In our December 2023 edition

Buy an individual print copy of December 2023 Newsrail here

For December, we have another big 40-page edition jam-packed with great reading.

Our cover features a beautiful photo by Rebekah Hamilton of steam locomotive J549 at work on the Victorian Goldfields Railway. We feature a special report this month on the tremendous work that the VGR has done in recent months to overhaul the loco and ready it for a return to service in 2024.

The first of our three feature articles for this month is on the New A Class express passenger locomotive, one of the five “standard” designs prepared for Victorian Railways in the late 1880s by Edward Jeffries of Kitson & Co. Author Phil Dunn, who is completing a series on these VR standard designs, explores the history and features of these locomotives. The New A Class shared many parts with other standard classes, the D Class 4-4-0, E Class 2-4-2, R and Y Class 0-6-0 locomotives, which greatly simplified maintenance and helped to make the New A locomotives a great success, each one in the class providing over thirty years of service.

Phil has also prepared a short biography on Edward Jeffries and the benefits that his locomotive designs brough to the VR. Prior to the standard designs of Jeffries, the VR had no fewer than 25 different types of locomotive, and was experiencing significant issues with keeping parts inventories and maintenance procedures for such a diverse range of locomotives.

Our final feature article is by Ross Rowley, who takes us back to the Victorian Railways of the early 1970s and his time as the Station Master at Birregurra. It is a view back to a time when the local railway station was the centre of many a town, and its Station Master a key person in the local community. As you can imagine, Ross has a few interesting stories, including a hilarious one involving a champion greyhound entrusted to the care of the VR for transport interstate.

Our other regular sections are there:

    • General works
    • Operations and sightings
    • Tramways
    • PTV service quality
    • Where is it?
    • Taildisc

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