s, shares a few stories including the day that the loco crew had to chase a runaway N Class tender after it had rolled away after being split from the loco for turning on the small Thorpdale turntable. Driver Roy McDuff tells about a hair-rising ride when defective brakes due to an inept train examiner saw their train of four wheel wagons (limited to 45mph) hit 68 mph!
We also have some contemporary items of note, including photographs of the buffet for soon-to-be-commissioned long-distance VLocity set VS96, and news on the Federal Budget commitment of $920M to build the new Outer Metropolitan Ring Rail South line.
Our regular columns are there:
- Calendar anniversaries
- General news
- Rail works
- Operations and sightings
- PTV service quality
- Where is it?