Here is member’s news for the current year. Previous years member news may be found at:

Please note, links in member news are not maintained in general, they remain as a record of what was sent to members.

May 2020

Something New

The ATA Committee at its meeting on 20 May 2020 will consider the adoption of the new. ATA logo above. We would appreciate your views on this. Please send them to Secretary, Richard May, 0438 364 568 or .

Membership Renewals

With the May mail out you have received Membership Renewal for 2020-2021. A prompt renewal is always appreciated. If, due to a loss of regular income as a result of the coronavirus crisis, you are experiencing financial or social difficulties, you can obtain a concessional membership of $30 for 2020-2021 compared with the normal membership of $60. Included with your membership renewal is a copy of the ATA’s promotional brochure. We hope that you will be able to pass this onto a friend who may be interested in joining ATA.

ATA Postal and Electronic Mail Outs

Our thanks to Geoff and Judy Lambert, who are seeking to maintain our postal and electronic mail outs. If you wish to change from a postal mail out to an electronic mail out or receive both contact Len Regan, . I receive both and the electronic editions contain colour illustrations and maps which mostly appear in black and white inside the print version.

Divisional Meetings & NTC Workdays

Due to continuing social restrictions created by the need to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, all ATA meetings and NTC workdays have been suspended. If, and when, social restrictions are eased ATA can restart its activities in a responsible way. Some NTC sorting and cataloguing is continuing at the homes of some Victorian members.

Annual General Meeting Form and Date

Our AGM is due to be held in Sydney on Saturday August 15, 2020. At the ATA committee Skype meeting to be held on Wednesday May 20 at 8pm AEST our committee will decide on the form of the AGM and a change of date, if needed. A number of folk have become familiar with Zoom meetings for work, education, family, community and religious gathering. This may be a possibility.

Distribution Service Report

On the April Distribution List popular items included Sydney & NSW Trains working timetable summary of alterations, V/Line pocket timetables, Stawell bus timetables and Tasmanian bus timetables. For the May List South Australian member Joel Taggart has offered in print and electronic form a bus timetable for the remote island of St Helena. St Helena is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean and is a territory of the United Kingdom.

April 2020

Coronavirus and ATA

Due to the social restrictions created by the need to reduce the spread of coronavirus, all ATA meetings and working bees on the National Timetable Collection have been suspended. We are expecting our April electronic and postal mail‑outs to proceed as normal. Our AGM is due to be held in Sydney on Saturday August 15, 2020. The time and place of this meeting may have to be reviewed closer to the date.

Coronavirus and Transport Changes

With the Queensland border now closed, NSW Trainlink train and coach services are no longer entering Queensland. New bus networks which would have been introduced in Burnie and Devonport on 19 April have been postponed until January 2021. Alterations to the Canberra bus network due to have commenced on 28 April have also been postponed. Although no announcement has been made, there seems to be no hurry to commence light rail services on the L3 to Kingsford. Transport authorities have encouraged customers to be more conscious of good hygiene habits and have provided some protection for bus drivers such as greater use of the centre door. Reduction of services is likely as more people work from home.

Alternative Arrangements for Melbourne NTC Working Bees

We have had to suspend the working bees on the National Timetable Collection at the Prahran Mechanics’ Institute (PMI) for the time being, but we have been able to arrange for work to continue in other ways. Some members have been able to take bundles of timetables home where they are culling, sorting and labelling them. Others have taken bundles of sorted timetables home and are cataloguing them in an Excel‑like spreadsheet (Google Sheets) for the State Library of Victoria. This work is being monitored, and online assistance given as needed. Planned work on scanning timetables has been deferred for the time being. Luckily, some timetables are in self‑storage locations, and they can be accessed without going to PMI. It may be possible to make arrangements for members who may wish to cull, sort or catalogue boxes of these timetables at home. If you are interested in this work, please contact Len Regan on 0409 209 114 or .

Volunteers Needed

At its Committee meeting in February 2020, ATA agreed to work towards the retention of Victor Isaacs’ website Train Times Australia and New Zealand. https://traintimes.net.au/.

Victor’s website is considered by many people to be a valuable asset that should be preserved and, if possible, kept up to date.

To do this we need a group of members to volunteer to maintain current information on the website as an ATA project.

Victor’s website is worth looking at. It covers all the intercity and regional rail lines in Australia and New Zealand. It shows geographical information for all stations and landmarks along each line, and a summary of the current timetables for each line.

As a start, two ATA members have indicated that they are willing to assist with this project. David Lewis, in Adelaide, is the editor of GetAbout Australia: www.getaboutaustralia.com. David Matheson, in Springwood NSW, has his own website Railways and Tramways of Australia: http://www.railtram.com.au However, more members are needed to take responsibility for maintaining designated sections of Victor’s website: e.g. Brisbane suburban trains, Victorian country trains.

Len Regan has undertaken to set up this group which will then organise how it will operate. If you are interested, please contact Len on 0409 209 114 or by mid‑April 2020.

Hilaire Fraser,

March 2020

Report of the ATA Committee Meeting Wednesday 20 November 2019

Our meeting comprised the usual reception of reports on the work of the ATA. For the first seven months of the 2019‑2020 financial year, our bank balance has been in a healthy position due to the renewal of memberships. The distribution list and auction have been running at a surplus. Our work has been impacted by increased costs for postage and printing. Membership fees are unchanged for 2020/21, so normal membership will be maintained at $60. Membership is now 134 and we welcome Robin Bromby of Edgecliff, NSW as a new member. In recognition of the assistance given to ATA by Samuel Rachdi of Fahrplancenter, Switzerland we will offer him free membership for 2020/21. Samuel has been able to provide ATA members with many overseas timetables. Matthew Gibbins and Richard May are assisting in the preparation of auction catalogues. They join Len Regan, Geoff Hassall and Robert Henderson as well as other volunteers in the work of the auction. Early in January 2019 we submitted an application for $15000 under the Local History Grants Program to cover the costs of computer, printer, book scanner access and storage shelving in a new work area for the Victorian Segment of the National Timetable Collection. Scanning hard‑bound working timetables is being done by members at Docuvan in Bayswater, Victoria. Remember the date for the AGM to be held in Sydney is Saturday August 15, 2020.

Melbourne & Sydney National Timetable Collection Working Sessions

Melbourne Working Sessions will be held on Saturdays 7 & 21 March, 4 & 18 April, Thursdays 12 & 26 March, 9 & 23 April at Prahran Mechanics’ Institute 39 St Edmonds Rd, PRAHRAN. Sydney Working Sessions will be held on Saturday March 21 (full day) and Saturday May 16 (half day) at 378 Abercrombie St DARLINGTON. These days are very successful. Full day sessions run from 10am to 4pm.

Hilaire Fraser,

February 2020

Sydney National Timetable Collection Working Session February 15

In response to the need to assist the development of the NTC a working session will be held in Sydney at 10 am on Saturday February 15, prior to the next Sydney Division, at 378 Abercrombie St DARLINGTON. (Sydney meeting venue). We will be cataloguing Sydney private bus timetables. Lunch will be at 1pm and can be obtained at a nearby café or bring your own. Just come along or contact Geoffrey Clifton or myself.

Hilaire Fraser,

January 2020

The Year Ahead

The hope with which we usually start a New Year has been adversely affected with the devastation of horrendous bushfires across many states. We would hope that our members, their families and friends are safe at this very difficult time. 2019 brought the opening of new light lines in Newcastle, Canberra and Randwick (Sydney) as well as the Chatswood to Tallawong (Sydney) Metro. The Kingsford branch of the Sydney Light Rail Network is due to open in March 2020 with a recast of South East bus routes to take place four to six weeks later. When the new bus network is in operation it will be interesting to see the extent to which routes operating past Randwick or Kingsford will continue to operate to and from the CBD in light of the slow journey times being experienced on the tram. On 5 January, 2020 the Carlingford (Sydney) rail line closed for conversion to light rail as part of the Parramatta Light Rail Line due to commence operation in 2023. Meanwhile in Perth a recasting of bus routes in the Mirrabooka and Wanneroo Road areas is planned for 2020. This will provide better connections between new residential areas, train stations and business centres.

National Timetable Collection Report

Included in the January Mail Out is very important report on the National Timetable Collection prepared by Len Regan. ATA members are encouraged to support this project.

Sydney National Timetable Collection Working Session February 15

In response to the need to assist the development of the NTC a working session will be held in Sydney at 10 am on Saturday February 15, prior to the next Sydney Division, at 378 Abercrombie St DARLINGTON. (Sydney meeting venue). Lunch will be at 1pm and can be obtained at a nearby café or bring your own. Just come along or contact Geoffrey Clifton or myself.

Hilaire Fraser,