Print Publication No.: 349069/00070
November, 1998 Issue
No. 176 (Vol. 15 No. 11)
Shown above are some of the Sydney – Newcastle services from the rail timetable effective 26th October, 1926. This timetable is discussed along with several others in the article which traces the development of the timetabling of the Newcastle Express services. This article begins on page 3 of this issue.
Dear members and friends,
1. Wider circulation for The Times: At a recent
A.A.T.T.C. committee meeting some ideas were considered about increasing
the circulation for The Times. As a result the committee would like
to hear from any reader who may be interested or able to approach retail
outlets to see if they would like to sell this journal. At present The
Times can only be purchased over the counter in Melbourne and Sydney
and it would be good if it was also able to be obtained in other cities.
If you think you may be able help with making The Times more widely
available please contact me at the address/phone number shown on the opposite
2. New A.A.T.T.C. officers for 1998/1999: At the A.A.T.T.C. Annual
General Meeting at Tallarook on 17th October 1998 some changes to officers
were made. I’ll be with you for another year as Editor of The
3. Request for articles about bus and ferry timetables: Last
month I requested articles about bus and ferry timetables. To date I have
received just one which is too big for this month’s issue. However I am
still in need of more which is why this month’s issue is mostly rail oriented.
Nearly half of our members indicate an interest in bus timetables and a
bit over a third are interested in ferry timetables so I would encourage
those members to send me some articles.
Yours in the cause of happy timetable collecting,
Editor, The Times.
This service, known to many as The Flyer, became one of the most
famous of the number of named expresses run by the New South Wales Railways.
Their arrival on the scene flowed from the perceived need of the railway
hierarchy of the 30s to speed up services because roads were improving
and the aeroplane was just beginning to show how it annihilates time and
distance. There was also an attempt to provide improved comfort on these
expresses and amenities such as on-board catering. But to the NSWGR after
the name was decided upon the 9.00 am service was always referred to in
timetables as the Newcastle Express.
Because this article would be too long if the whole service were reviewed,
we will look at the morning departure from Sydney to Newcastle on weekdays,
selecting certain years when interesting developments occurred. To provide
a basis I have used the timetable effective from 26 October, 1926 (see
timetable on front cover). At that time the imperative for showing
other forms of transport what rail could do had not yet developed strongly.
Moreover, the 36 class express locomotives with their high capacity tender
were only being delivered (the first arrived in 1925) and timetables were
probably still framed within the capability of the earlier 35 class. Page
104 shows no Newcastle Express but there was a fast train to Tamworth
at 8.15 am which stopped only at Strathfield, Hornsby, Gosford and ran
right to the dead end at Newcastle, taking 3 hours 20 minutes, then reversing
to proceed north. Readers will note a stop of 8 minutes at Gosford undoubtedly
for taking on water, although passengers could also have used the time
to buy refreshments from the RRR. But even making allowance for this, the
duration of the journey was fairly pedestrian for a non-stopping service.
In 1935 three 4-car sets of elegant twelve wheel pullman type cars dating from 1891/1900 were thoroughly refurbished for the new Express services linking Sydney and Newcastle. Two sets were given a dazzling red and cream colour scheme while the third, held as a spare, received the normal livery of that time. The name Newcastle Express was on a board below the sill level of the first and fourth cars of the two red sets. The full first class car of each set consisted of movable tubular steel lounge type seats, normally configured in a two and one arrangement on each side of the aisle. A buffet served refreshments to passengers at their seat. Hinged tables were raised when refreshments were served in First Class. Fixed tables were provided in Second Class. The running times were progressively reduced, especially after the raising of the maximum speed at approved locations to 70 mph (115 kph) in 1937.
The November, 1938 timetable (shown on page 5) shows the Express now leaving at what became its traditional departure time of 9.00 am, stopping only at Strathfield, Hornsby and Broadmeadow before arriving Newcastle at 11.23 am, an elapsed time of 2 hours, 23 minutes. Although the load was only about 200 tons, this timing was handled by a 36 class without a water stop and is a significant reduction on the running time of the nearest comparable service in 1926.
The pullman cars did not last long on this service. For reasons unknown to the writer, (perhaps a reader may tell us the answer) they were replaced in 1939 by two 4-car sets of the large wooden bodied twelve wheel vehicles built in the 20s. These, too, were given the red and cream treatment and name boards. The interior arrangements were almost the same as those in the pullman cars. But World War 2 brought a huge increase in the numbers travelling and because the Newcastle Express had become so popular it was necessary to provide higher capacity consists. Accordingly, in 1943 two seven car centre aisle steel sets built in 1939 for tourist service were allocated to the Express. Their seating was more spartan: facing sets of four each side of the aisle in First Class and facing sets of six one side, four on the other in Second Class. One car in each set was modified for service of refreshments. Possibly due to the speed restriction imposed on the faulty original Hawkesbury River bridge about 1940 and to the heavier weight of the wartime consist, 4 minutes was added to the overall time in the early 40s.
The first 38 class locomotive entered service in 1943 but further deliveries were slow due to wartime shortages. Because of the importance of this Express 38s became its normal power as soon as sufficient were available. It is of interest that the 38 class timings for the 9.00am Express never bettered the timings achieved by the 36 class in the late 30s, although the trains the 38s hauled were heavier. In 1947/48 the railways took delivery for the Express of two 7-car air-conditioned sets weighing 310 tons.* Like their predecessors in the 30s these also sported name boards on the side of some cars but the special livery was abandoned.. As delivered, they featured reclining First Class chairs in a two/one configuration, a public address system and fluorescent lighting (all firsts in NSW practice) and two buffets were provided.
Although from the inception of the Express there were two car sets doing a daily return journey with morning and late afternoon departures from Sydney and Newcastle on weekdays, primarily to suit business people travelling in either direction, when the air-conditioned cars became available a third express was inaugurated, leaving each city about the middle of the day, and therefore targeting non business travellers. This third service was achieved by turning around the two car sets quickly, rather than having them stand idle for hours until the afternoon. Thus one set ran Sydney - Newcastle - Sydney while the other ran Newcastle - Sydney - Newcastle on, say, Monday and the reverse the next day and so on.
The timetable for 30 November, 1947 (shown on page 6), with an additional stop at Hamilton which became permanent, allows two hours and 30 minutes for the Express. Times lengthened out to two hours 38 minutes in the mid 50s but returned to the two and a half hour standard in the early 60s. Electric traction reached Gosford in 1960 but did not alter the running time; what was gained by electric traction was lost in loco change. 38 class steam took over north of Gosford for most of the 60s but when steam was phased out diesels did not reduce the time allowed for the Express. The timetable for 27 May 1978 (shown on page 7) shows it stopped at Gosford for 8 minutes, clearly for change from electric to diesel.
With electrification all the way to Newcastle just over a decade ago this service became part of the Cityrail operation handled by EMU trains, most limited stop services now taking two hours, 32 minutes. However, you can travel by XPT Sydney to Broadmeadow in 2 hours, 13 minutes. Can I hear the reader saying, "But the Newcastle Express did it only three minutes slower in 1938 with a 36"?
* Four sets were delivered but only two were deployed on the Newcastle Express
The Passenger Carriages of the NSWR by L A Clark, Traction Publications, 1972
Official NSW Railway Timetables
Shown above is part of the Sydney – Newcastle timetable effective November, 1938. Please refer to pages 3 & 4 for details about the Newcastle Express services in the above timetable.
Note: This timetable is not reproduced in the on-line version of THE TIMES because it was not possible to obtain a readable scan of the image .
(Ed: Apologies for the poor quality of the above timetable. Part
of the station names column was cut off in the timetable so I’ve done a
bit of a cut and paste to make it easier to read.)
Shown above is part of the Sydney – Newcastle timetable effective 30th November, 1947. Please refer to pages 3 & 4 for details about the Newcastle Express services in the above timetable.
Shown above is part of the Sydney – Newcastle timetable effective 27th May, 1978. Please refer to pages 3 & 4 for details about the Newcastle Express services in the above timetable.
by Graham Duffin
Following is a checklist of all known issues of public timetables since 1923 of the Queensland Railways and its successor Queensland Rail. I know this list is incomplete however I thought it better that we publish what we know and build on it from there. I was able to visit the Australian Railway Historical Society library in Brisbane to obtain much of this information. I was also able to fill in some of the gaps by checking the collection of timetables owned by Jack McLean. If you find any omissions or errors please advise me as I would like to list them in The Times so all of us will have access to an as accurate list as possible.
QUEENSLAND ALL SYSTEM PUBLIC TIMETABLES: (Please read across)
27-5-1923 1-11-1931 May 1932 30-10-1932 May 1933 28-10-1934 31-5-1936
25-10-1936 23-5-1937 20-10-1938 28-5-1939 9-6-1940 8-6-1941 2-11-1941
26-7-1942 22-8-1943 29-10-1944 21-11-1948 26-11-1950 Dec. 1951
QUEENSLAND COUNTRY: (Please read across)
14-11-1954 12-5-1957 22-6-1958 28-6-1959 10-7-1960 2-7-1961 22-7-1962
1-9-1964 27-6-1965 Centenary timetable 1865 to 1965 (100 years of Queensland Rail)
19-6-1966 8-1-1967 25-6-1967 23-6-1968 14-12-1969 9-11-1970 1-11-1971
7-2-1972 4-2-1973 2-11-1975 20-3-1977 Jan 1979 March 1980 March 1981
March 1982 January 1984 29-6-1986
31-7-90 125th Anniversary. timetable Commemorative Issue
2-6-1991 Traveltrain Quick Reference 9-8-1994 Traveltrain Quick Reference
2-2-1998 Traveltrain All services folder 19-7-1998 Traveltrain All services
SUBURBAN: (Please read across)
Please Note: Book timetables are used except where shown that leaflets are referred to.
2-6-1946 22-6-1952 (bound sideways in landscape format) 1-8-1953 7-2-1954
24-6-1956 10-7-1960 1-7-1961 18-2-1962 26-3-1962 30-9-1962 1-12-1963
1-12-1964 27-6-1965 Centenary timetable 1865 to 1965 (100 years of Queensland Rail)
31-12-1965 Centenary timetable (revision of timetable dated 27-6-1965) 19-6-1966 8-1-1967
25-6-1967 4-2-1968 23-6-1968 29-6-1969 30-11-1969 8-11-1970 9-5-1971
1-11-1971 7-2-1972 8-10-1972 29-4-1973 24-2-1974 1-3-1975 (set of leaflets)
2-11-1975 (set of leaflets) 20-3-1977 (set of leaflets) 20-11-1978 Commemorative issue on the
occasion of the opening of the cross river link (Merivale Bridge)
December 1979 Commemorative issue on the occasion of the 1st Stage Electrification Ferny Grove – Darra 17-11-1979
8-6-1980 (cover says June 1980) 21-9-1980 (set of leaflets) 7-12-1980 (cover says
December 1980) 20-9-1981 (set of leaflets) Dec 1981 Sept 1982 24-4-1983
13-11-1983 4-11-1984 29-6-1986 10-5-1987 (set of leaflets) Aug 1987
30-4-1988 (World Expo 88 30-4-1988 to 30-10-1988) 31-10-1988 3-7-1989
11-2-1990 (set of leaflets) 14-10-1991 (set of leaflets) 16-8-1992 (set of leaflets)
Feb 1993 (set of leaflets) 27-9-1993 (set of leaflets) 20-12-1993 (set of leaflets)
15-2-1995 (set of leaflets)
SUBURBAN BOOKLETS: (Please read across)
16-9-1995 Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Ferny Grove, Gympie Nth/Nambour, Helensvale,
Inner City, Ipswich, Shorncliffe.
13-1-1997 Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Ferny Grove, Gympie Nth/Nambour, Helensvale,
Inner City, Ipswich, Pinkenba Rail Bus, Shorncliffe.
16-12-1997 Gold Coast (Nerang opening)
1-6-1998 Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast (Robina
opening), Inner City, Ipswich, Shorncliffe, Sunshine Coast (started 29-6-1998).
Here is some additional information for your compilation of where to get timetables around Australia. I have already sent you some notes and photos on Adelaide (The Times No. 169, October 1998 pp 12 & 13).
Darwin (May 1998)
2. Casuarina bus interchange: There is an information kiosk where
timetables and tourist brochures are available on request.
This is an update of previous information (The
Times No. 170, May 1998 p14).
2. Belmont bus depot: Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures, self serve display.
3. Charlestown Square information desk:
Newcastle Buses and (sometimes) some private bus timetables, self serve display.
4. Garden City information desk:
Newcastle Buses and some private bus timetables and brochures, on request (not displayed).
5. Newcastle Tourist Information Centre (Scott St):
Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures, self serve display.
Regional private bus timetables: on request (not displayed)
6. Lake Macquarie Tourist Information Centres (Blacksmiths):
Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures, self serve display
7. University of Newcastle Students Association office and Contact shop, both in Union building:
Newcastle Buses, local and some regional private buses, University Public Transport Guide, and Newcastle CityRail timetables and brochures: self serve displays.
8. Newcastle Station (Watt St barrier cabin):
All CityRail timetables, Newcastle Buses, regional private buses timetables and brochures: on request (display visible).
9. Broadmeadow Station (ticket office):
All CityRail and some Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures: on request (display not visible)
10. Cardiff Station (ticket office):
All CityRail, some Newcastle Buses, and Sugar Valley timetables and brochures: on request (display not visible).
11. Hamilton and Waratah Stations (ticket office):
All CityRail and some Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures: on request (display not visible)
12. Fassifern Station:
All CityRail and Fassifern-Toronto TrainBus timetables and brochures: on request (display not visible)
13. Some newsagents:
Local Newcastle Buses timetables and brochures: on request (display not always visible).
14. Private buses: Usually carry limited supplies of their own
(Ed: Updates of any "Obtaining timetables" lists that have previously been published are most welcome. As some supply locations will change over time and other new sources are discovered, it is important we stay up to date so that these lists will be of maximum benefit to us.)
2. DEANES buses: Deanes place their timetables in many locations including at their depot, 11 Bass Street, Queanbeyan, Canberra City Interchange and Queanbeyan Station.
3. Jolimont Building, Northbourne Ave: In the City at the Jolimont Building on Northbourne Avenue (where long distance buses terminate/start) MURRAYS’ timetables are available on open access at their counter. GREYHOUND PIONEER provide timetables on request at their counter. And at the TRAVELLERS’ BOOKSHOP (who are agents for smaller bus companies) timetables of the smaller companies are available on request.
4. COUNTRYLINK trains and buses: COUNTRYLINK and sometimes other railway timetables are easily available at COUNTRYLINK’s office, which is also in the Jolimont Building, as well as, of course, at the Canberra Railway Station in Kingston and Queanbeyan Station (where the Australian Railway Historical Society, ACT Division operates a CountryLink agency).
Victor Isaacs, Kingston, A.C.T.
You have touched on the problem of getting younger people "into" our hobby (The Times No. 173, August 1998 p11 and The Times No. 175, October 1998 pp14 & 15). As Editor, your sons Andrew and Trevor are rare, as they both enjoy rail/bus/tram interests, including timetable collecting! I only wish that my son Elphie would have followed my interests. That’s life, though.
What to do about it? May I suggest that you think about approaching different schools and giving a talk about your hobby and its various aspects. Then you may get permission to start something like a school railway/bus/timetable club, like the long running N.S.W. School Railway Clubs Association. Who knows, at some stage interest by kids in our hobby may grow.
As for printing transport timetables, it should be required by LAW, as not everybody has access to the internet. What about interstate and overseas visitors, how do they find out when buses run, if there isn’t a hard copy timetable? Citizens For Public Transport (a public transport lobby group) will be pushing this issue.
John Coyle, Raceview, Qld.
Convenor, Citizens For Public Transport.
As a result of the reaction to my published letter (The Times No. 174, September 1998 p10), I would like to add a few extra comments on the subject on private operators in the Sydney metropolitan area.
The list of operators from 1977/78 which I referred to was published in the fourth edition of the UBD Compact Street Directory and makes no mention of any of the operators on the outskirts of Sydney which have been suggested as additions to the current list. All three editions of Sydney by Public Transport (published in 1981, 1982 and 1989) which list Sydney private operators again do not include these operators. A 1983 list N.S.W. Metropolitan Bus Fleets published by H.C.V.A. only lists Pearce Omnibus Pty Ltd and it shows all but one of their buses as being on country MO registration plates. The 1993 New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings again does not include any of these fringe area operators.
Hence it appears that generally criteria other than the use of Sydney region route numbers are used to decide whether an operator should be included in Sydney fleet lists. Hence I stick to my number of 31 operators now reduced to 29 (with the deletion of Manly Transport Service and St. Ives Bus Service of which I became aware just after I forwarded my previous letter). It is interesting to note that the September 1998 issue of Transit Australia also quotes the current number of private operators as 29 and not 33.
I was surprised at the Editor’s comments that he believed Crossley Bus Lines included Revesby Bus and Coach Service as I had expressly included this in my previous paragraph. I agree with all the other Editor’s comments.
Lourens (Lourie) Smit, Punchbowl, N.S.W.
(Ed: Upon receipt of Lourie’s letter I asked Bob Henderson and Bruce Cook, who are familiar with private bus developments in Sydney, to comment on the above points with the following result:
2) At the August meeting of the AATTC Sydney Division our discussion was based on the present operators who are now part of the Sydney area route numbering system which is why we came up with 33 operators.
3) Since the August meeting some members have pointed out that by using the Sydney area route numbering criteria we should include two extra operators giving a total of 35 operators. These are:
a) Katoomba-Leura (Mountainlink) who apparently have been allocated Sydney area route numbers but do not show them on their timetables and
b) Buslink should be regarded as two operators (1 – Crowther and 2- Kurnell Passenger and Transport Services) as Buslink is only a trading name the two operators use as they work the same bus contract area.
4) Defining operators by the type of MO plates on their buses can no longer be used to identify whether they are metropolitan or country operators as a number of Sydney metropolitan operators now run buses in Sydney on country MO plates.
5) We would prefer not to have to disagree with Lourie. It’s just
that at our August Sydney meeting we counted more than 29 operators who
are part of the current Sydney area route numbering system – at least 33
and maybe 35 (if those in item 3 above are included). We welcome Lourie
to attend the next AATTC Sydney Division meeting on 21st November 1998
when we would be happy to revisit the issue with him.)
Further to "From the Editor" (The Times No. 175, October 1988 p3) about the book Railroad Timetables, Travel Brochures and Posters – A History and Guide for Collectors by Brad S. Lomazzi published in 1995 by Golden Hill Press Inc., I have ascertained that the ISBN number is 0961487682 and that it is available from Amazon Books via the internet (www.amazon.com). I’ve ordered two copies from Amazon for US$38.92 including postage.
Another book about collecting timetables is Railway Tickets, Timetables & Handbills by Maurice I. Bray (ISBN 0 86190 163 0) published in 1986 by Mourland Publishing Co. Ltd., 8 Station St., Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1DF England.
Duncan MacAuslan, Rozelle, N.S.W.
This month, Graphic Insight resumes its analysis of a range of Australian transport timetables commenced in the July and August 1998 issues of The Times, and we take a look at how scheduled transit time varies with time of day and day of week.
The timetables on which the analysis is based are recent public timetables (1994 to 1998) from Queensland Railways, CityRail (NSW), The Met (Vic), TransAdelaide, TransPerth, Brisbane City Council, Glenorie Bus Co (NSW) and QANTAS. The routes selected are from the nominated location to the CBD of the State Capital city except: QANTAS, Glenorie Bus service route 635 from Castle Hill to Beecroft, Sydney Airport Express route 350 from Kings Cross to Sydney Domestic Airport, and the CityRail service from Maitland to Newcastle.
The graph below shows one line for each transport route. Each point on the line represents the scheduled journey time (in minutes) at a particular time of the week as listed at the top of the graph. The slope of the line between the points indicates the relative scheduled times.
Note that in some cases, the peak journey is quicker than off-peak, and in other cases it is slower. There is an interesting modal contrast illustrated here: generally speaking, rail services are quicker in peak hours - this is because express services are scheduled, whereas trams and buses are slower, largely because they become entangled in the traffic and with heavier loading are less likely to skip stops. The Glenelg tram however betrays itself as being more like a train because it does have peak hour express services which are faster than off-peak. The Hunters Hill ferry is faster in peak hours because of altered (or express) routing.
All bus routes listed here schedule faster services on weekends than on weekdays taking advantage of the less congested traffic; rail services however show no such adjustment.
In all cases, the air routes show no variation in journey time at all.