From the new Editor
Dear members and readers,
This is a rather historic occasion as this is the first issue of The Times not edited by Albert Isaacs. Yes, Albert has edited 165 issues of The Times over 14 years! Quite an innings. We salute and thank you Albert for your long and diligent service to the AATTC. It is remarkable how Albert has been able to develop two journals from scratch and to keep them going. A feat and a mighty performance! Albert is continuing as Editor of Table Talk (the contents were originally included in The Times) so his unbroken editorship of the current news items will remain.
Another historic milestone of this issue is that it is the first edition of The Times to be prepared on a computer. Until now a word processor has been used. Using a computer now gives the option of receiving contributions on a computer disk. The advantage of this is that it will save time not having to retype material.
I am surprised to be Editor of The Times (which covers historical and general items) as I do not have much of an interest in historic timetables. Please check the Membership Directory and you will see in the Members Interests column that out of the 142 members listed I am one of 45 (or 32%) of members who does not indicate an interest in Historic items. That means I am relying very much on the other 97 (or 68%) who like Historic items, to contribute articles to The Times. This is one of the reasons I have formed a working editorial team to assist me, of those with an interest in Historic timetables.
So why did I accept the nomination at the Annual General Meeting to become Editor? Firstly, nobody else was nominated. Secondly, Albert indicated he was running out of time to continue editing the two journals. Thirdly, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try some new ideas.
What are some of these ideas?
1. Have a working editorial team so that each team member can share part of the editorial workload. (Done) 2. Prepare The Times on a computer. (Done) 3. Have an ATA information page in every issue at the same location. (Done. See page 2) 4. Retire Mr. Bradshaw and begin in lieu regular columns with specific themes. (Done - This issue is his last appearance.) 5. Include in The Times Letters to the Editor that relate to historic or general timetable matters. Until now all letters have been published in Table Talk. Letters to the Editor will commence in the Feb 98 issue. 6. As space permits I would like to begin including lists in The Times of all Australian transport timetables ever published. Of course, this is a massive undertaking. However, if we don't start somewhere it will never get done. Have you, like me, ever seen an old timetable listed for sale in the ATA auction catalogue and wondered where it fits in? I believe that such a list will be invaluable not only for us but also for future generations.
The members' interests shown in the current Membership Directory are: 90% rail, 59% tram, 45% bus, 37% ferry, 28% air, and 14% all transport. In other words, on a ratio basis the ideal would be for every two rail articles there would be one bus article and for every three rail articles there would be either two tram or one ferry or plane article. Rail only fans please be assured that train timetables will remain predominant as 90% of us like them!
For most of the above ideas to become reality I really need your help with articles, information, copies of interesting timetables, letters to the editor and any other contribution you may be able to make. I would like to be an editor who can cover all members' timetabling interests in the articles published. I prefer to actually edit and not author articles on which I have little or no expertise. I therefore invite your participation as we begin our new journey together.
Yours in the cause of happy timetable collecting, Graham Duffin. Editor, The Times.
Introduction by Victor Isaacs with information from "The Tramways of Australia" by Samuel Brimson.
Rockhampton had one of Australia's most unusual tramway systems. First, it was the only one that from beginning to end was owned by the local Council. Secondly, it only lasted thirty years - 16 June, 1909 to 24 June, 1939. Thirdly, and most interestingly, it was always operated by steam trams. The Council decided that an electric system was beyond Rockhampton's means.
The trams were built by Purrey in Bordeaux, France. Unlike steam trams in other Australian cities which had separate locomotives, these had the boiler and control unit in the passenger vehicle. Travelling or operating in a vehicle next to a steam boiler in the heat of a Central Queensland summer probably contributed to the tramway's unpopularity! They did however sometimes haul trailers.
With steam trams chugging down some streets and Queensland Railways running elsewhere in the street, QR also got the idea of running light steam vehicles too. These were called "Tram Trains".
An enthusiast group in Rockhampton has recently restored a Rockhampton steam tram and runs it on the section of QR street track.
It is a real coup to find a Rockhampton steam tram timetable. The timetable only gives bare-bones information of starting times for each trip. I liked the slogan in one of the advertisements "Show your independence by using your Trams".
(Reproductions of the original timetable accompany this article)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Mr Bradshaw. This month I conclude my look at the NEW SOUTH WALES RAILWAYS TIME TABLES from 2nd December 1917 which started in last month's issue.
This is a most auspicious article, because after 14 years in The Times it is my last! I am very grateful to The Times for bringing me out of retirement. I started providing timetable information in Britain in 1839 and came out as a large and comprehensive monthly timetable until 1961. I also published a Continental Bradshaw. In Australia, I came out as a monthly timetable in Victoria from the start of railways in 1854 until stopped by the War in 1942 and, in addition, I was also published in N.S.W. in the latter years of last century. I can still manage my Newman's Indian Bradshaw timetable each month, but at 158 years of age I can hardly keep up with Tilt Trains, Speedrail, Eurostars and so on in this august publication. So I will pass the baton to you, dear members and readers, to provide the new editor with lots of interesting timetable items.
But back to NSW 1917 with this timetable from the collection of the late Ted Downs and comments with the help of my friend Victor Isaacs. The Times (A.A.T.T.C.) January, 1998 No. 166 Page 9
The timetable of the line to Mudgee and Coonabarabran (a name that seems so odd to me with my Manchester background) shows a service typical of the NSWGR for many decades, provided by overnight trains which ran basically to suit the convenience of the Post Office, not passengers. Imagine changing at Wallerawang in the middle of the night in the middle of winter (only sleeping car passengers had a through carriage). There was a day mixed train too, but only once a week - hardly enough to show off the great scenic splendours of this line. The overnight train continued as a mixed to Coonabarabran thrice weekly. The line from Binnaway to Coonabarabran was only opened on 11 June 1917, so this is the first timetable book it featured in.
The extracts from the North Coast line are particularly interesting, because they are in four bits.
The section built first was the furthest from Sydney! - The isolated Tweed - Richmond system, opened from Murwillumbah to Lismore in 1894, was extended to Casino in 1903 and Grafton in 1905. The decision to build a railway up the North Coast was made comparatively late as the area was also served by coastal shipping. The line from Maitland to Dungog opened in 1911, to Taree in 1913 and Wauchope in 1915. The last extension we see in this timetable, from Wauchope to Kempsey, was opened only a few days before this timetable was published - on 13 November 1917.
Then two sections of the North Coast line opened as yet more isolated (but only temporarily) and very short sections: both in 1915. These were 27 miles (43 km) from South Grafton to Glenreagh and a mere 13 miles (21 km) from Coff's Harbour to Raleigh. Construction was slowed by the 1914 - 1918 War but these were all connected in 1923, except for the large double-deck rail and road bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton in 1932.
Timetables in this period had a great variety of general information testifying to the important role railways had in the community. An example, above concludes this series.
This month, Graphic Insight looks at the changes which electrification brought to the Perth suburban rail network by comparing the timetables before and after the massive changes.
The pre-electrification times are taken from the MTT public timetables: Midland line (M1) July 8th 1984, Armadale line (A1) June 10th 1984 and Fremantle line (F1) August 5th 1984. The post electrification times are taken from the Transperth train timetables as follows: Midland line (M1), Fremantle line (F1) and Joondalup line (J1) of March 5th 1995, and the Armadale line (A1) of March 21st 1993.
The graph below shows the number of trains scheduled to run on each of the four routes in each of the two years. The lighter (foreground) bar is 1984, and the darker rear bar is 1995 or 1993, post electrification. The figures include all departures from Perth station. On the Joondalup line the short workings to Whitfords are counted as well as the Currambine trains.
Interestingly, there are significantly more trains running on every line on every day of the week now than there were in the early 1980s. Naturally, there were no trains on the Joondalup line in 1984 as the line was not in existence then, however it is notable that this is now the busiest line in the city. Of further interest is the relative density of Sunday service on the Fremantle line, where the number of trains is only marginally fewer than on other days of the week in contrast with other lines which typically get fewer than half the number of Sunday trains as weekday trains.
Naturally, electrification in Perth has affected transit times as well as frequencies. A future Graphic Insight will investigate this.
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