Print Publication No.: 349069/00070
September, 1998 Issue No. 174 (Vol. 15 No. 9)
SEASIDE EXCURSION TRAINS
Shown above is the front page of a handbill issued by the N.S.W. Railways in 1954 advertising a Seaside Excursion train to Cronulla. See page 8 for further details on this timetable.
Dear members and friends,
1. Fifteen years of The Times: The first issue of The Times appeared this month fifteen years ago in September 1993. To mark this event I have invited foundation member Jack McLean to write about the early days of AATTC. Following his article Victor Isaacs and myself have compiled a chronological history of The Times and the AATTC. Many of us were not there in the beginning so as time passes by I believe it is important that we record our history for those who will follow us. If there is some aspect of our history you would like to write about I am happy to publish further contributions.
2. Email address for Editor: As mentioned in the last issue (The Times No. 173, August 1998 p3 item 2) I have recently been "off the air" due to my internet provider going into liquidation. I have now signed up with another provider so my new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in the cause of happy timetable collecting,
Editor, The Times.
(The Australian Association of Time Table Collectors began in September 1983 which is 15 years ago this month. I believe now is a good time for us to start recording some history about ourselves and those who founded our Association. I have therefore asked AATTC Founder and Life Member Jack McLean to share his thoughts on this subject. I would also be pleased to publish articles from other foundation members [I don’t know who most of you are] about the early days of AATTC if you could send them to me. Ed.)
A detailed history of the AATTC will be written one of these days, and maybe we should start to do so now. I suppose I should at least begin the task but a full detailed account might be safer if it were published post-humously.
One thing I reckon would have worked for AATTC was to form a partnership with some friends and run AATTC the way we wanted, not the way a committee would run it or as a result of pressure from "the members". If I had had some spare money it might have worked that way. A sort of benevolent dictatorship such as runs the 43 year old model railway in my garage. The first two or three years of the AATTC were a bit precarious financially. If I started something similar these days, I might set it up like a one man business. I had more energy then but no money to throw around.
I have always primarily been a railway enthusiast, with a specialty in signalling and operations. In other words I have never really been interested in trams let alone buses and aircraft. As a railway enthusiast I wanted to know which trains ran, how often and how close to the ones in front so that I could work out what sort of signalling there was and how it coped. I was already a member of the Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) and had written a score or so of articles, generally on signals and the constraints they had on timetables and vice versa. I also founded what ended up as the Signalling Record Society of Victoria (SRSV).
While the interests of these societies overlap a bit they also complement each other. If I write about signals I can send it to the SRSV. If I write about timetables I can send it to the AATTC. If both signals and timetables are involved maybe I will send it to the ARHS Victorian Division journal Newsrail. If it is about UK or North America it might go to the Australian Railway Enthusiast (ARE) magazine and occasionally I get things in the National Association Of Timetable Collectors (NAOTC) journal.
Because of the geographical spread of members it was obvious that AATTC would be a magazine oriented association and it mostly still is. Apart from AGM’s it seems that there were no social meetings until October 1984.
If people ask me what I collect, I say "Timetables" because most people (including many railway enthusiasts) don’t know what a Rule Book, General Appendix or a Signal Diagram is. I use the words "Time Table" as my stated subject when I talk to Probus Clubs and other community organisations.
Yet. I have never thought of myself primarily as a timetable collector. I do collect timetables but only to be able to understand the sort of train services which require the sort of signals the railways provide and vice versa. Working Timetables were relatively difficult to obtain, but I had my contacts and knew where the waste paper baskets were.
There were lots of railway blokes I knew whose office had more copies than they needed of all sorts of treasures like Working Timetables, Rule Books, General Appendices, Weekly Notices and Signal Diagrams. They would slide one into my bag on top of my lunch. Occasionally even my father, a railwayman, who disapproved of and discouraged my interest in railways, would bring home some railway item for me when he had won a trophy at bowls (which was his lifelong interest), or if I got a rare pass in an exam.
At first I only kept the current issue of a timetable like the 1935 Melbourne suburban working timetable that I carried to and from High School. Now I wish I had the ones I’d thrown away. After a while the railway blokes began asking me (and still ask me) if I had a copy of such and such instead of me asking them if could I have one.
I am not sure exactly how I met Albert Isaacs or when it was decided to start the AATTC. I thought I knew some enthusiasts who would be interested. Albert offered to edit the magazine which was later named The Times. It started as a bi-monthly magazine and soon became monthly. The name Times started off as an acronym but I couldn’t think what the letters might stand for. The first meeting was held at 60 Kenmare Street, Box Hill North (in Melbourne, Victoria) in my garage along with the Wingrove Model Railway as a distraction. We had few "activities" apart from an Annual Meeting.
Mick Guiney was the first Treasurer. He and I started a bank account under the name of McLean/Guiney. Members were asked to make cheques payable to McLean/Guiney but I suppose the members thought we would decamp with their money so they would only make out their cheques to AATTC. The bank kicked up a fuss about paying money into an account in another name. Then we decided to have a bank account in the name of the AATTC but the bank wouldn’t let us open it until we had a constitution as they wanted to know what to do with the money if AATTC folded.
For quite a long time we didn’t have regular committee meetings or regular members meetings. Maybe regular ones started after I retired as President. I suppose until then it was run as a pretty close association of devotees and run like a partnership by three members - Albert, Mick and Myself. Mick is a foundation member but is seen only rarely at AATTC activities these days.
Comments on Progress to Date
I am interested only in railway timetables although I know there are lots of people who like other sorts of timetables, like Vytautus Radzivanus who even has a timetable for rickshaws. I would have kept the AATTC as a "rail only" timetable association, but I didn’t do much of the work so timetables
for other transport modes were included. Our first ad in railway magazines calling a meeting to start the new Association, used the word "HORARIOLOGIST’ (which I invented and which no one could spell).
We had about 15 starters at the inaugural meeting. I thought we would soon have 200 members but even after 15 years we haven’t reached that number (current membership is approx. 155 - Ed). In the early days we kept a low profile so we would only get members who were interested in timetables, not people who just wanted to join another club.
The Future of Timetable Collecting
I know the world is gradually leaving behind the use of paper, including the use of paper timetables. Ena goes crook whenever I photocopy someone’s timetables - "think of all the trees that are cut down to make the photocopy paper" she says. Anyway, for many years now I have realised that the present rail scene isn’t very interesting, at least compared with the past. If the railways themselves look less interesting these days or if the railways one day disappear, then their timetables are also likely to be less interesting and disappear with them.
Mrs. Scrafton (the wife of member Derek Scrafton) might not remember she once commented to me on the phone that her husband had this curious ability to read timetables and see pictures of trains. That is what I do too. Perhaps we all do it. It applies particularly to the past. Past railway services and the past timetables are far more interesting than the present. If one day there are no timetables and even no trains I will still be able to get out my old timetables, read them and see pictures of old trains. So get out your old timetables and start looking at mental pictures of trains...
Compiled by Victor Isaacs and Graham Duffin.
1983 Jack McLean devises concept of AATTC.
1983 September First issue of The Times announcing the formation of the Australian Association of Timetable Collectors (AATTC). The Times included historical and general articles and current news items. It was in A5 size format and edited by Albert Isaacs.
1984 February First Annual General Meeting in Melbourne. Jack McLean elected President.
1984 October First ordinary meeting held in Melbourne.
1984 November The Times upgraded from a bi-monthly to monthly publication.
1985 January First Canberra meeting convened by Victor Isaacs.
1985 February "Grab Boxes" introduced.
1986 First Sydney meeting convened by Graham Duffin.
1988 April First Sales List (now called Distribution List) in present form by Victor Isaacs as Sales Officer..
1989 March First Brisbane meeting convened by Graham Duffin.
1989 March First Adelaide meeting.
1990 September David Hennell becomes President.
1992 July First colour cover to commemorate the one hundredth issue of The Times.
1992 August First edition of Table Talk as a separate news magazine. The Times remains as a magazine for historical and general articles.
1992 September First Auction held.
1992 October Publication of book "Railway Refreshments in Victoria".
1993 September Second colour cover of The Times to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the AATTC.
1995 January The Times changes from A5 to A4 size.
1995 September First appearance in The Times of the monthly column "Graphic Insight" by Chris Brownbill.
1996 June Table Talk changes from A5 to A4 size.
1996 September First interstate AGM held in Sydney on board the former Manly ferry "South Steyne".
1996 December First issue of a separate Members’ Newsletter due to the commencement of the public sale of Table Talk
1997 February AATTC internet page established by Chris Brownbill.
1997 September First AGM held in Canberra (in railway carriages) at the Canberra Railway Museum.
1997 December Albert Isaacs retires as editor of The Times after 14 years and 165 issues. He continues as editor of Table Talk.
1998 January First issue of The Times with Graham Duffin as editor.
1998 January The Times appears on the Internet as well as in hard copy.
1998 July Table Talk appears on the Internet as well as in hard copy.
That we have timetables, maps and other transport ephemera to collect is due more to good fortune than anything else. Ephemera is an appropriate description as most of these items were never planned to last more than a few months, hours in the case of tickets, from their time of issue until they should have been disposed of. Unlike stamps very few of the items we collect have been produced with the collector in mind.
Even more adverse is that the paper used in recent times is guaranteed to decay unless it is looked after well. Modern paper is made with a high wood content which leaves some lignin in it. This causes the paper to go yellow and brittle with age - the poorer the quality of the paper the faster this happens. This is especially true of newsprint which can age within a few years.
Other things which can damage paper are:
To prevent all these forms of deterioration is almost impossible without specialised storage environments such as those provided in libraries and archives - but there are a few things a timetable collector can do to reduce the risk of environmental damage to their treasures.
The most important is storage. Timetables should be stored in as dry an area as possible and, like a wine collection, with as little rapid variation in temperature and humidity as possible. The ideal temperature range is 10-21°C and 35-50% relative humidity. Storage on shelves or open boxes under the house or in the garage is not recommended. Find an area that is dry and well ventilated and store them in archival-quality, acid free, lignin free boxes or envelopes. Some plastic pockets are suitable. To find these it is worth contacting a local library supplier.
Before storing things there are some small things that can be done to enhance the life of your collection.
First never write on any item with anything other than a 4B pencil - never use spirit based markers as these will cause permanent damage. This is also true for the back of photographs - many inks can cause a chemical reaction with the dyes on the photograph behind causing sticking and damage.
Remove all paper clips and, if possible, staples - even minute amounts of moisture will cause rust marks to appear within a short time. The removal of staples may be seen as destroying the structure of the timetable, especially a book format, but the dedicated collector can reassemble the book by sewing it together again with neutral coloured bookbinders thread.
Store items as unfolded as possible. Folds break the fibres that make paper strong and so the fewer folds the better. How many of us have unfolded an old map or poster only to see it tear along the folds? It is possible to reduce the impacts of folds by laying the item flat on a clean table so it can absorb some moisture from the air - never wet the item. Maps should be stored flat, map cabinets are the ideal, and even then enclosed in an acid free folder or pocket. Whilst laminating will protect the item it is an irreversible process - archival quality enclosures are preferable.
At the very worst maps and posters should be rolled around a stout tube of at least 7cm diameter, covered with acid free paper. Roll with the printed side out then cover the whole with an inert film such as Mylar. Never hang maps or posters up in a brightly lit area and avoid exposure to sunlight - the ink colours will fade rapidly..
The same applies to timetables, if possible store booklets open at the centre pages or unfolded if single sheets. Place them in archival quality plastic pockets or envelopes and store in a filing cabinet.
If you have an article that you wish to look at on a regular basis take one good photocopy of it and store the original away. Some conservationists recommend wearing of clean white cotton gloves but if this is too much make sure you wash your hands before touching your collection as dirt will cause damage.
Avoid trying to do repairs to documents - especially don’t use adhesive tape as it will cause stains as the glue ages. There are safe materials such as ‘Japanese’ and ‘Crompton’ tissues but get someone to teach you how to use these first. Cleaning is also difficult as most erasers will lift the inks as well as the dirt.
The final thing is, if in doubt, ask a conservation expert for help. Most large libraries will have someone trained in conservation. In NSW the Conservation Access group at the State Library can be contacted on (02) 9230 1676. They can provide help and will undertake tasks, such as unfolding items, but it is a commercial operation and they will charge for work done. It also runs workshops, one of which I attended and these notes are a based on that.
The first recorded railway excursion was held on 20 July 1840 from Nottingham to Leicester to enable the Mechanic’s Institute to visit an exhibition. Thomas Cook organised his first excursion a year later on 5 July 1841 to transport teetotalers to a festival in Loughborough. Mr Cook it seems was a devout teetotaler advocate and it was his involvement with the Temperance Society that caused him to organise his first excursion.
Excursions by train are now almost a thing of the past, remaining only in the form of specials organised by various preservation societies such as trips behind steam locomotives.
In Sydney a regularly operated excursion was from the western suburbs to the seaside at Cronulla as detailed on the handbill (shown on the front page of this issue of The Times) issued by the Department of Railways as Handbill No 13 of January 1954. On this day the trip ran from Parramatta to Lidcombe where it reversed. It then ran round the Bankstown loop to Sydenham where it reversed again before running to Cronulla. Passengers between Liverpool and Cabramatta had two options to make connections: either Granville via Fairfield or departing 21 minutes later for Regent’s Park (now spelled without the apostrophe) via Sefton.
Seven hours and four minutes later excursionists started the return trip although there appears to be no published restriction on their earlier return by regular trains.
The trip to Cronulla was a regular operation, appearing in the 25 November 1951 timetable book as ‘runs as required during Summer months only’. However on these Sundays it operated from Liverpool at 8.13am, via Fairfield to Granville, reversed there at 8.35, and ran via Bankstown, reversed at Sydenham and arrived at Cronulla at 10.0. To trace it required looking a four separate Tables in the book!
On the Cronulla line it was one of ten trips marked as ‘Relief train. Runs as required during Summer Months only’ which were matched by twelve reliefs returning. Headways could be as little as 9 minutes. Obviously the lure of a train trip to Cronulla was a greater then than now, as only a half-hourly service operates all weekend.
The Sunday return service departed Cronulla at 5.4pm and operated to the same timetable as the 1954 excursion arriving Parramatta arriving at 6.30pm. Passengers to Liverpool were left to their own devices to get home!
Shown below are the fares that are on the back of the Seaside Excursion leaflet. The front of the leaflet is shown on the front page of this issue of The Times.
I have checked the dates on "Timetable Checklist No. 1 - N.S.W. Railways" (The Times No. 173, August 1998 pp. 6 & 7) with my actual copies and wish to add the following to the list.
1-12-1957 Same date as Suburban timetable.
?-10-58 The cover of my timetable is missing, but could one assume it was the same day as the Suburban, ie. 26-10-58?
22-6-69 Shown on cover as "From May 5, 1968 Revised June 22, 1969"
6-2-77 Is 6-7-77 shown on the list a typo?
1-1-78 Shown on the cover as "From February 6, 1977 Revised January 1, 1978"
6-7-80 Was this timetable delayed similarly to the Suburban timetable of the same date?
1-6-86S Additional to the list.
31-5-87S Additional to the list.
11-9-88S Is 11-10-88S shown on the list a typo?
27-11-88S Additional to the list.
21-7-91 Additional to the list.
1-11-92R Additional to the list.
1-11-95R Additional to the list.
15-3-96R Cover shows "March 1996". The Railway News for 4/96 states that these timetables
"...incorporate the new Broken Hill and Griffith services...", the first of which started on
S: indicates timetables were separate booklets for each region.
R: indicates Rail only timetable (no buses included).
1-12-57 Day is shown as pencil notation on my coverless copy, made at the time of preparation of the
book Electric Railways of New South Wales.
20-11-60 Not 24-11-60 as shown on the list.
5-5-68 Not 6?-5-1968 as shown on the list. 5-5-68 was the Sunday following the official opening of
14-9-69 Shown on cover as "From May 5, 1968 Revised September 14, 1969"
7-5-73 Additional to the list.
6-7-80 This date shown on the cover, but actually started 20-7-80, which was the first official day of
Loftus-Waterfall electrification. The start was delayed two weeks by an industrial dispute.
15-11-80 Day not shown on cover or elsewhere, but confirmed by dated amendment notice.
4-6-84 Day not shown on cover or elsewhere, but confirmed by dated amendment notice.
12-11-84 Day not shown on cover or elsewhere, but confirmed by news item in Electric Traction, 2/85.
Looking forward to seeing a revised list.
Bob Henderson, Brookvale, N.S.W.
(Ed: I appreciate Bob providing this additional information as that is one of the main reasons it was published - to invite readers to update it so it will be as correct as possible. I will wait a few more issues of The Times before reprinting it in case there are some further updates still to be received from readers.)
It was interesting to study "Graphic Insight" (The Times No. 173, August 1998 p12) and see the differences between peak and off-peak services. It is fascinating to note that differences on various routes range from 100% to 400%.
Because of the increasing amount of flexi-time and the growing number of both part-time and shift workers, the amount of off-peak travel has grown considerably recently and certainly continues to grow.
With this in mind, I believe that it would be interesting to see Chris Brownbill expand this graph so as to show the differential, not only now but also as of 20 years ago.
I believe that although off-peak vehicles on most routes are becoming more crowded, the increased traffic has not been reflected in an increase in the actual number of services.
I wonder whether my theory stands up to Chris’s graphical analysis.
Albert Isaacs, Hawthorn, Victoria.
As a new member of AATTC I was interested to read in Table Talk July 1998 that Saint’s bus route 947 is for sale, in line with the trend to fewer, larger bus operators.
Recently I came across an old list of Private Bus Services in the Sydney area. While the list is not dated, it is thought to be of 1977/78 vintage as the takeover by Bass Hill Bus Co of route 20 took place in 1977 whereas the list still shows McVicars’ Bus Service which broke up in 1978 and Hunters Hill Bus Co which became Northern & Western, also in 1978.
The list contains 91 operators. This would increase to 93 with the inclusion of Foleys and Forest Coach Lines which were omitted - their routes for some reason were shown under Bosnjak. But then it can be decreased to 83 if 10 operators with common ownership with other operators are excluded. Hence as far as I was concerned there were 83 operators at the time the list was produced.
The 1993 New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings include 41 operators which operated route services in the Metropolitan area. This would decrease to 40 if West Bankstown Bus Service and Bankstown-Strathfield Bus Services which are under common ownership are counted as one. A decrease of 43 since 1977 or just over 50%.
Since 1993 a further 9 operators have disappeared (or no longer operate route services). The operator to which the routes were transferred is also shown:
|Previous Operator||New Operator|
|Bass Hill Bus Service||Holroyd Bus Lines|
|Canterbury Bus Lines||Punchbowl Bus Co.|
|Carss Park Charter Tours and Buslines||Southtrans|
|Foley's Bus Service||Saint's (Peakhurst Bus Co.)|
|Kogarah-Carss Park Bus Service||Southtrans|
|Midshore Busways (including its
successor Ku-ring-gai Bus Co.)
|Revesby Bus and Coach Service||Crossley Bus Lines|
|Sydney Coachlines||STA (Sydney Buses)
and Pioneer Coaches
This leaves us with the following 31 operators:
Busabout (formerly Neville’s Bus Service)
Buslink - including Crowther and Kurnell Passenger and Transport Services (Nicholsons)
Bustrans (formerly Katen & Heath)
Caringbah Bus Service
Crossley Bus Lines
Forest Coach Lines
Glenorie Bus Company
Harris Park Transport
Hawkesbury Valley Coaches
Holroyd Bus Lines
Liverpool Transport Co.
Maianbar and Bundeena Bus Service
Manly Transport Service
Marrickville Bus Lines
Metro Link (including Interline Bus and Coach Service which has common ownership)
North & Western Bus Lines
Oatley Bus Service
Parramatta Ryde Bus Service
Pioneer Bus Service
Punchbowl Bus Co.
St Ives Bus Service
West Bankstown Bus Service/Bankstown Strathfield Bus Service
Westway Bus and Coach Service
Arguably the number could be decreased or increased by one if Busabout and Hawkesbury Valley, which are both owned by Calabro’s are counted as one, or the two Buslink operators were counted separately. If we settle on 31, we are down to about 37% of the number of operators who were in the Sydney metropolitan area back in 1977. This number may be reduced by another 1 if Saints route 947 is sold to another existing operator as has been mentioned in Table Talk.
L. Smit, Punchbowl, N.S.W.
(Ed: This reduction in the number of bus operators is good and bad news for us timetable collectors. It is good because there are fewer operators to contact for timetables. However it is bad because it contributes to a reduction in the variety and styles of timetables produced. Is anyone able to submit for publication in The Times copies of timetables for the extinct operators plus some notes to accompany them? Does anyone still have any copies of the McVicars timetables? They were Gestetner duplicating machine classics.)
This month, for the first time, Graphic Insight looks at tourist railways. Social trends such as the rise of the tourist industry and the fond and fading memories many people have for the long-gone train-rides of their youth have all contributed to the growth of tourist railways in Australia. Some of these tourist railways are becoming train operators of some significance, and as such, their timetables are worthy of study.
Below are reproduced traditional time-displacement 'train-graphs' for two of Australia's foremost tourist railways operating non-trivial timetables: Puffing Billy (East of Melbourne), and SteamRanger (South of Adelaide). The Puffing Billy timetable is "Table 3" effective from October 1998 to co-incide with the re-opening of the Lakeside to Gembrook section. The Steam-Ranger times are for most Sundays taken from their '1998 Timetable' brochure.
Note the complexity of the Puffing Billy timetable in particular. This table requires four trains in steam and some runs have three crosses on their journey. The SteamRanger timetable shows the inter-operation of the "Southern Encounter" from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor and the "Cockle Train" between Victor Harbor and Goolwa. The "Southern Encounter" is a very long trip indeed, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes and covering 77km of preserved broad-gauge track each way!
Note that both railways here also run special additional services on days of special events. They also run quite different and somewhat reduced services on other days of the week.