Our February 2023 edition’s cover concerns the fate of the Portland Line, which as we note in our News and Announcements section, is currently in a badly run-down condition. A group of representatives from local industry, local and state government have submitted a business case to upgrade the line to lift track speeds from 40 to 80 km/h, and able to support axle loads as high as 23 tonnes.
Our last article on the restoration of ex-V/Line A62 captured a lot of attention. In January 2023, the locomotive ran under its own power for the first time. We speak to Seven-O-Seven Operations volunteer Paul Kemp about the project’s progress, and what steps remain in returning this classic locomotive to the main line.
We have a feature article on Victorian Railways D Class 4-4-0, written by noted expert Phil Dunn. A locomotive of the Speight era of standardisation that shared many design features and parts with the New A and Y Class locomotives introduced at the same time, the D Class locomotives underwent various running changes during their careers. As a 4-4-0 intended for operation on lightly-laid track, the compromise between an axle load light enough for lightly-laid track yet heavy enough for good traction was one that ultimately saw two variants of the locomotive in service, with different axle loads and load percentage ratings.
Our second major feature is an incredible story by David Watson on his somewhat disastrous first day at work as a suburban train controller. The story is summed up by its title: “If anything can go wrong – it will!”
We also have a photo feature on the retirement and scrapping of the Comeng train fleet, much in the style of an article Newsrail ran back in 2004 as the Hitachi fleet was being retired and scrapped.
Our other regular sections are there:
- Calendar anniversaries
- General works
- Operations and sightings
- PTV service quality
- Where is it?