August to October, 1999 Issue Nos. 185 to 187 (Vol. 16 Nos. 8 to 10)
Shown above is the front cover and inside page from one of the last
Adelaide Trolley Bus working timetables dated 9th April 1962. This
timetable was issued less than 18 months before the Adelaide trolley bus
system was closed in September 1963 (just over 36 years ago). Commencing
on page 4 of this issue Robert Field describes this timetable and we
reproduce the timetable for the weekday services on pages 6 to 19.
Dear members and friends,
1. About this issue: As you will notice from the front cover and the top of each page this is a combined August, September and October 1999 edition of The Times. The reason I have combined these three issues is that I was unable to complete the August and September issues in time for the mail out deadlines in those months. Therefore this is a 36 page issue to accommodate all the articles and letters I had planned to put in those missed issues. The end result is that the same number of pages have now been published that would have been produced had they been in separate monthly issues.
I have been extremely busy with my work commitments putting in more hours than normal. I am involved with the construction of the new 7.5km Brisbane Airport railway line and we are on target to have the first trains running in May 2001. It is basically a long concrete bridge held up by evenly spaced pylons from Toombul to Brisbane airport. The line traverses an area that is prone to regular flooding which is the reason the line is elevated. The operators of the Brisbane Airport made a decision two months ago to move the planned second runway a kilometre closer to Moreton Bay which has meant the underpass we were to construct to go under the taxiway to the second runway is no longer needed. This has meant a major change to the line between the International and Domestic Terminals which has taken up a fair amount of my time.
In addition to my work commitments I am involved with the Queensland Omnibus & Coach Society (QOCS). All was going fine there until their Treasurer fled overseas taking the Society funds with him leaving almost nothing in the bank for the Society to operate with. In addition the Society has been offered 21 buses from the Ferny Grove Tram Museum and 12 buses from the defunct Q-Bus club. Securing a home for 33 buses when most of your funds have gone missing is quite a challenge. These events spurred along the decision for QOCS to incorporate so a little bit more of my time than normal has been spent on this. If QOCS had been incorporated the regular audits you are required to have by a Chartered Accountant or CPA would no doubt have highlighted the problem that was developing with the finances. If AATTC ever decides to incorporate at least I now know what is involved!
I have greatly appreciated the understanding of readers during this delay and I can assure you I have taken some action to avoid it happening again as the next item reveals.
2. My last issue as Editor: At the AATTC Annual General Meeting in Canberra in September 1997 no one had been nominated to edit The Times. Albert Isaacs, the founding Editor of The Times was already editing Table Talk and could no longer continue doing both journals on a long term basis due to the amount of time it was taking. We were faced with the prospect of having to abandon The Times. A plea was made for someone to stand in the gap and edit The Times until another editor came along. I somewhat reluctantly agreed to take on editing The Times on that basis as I do not have a strong interest in historic timetables. Iím basically into multi-modal current or near current timetables.
A new editor hadnít come along by the time of the AGM at Tallarook in October 1998 so I agreed to continue as editor for another year. With the approach of the 1999 AGM to be held at the Loftus Tram Museum on 16th October, and still no prospect of a new editor, I advised the AATTC committee that I wasnít able to keep standing in the gap as editor for a third year. Since that time the search has been on for a new editor and member Geoff Lambert from Sydney has indicated his interest and willingness to stand for the position at this years AGM. As you can imagine Iím a relieved man! As a result of Geoff agreeing to stand for the position of editor this will be the last issue of The Times I edit. Subject to Geoff being elected as editor at the AGM on 16th October the November issue will be edited by him.
3. What was achieved?: I believe the most important achievement of my editorship was the transfer of The Times from being prepared on a word processor to being prepared on a computer. This brought many advantages. It enabled The Times to be downloaded directly onto the AATTC web site, draft copies of the journal could be emailed between members of the editorial committee to work on, articles and letters could be submitted by email and computer disk for publication and it saved a lot of typing! I believe another achievement was the commencement of regular publication of lists of timetables, good places to obtain timetables, web sites with timetables and so forth. No doubt the new editor of The Times will be able to build upon these achievements as I was able to build upon the achievements of my predecessor, Albert Isaacs.
4. Thankyou: As I sign off as editor Iíd like to thank those who have assisted me over the past two years.
* Iíd like to thank the working editorial team who have helped me on a regular basis. They are Victor Isaacs, David Hennell, Bob Henderson, Bob Ritchie and Duncan MacAuslan. Whenever Iíve been stuck it has usually been one of these team members who has come to my rescue. Victor, David and Bob have been proof reading each issue of The Times before it is printed and Bob Ritchie has been turning hard copy into soft copy.
* Iíd like to thank Chris Brownbill who provides the Graphic Insight page for each issue, downloads The Times onto the AATTC web page and assists with the occasional technical matter.
* Iíd also like to thank Graeme Cleak who has sometimes met almost impossible deadlines turning the final copy into a printed journal ready for the mail out.
* I wish to thank Albert Isaacs for editing the first two issues after I was elected while I was getting organised obtaining a computer and email facilities so I could begin my first issue.
* I would also like to thank all the contributors and letter writers who have made The Times possible. I have met some wonderful people through The Times that I wouldnít have otherwise known.
I wish our new editor all the best for the future and look forward to many interesting issues ahead.
Yours in the cause of happy timetable collecting,
Editor, The Times.
Some time back Jack McLean was pleased when his copy of the NAOTC Collector magazine for Fall 1998 arrived. He was also amused to see that The Collector had reprinted two whole pages (pp. 306 & 307) from the October 1995 Newsrail (the Victorian ARHS magazine). One of the pages had included the following advertisement inserted by the Victorian Division Archives.
Nothing to do on Tuesday Nights? Why not visit the ARHS Archives on the down platform at Windsor from 8 pm? See you there!!"
t appears that the ad was included when The Collector reproduced the two complete Newsrail pages. Jack is somewhat amused by this and has written to Kent Hannah, Editor of The Collector to ask if he knows whether any of his readers may have actually gone to the down platform (or maybe the westbound platform) of any of the Windsor stations in U.S.A. or Canada.
According to the 1941 American Official Guide and the 1945 Canadian Official Guide, Windsor railway stations are listed as being in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Newfoundland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Newfoundland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
ONE OF THE LAST ADELAIDE TROLLEY BUS TIMETABLES
by Robert Field
The trolley bus system commenced in Adelaide in 1937 when a service started from the City to Tusmore followed later by routes from the City to Port Adelaide, Semaphore and Largs. In 1952/53 trolley buses were introduced on the Linden Park, Erindale and Burnside routes. The trolley buses ceased running in September 1963. They were based at Hackney Depot and Port Adelaide Depot.
Accompanying this article is a copy of one of the last trolley bus working timetables for the Adelaide Trolley Bus system dated 9th April, 1962 (the weekday timetable is reproduced on pages 6 to 19). By the time this timetable was issued there were only single deck trolley buses running - 30 Sunbeams of 1952 vintage and most of the fleet of 26 Leyland "Cantons" of 1942 to 1945 vintage. The latter were small, seating 31 with 25 standees. The Sunbeams seated 40 with 30 standees
From 1957 onwards, after the withdrawal of the double deck trolley buses, some runs on the Port Road and Eastern Suburbs trolley bus routes were operated by the large 3 door diesel buses of the 1954-58 series, usually Leyland Worldmasters, but sometimes AEC Regal Mark IVís. The Port Adelaide - Largs North - Osborne route continued to operate as a feeder service.
In the working timetable the diesel buses are identified as "S2" type (see front page). On some "S2" type services some parts of its run would operate on a non-electrified extension or variation of the trolley bus route or would operate a trip on another diesel bus route altogether eg. run 425 in the a.m. peak operated a trip from Lockleys to the City after doing a trip from Linden Park (shown on page 6). Apart from those stipulated some other runs were operated by diesel buses, although the exact allocation varied from day to day.
53 buses were required for the a.m. peak.
26 buses were required for the Mon to Fri off peak.
59 buses were required for the p.m. peak.
Services on the Port Road were very dense. There were many industries with large workforces. The eastern suburbs routes served affluent suburbs, but the residents valued their trolley bus services and patronised them well by Adelaide standards. The eastern routes were more peak oriented than the Port Road routes. Many trips terminated or began at the Light Square loop, near the intersection of Hindley and Morphet Streets. It seems hard to believe today that these services traversed the then very congested Rundle Street and Hindley Street in the city.
There were turning loops at the following locations, apart from the termini:
Marryatville, Tusmore, Glenside, Kent Town, Light Square, Woodville (for both directions), Junction Rd adjacent to Port Depot (for "down" buses) and Port Adelaide.
The trolley buses never provided special services to the Victoria Park race course although the eastern routes passed the race course.
The trolley bus timetable (shown on pages 6 to 19) was the largest timetable of the then MTT. For this reason it was printed by a professional printer instead of being in the usual typewritten and duplicated format. The timetable contains typical MTT directions for the use of Bundy time recording clocks and toilet locations. It also contains a good selection of the almost pedantic special working arrangements for various runs. These are indicated in the timetable by "SWA" - Special Working Arrangements.
This timetable is also of interest because it was very short lived - one month! The reason is that the evening services to the eastern suburbs were arranged in the wrong order. Erindale and Burnside shared a common trunk route along Kensington Toad for about ĺ of their length and should always have been evenly spaced. This timetable provided each with a 36 minutes headway at night but resulted in alternating headways of 9 minutes and 27 minutes to Marryatville (stop 10). There were many complaints so the evening services were rearranged after 6.20 pm to restore the proper sequence. The uneven sequence did not cause a significant problem for Linden Park and Beaumont patrons because those routes diverged separately from one another about 10 minute from the City.
The "frogs" in the wires at junctions (except at Glenside) were manually operated so all services operated with conductors Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays there wee sufficient diesel buses available to run all the services so they were one man operated. The one man operation had commenced from 1959.
After the withdrawal of the trolley buses in September 1963 service reductions occurred progressively on these routes. On weekdays they now operate Ĺ hourly between 10.30 am and 2.00 pm on the Port Road route and hourly from 9.30am to 2.30 pm on each of the eastern suburbs routes. There has also been a deterioration of services during the peak hours as well. I have a collection of public and working timetables which show this sad decline in service level. Contributing factors have been the loss of the trolley buses, relocation of some industries, socio-economic and demographic changes, inconvenient rerouting, the motor car "revolution", traffic congestion and the withdrawal of conductors.
Illustration - t/t page 3
Notice that the above timetable shows Beaumont and Burnside services to the City then to Port Adelaide while the next page of the timetable shows the services in the opposite direction. In other words the "down" and "up" tables are interspersed with each other. There is no separate "down" timetable and no separate "up" timetable.
Illustration - t/t page 4
Notice that the above timetable shows Largs and Port Adelaide services to the City then to Burnside and Beaumont while the next page of the timetable shows the services in the opposite direction. In other words the "down" and "up" tables are interspersed with each other. There is no separate "down" timetable and no separate "up" timetable.
Illustration - t/t page 5
Notice that the A.M. and P.M. designations are shown on the side of the table and not at the top. It is presumed this method of designation was to make it easier to locate the A.M. and P.M. pages when the timetable was pulled out of the pocket.
Illustration - t/t page 6
Notice that only Port Adelaide and King William Street are shown in bold print. It appears the eastern suburbs routes didnít warrant a bold print timing point.
Illustration - t/t page 7
Notice that there are no buses tabled to or from Hackney Deport during the middle of the day. Also notice the 5 minute frequency between King William Street and Port Adelaide.
Illustration - t/t page 8
Notice that the northern suburbs of Largs and Semaphore received a 15 minute service during the day while the eastern suburbs of Linden Park, Erindale, Burnside and Beaumont only received a 20 minute service.
Illustration - t/t page 9
Notice all the buses starting from Hackney Depot and Port Depot for the peak hour services. Also notice the dramatic increase in frequencies of services between King William Street and Port Adelaide after 3.00 pm. It goes from a 5 minute headway to a 2 minute headway by 4 pm. It must have been a sight to behold - a trolley bus every 2 minutes!
Illustration - t/t page 10
Notice the commencement of afternoon short workings to Glenside and Woodville. Also notice the fuel bus working to and from St. Peters Girls School.
Illustration - t/t page 11
Notice the increase in buses returning to Hackney and Port Depots after 5.45 pm. Also notice the number of buses terminating at Morphett Street.
Illustration - t/t page 12
Notice that there are very few short workings above for trolley buses travelling from Port Adelaide to the City and eastern suburbs.
Illustration - t/t page 13
Notice the number of trolley buses above that are terminating at Hackney depot. It averages out to just one about every two minutes.
Illustration - t/t page 14
Notice that the majority of the depot bound buses above proceed to Port depot. Also notice the large gaps between trolley buses during the evening to the eastern suburbs destinations.
Illustration - t/t pages 15, 16, 17 (toilets).
(Ed: In 1998 Australian Geographical Studies the journal of the Institute of Australian Geographers Inc. published an article by Howard Quinlan on Air Services in Australia. Accompanying the article is a very good chart showing the development of the airlines in Australia. The portion of the article with the charts was provided to me by Victor Isaacs. Permission was obtained from the publishers, Blackwell Publishers (108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 IJF, United Kingdom http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk) to reproduce material from the article subject to acknowledgement of the original source. The following charts have been reproduced from the pages of Australian Geographical Studies exactly as they appeared. I believe these charts will be very helpful to collectors of Australian airline timetables.)
Illustration - Figure 3
Illustration - Figure 4
Illustration - Figure 5
Illustration - Figure 6
In The Times (No. 173, August 1998 pp 3 to 5) is an intriguing article entitled Marree Line Passenger Trains in 1976. Readers may recall that the article referred to a series of South Australian Railways (SAR) Train Notices issued to cover interim arrangements due to interruptions to the Ghan service, in April 1976, between Marree and Alice Springs. The train notices had been issued over the authority of not one but three divisional superintendents of the old SAR. The author Victor Isaacs asked why?
As a former SAR staffer I was likewise intrigued at the names of not one, but three, Superintendents on these notices. I can understand the Adelaide and Peterborough Superintendents being mentioned. Port Pirie was part of the former Peterborough Division, hence reference to that Divisionís head is logical. But I am at a loss to explain reference to the head of the Murray Bridge Division - south of Adelaide, in the opposite direction from the amended train operations mentioned in both train notices. It doesnít add up.
Victor posed a further question - why were all these Superintendents just acting? To that query I do have an answer. The American style Divisional system of administration on the old SAR was introduced in the 1920ís by that legendary Commissioner W A Webb. There were four divisions - Adelaide, Murray Bridge, Peterborough, and Port Lincoln. Because of its size and train operating patterns, the Adelaide Division - in addition to its Superintendent - also had three Assistant Superintendents - Metro, North, and South. Similarly, the Murray Bridge Division had two Assistant Superintendents - one located at Renmark, the other at Mount Gambier - principally to handle the SARís commercial interests (rather than operational aspects) in these areas.
These were still the days when seniority played its part in staff appointments. Appointments at this level came from two major sources - the ranks of Station Masters and Train Controllers. Generally speaking, the order of "climbing the ladder", at this senior officer level, so to speak, was to start out as a relieving Assistant Superintendent. This position was principally designed to cover annual leave commitments. The next rung on the ladder was as an Assistant Superintendent at either Renmark or Mount Gambier. A stint may then have followed in one of the Adelaide based Assistant positions. The junior Divisional Superintendent position was the Port Lincoln posting. The next was either Peterborough or Murray Bridge, before the plum role of Adelaide Divisional Superintendent.
About the only rung left on the ladder at this stage (if the incumbent wasnít on the point of retirement) was the role of General Traffic Manager. There were a couple of other senior officers in this hierarchy - the Chief and Assistant Chief Train Controllers based in Adelaide. When a senior Divisional appointment was made (and prior to any consequential appointments being made), everyone moved up a rung on the ladder and this would explain the number of acting positions occupied by the names at the foot of each train notice.
From this distance, it appears to me that the Adelaide Superintendent may have either retired or been promoted (or may even have been acting in a higher capacity such as General Traffic Manager), and the other divisional superintendents moved up one slot as a consequence - Ian Moore from Peterborough to Adelaide, Terry Wilden from Murray Bridge to Peterborough, and John Harrison from either Port Lincoln or an Assistant Superintendent position, to Murray Bridge. Interesting to note that Ian Moore and Terry Wilden both came up through the ranks as Station Masters, and John Harrisonís career was as a Train Controller.
One further observation on the train notices may be of interest to readers. The initials on the left-hand side of each notice are those of the staff member in the Timetables/Trucks section who compiled the train notice. The signatory on behalf of each Divisional Superintendent was always a senior member of Adelaide Train Control - either the Chief Train Controller or his Assistant.
John Evans, Hawthorn, S.A.
There has been another interesting article The Times that caught my eye. The article Would you Believe It? (The Times No. 180, March 1999 page 1) shows a "When Necessary" movement for Train Number 1334 which was Light Engines. It did indeed operate on occasion during the early 1990ís.
I have enclosed a set of train orders and accompanying documentation that authorised one such movement from Kalgoorlie to Port Pirie on 6-7 September 1992, en route to the Motive Power Centre at Dry Creek (it is shown on pages 25 to 29). This particular movement comprised DL40 leading, and hauling AL20, CL4, DL42, EL57, and Brakevan AVOP 274, for a gross load of 521 tonnes. It must have made quite a sight powering across the Nullarbor - all these locomotives and no loading! Looking at the time (9.48am) train order No.26 was issued to this movement at Port Augusta on the morning of 7 September, it appeared to have maintained its schedule and was actually running slightly ahead of the scheduled departure of 10.47am.
I donít think such a movement is part of the timetable pattern across from the West these days. NR class locomotives seem to be so abundant that any surplus locos can be hauled back east as part of scheduled freight trains without the need to resort to a special light engine movement to balance power.
John Evans, Hawthorn, S.A.
Your members/readers may be interested in a proposal to establish an Australian Newspaper Historical Society. Many historians use newspapers as part of their research, but I believe they are also of interest for their own sake.
I envisage that this proposed society would:
* Promote interest and research into the history of newspapers in Australia;
* Promote fellowship among those interested in this subject;
* Publish a journal; and
* Promote the collection and preservation of Australian newspapers.
I invite anyone interested to contact me.
Victor Isaacs, Kingston, A.C.T.
There is perhaps an interesting sideline to the article on Paid Advertisements in Sydney Bus Timetables The Times (Nos. 182 & 183, May-June 1999, pp 16-19). It may throw some light on the decision as to whether or not to carry advertising in timetable.
Sales tax does not have to be paid on all printed matter. Schedule 1 of the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act lists goods which are except for sales tax. Item 100 (1) in Schedule 1 exempts:
* Books, pamphlets, leaflets, periodicals, magazines and printed music.
This is normally interpreted to mean that sales tax is not payable on printed timetables.
However, Item 100 (2) lists those goods which are excluded from the exemption in item 100 (1). This item includes:
(a) advertising matter (including matter that is published in order to advertise any business or products of the publisher).
This is normally interpreted to mean that if a timetable includes specific advertising, sales tax is payable. Statements by the bus company about the nature of their business are not necessarily interpreted as advertising, but rather as information. The implication is that if paid advertising is accepted in a timetable, the rate charged has be at least sufficient to offset the 22% additional cost through the payment of sales tax. In many cases, this is higher than businesses are prepared to pay, given the relatively low circulation of timetables in the community.
It is the responsibility of the printer to determine whether sales tax is payable from his/her observation of the timetable contents. The Tax Office does not issue any exemption authorities on this matter. It refers enquirers to the provisions of the Act and leaves it to them to make their own decision in conjunction with their printer.
Most bus companies that I have worked with have preferred to forego paid advertising so as to avoid paying the sales tax. This of course has the added advantage of making more space available for timetable information.
In any case, all of this changes when the GST comes into effect next year. It will be interesting to observe what impact this may have on the production and availability of timetables.
Len Regan, Newcastle, NSW
After reading the article in The Times (No. 184 July 1999, pp 6-16) about timetables available on the internet I also know of some additional sites which I found using the AATTC home page and going to Ken Chapmans timetable links. Another method I used was to type in a query in a search engine for "Australian bus timetables".
Sites I have discovered are:
Brisbane Private Operators
NSW Mid North Coast
http://www.holidaycoast.net.au (Coffs Harbour Coaches, Watsons, Sawtell buses)
http://www.psbuses.nelsonbay.com/ (Pt Stephens Buses)
http://www.metrotas.com.au (Launceston, Burnie, Hobart)
Also I have discovered three New Zealand sites:
http://www.nelson.co.nz.thebus (Nelson Buses, South Island)
http://www.crc.govt.nz/crc.hime/homepage/sitemap.asp (All Christchurch and Timaru buses)
I hope readers find the above of interest.
Alan Gray, Spit Junction, N.S.W.
(Ed: I appreciate Alan sending in the above website addresses. Unfortunately I have not had time to check them out to confirm I have typed up the addresses correctly. If any changes are needed to the above please advise the editor so they can be updated.)
I would like to offer a suggestion on how to obtain Public Transport timetables.
 Buy one of each A5 and A4 "pre-paid" envelopes for each operator you wish to write to.
 Self address the A4 envelope. Place it in the A5, with a letter to the transport operator asking them to fill the A4 envelope with their timetables and simply mail it back to you!
What operator would refuse to fill a Pre-Paid self addressed envelope?
John Coyle, Raceview, Qld.
(Ed: Unfortunately there are a number of operators who will not "simply mail it back to you!". Iíve tried this suggestion on many occasions and about 90% of operators will oblige. I usually find about 10% are not mailed back and you end up losing your prepaid envelope - do these operators hijack your envelope for other uses?)
I noticed your comments in The Times (No. 184 July 1999, p3) about the preparation of a list of transport web sites. I was in the process of giving some thought to this at the time I read it. I have since started to prepare such a list which includes the websites in my article in the July Times, but without any comments. Could you invite your readers in the next issue to send any contributions to me c/- The Times for such a list which I can correlate for future publication in a total list. Information on websites with or without timetables can also be sent to my email address email@example.com.
As well as private bus information I would also like to include airlines including some which do not operate to Australia. After possibly being published in a future edition of The Times it could subsequently be distributed through the AATTC Distribution Service say on a quarterly basis. More logically it could also be available on the AATTC web page as it would most likely only be used by people who have access on the Internet in the first place. I would be happy to carry out the maintenance on it.
By visiting the AATTC web site I was able to find out about your fine organisation. From what relatively few Australian timetables I have in my collection, I think the Australian railway and bus companies do a much better job on the cover graphics than has been done by Amtrak and other passenger transportation companies here in the States.
Of our intercity coach carriers, Greyhound issues very little in the way of public timetables for its US operations, unlike the Canadian Greyhound lines which issues a nice little variety of forms for its trans-Canada bus routes. That Greyhound of USA issues little timetable material is ironic for a coach operator that operates a route system of over 100,000 miles covering the 48 continental United States.
I have seen better from such smaller companies such as Hudson Transit Lines (Short Line) of Mahwah, NJ. That carrier has a route structure that reaches from Danbury Connecticut and New York City, across New York State's Southern Tier to Olean, NY, though the bulk of its routes are in Southeastern NY. You can find no less than a dozen different timetable forms for this company. That includes the Binghamton-Utica line of Chenango Valley Bus Lines. Besides railways and bus lines, I am also interested in airlines as well.
I would love to do some horse trading with some of your members. What I picked up in a few trans-Pacific trades a few years ago has only whetted my appetite. I have US and some Canadian material for trade. My address is:
56B South Main Street
Perry, NY 14530
E-mail is GenJim833@aol.com
Keep up the great work. You are doing just as good a job on covering timetables as your sister organization NAOTC here in the states, of which I am a member.
James Mancuso, Perry, New York. U.S.A.
A recent "Fact Sheet" issued by Speedrail has much of interest, but I believe it illustrates a serious shortcoming in timetable planning. Speedrail say that there will be 220 km of dedicated high speed line, with speeds "up to" 320 km/h, and that trains will take 81 minutes from Sydney Central to Canberra. Those stopping at "Southern Highlands" and "Goulburn" will take a "few" minutes longer. There will be nine trains, each of two power cars and 8 trailers, and there will be a 45 minute frequency from 6.00 am to midnight.
One of my VFT documents gave the Sydney - Canberra distance as 255 km (another one gave 262 km) so it would seem that there will be about 35 km of non-high speed track. Glenfield just happens to be 33 km from Central via East Hills, so it seems that the new alignment will start at Glenfield Junction, and be quite separate and somewhat to the west of the present Campbelltown line.
One of the surprises of very fast lines is that it is possible to average almost the top speed when not stopping, regardless of hills. With a top speed of 320 km/h, for example, it is quite possible to average over 300 km/h going uphill from Glenfield to Canberra, until the train has to slow for a stop.
A train that averages (a conservative) 280 km/h would take 47 minutes for the 220 km of high speed line, and if we allow a further 3 minutes to accelerate from say 160 km/h and to stop, this gives a total time on the new track of 50 minutes. This means that Speedrail expect to take 31 minutes for 35 km in the suburbs, an average of just 68 km/h! This to me means no attempt at raising speeds as far as Glenfield, and no need to overtake stoppers. (This I believe is a sensible approach at present - 81 minutes is perfectly fast enough to Canberra, but it would have to be improved if the line was extended.)
I could be slightly wrong here, but it is possible that all trains are to have a "Campbelltown" stop, but Iíll assume for the moment they wonít. On the high speed sections, a stop costs a TGV about 6 minutes, so Campbelltown, Southern Highlands and Goulburn could easily add 18 minutes to a Canberra TGV. 99 minutes doesnít look as good as 81 minutes! And this brings me back to where I started.
N.S.W. railways in particular have the horrible habit of buying the largest possible trains so that they can offer the worst frequency (even if it costs extra to do it that way) instead of designing a decent service and buying small trains to fit. There is no better example than XPTs, which could all be split in half to double or even triple frequencies at a stroke. TGVs are the size they are (some 8, some 10 cars, some double-deck) because there are literally hundreds of them, and they often run in multiple, and at close headways. Although it is understandable that Speedrail would want to buy a standard product, eight cars is simply too big for Sydney - Canberra.
Eight cars every 45 minutes means 32 cars every three hours. TGVs could be split in half to make a "1+4" HalfGV, and instead of a big train every 45 minutes, there could be two expresses every hour, and one stopper every 90 minutes, for the same total of 32 cars every three hours. A few extra drivers are needed, but what a better service!
The French have not gone for driving trailers with TGVs at all, but the Germans have, allowing a full size ICE to split and serve two destinations. An alternative would be to design a one power-bogie half power-car, with one each end of a three or four car rake. The prototype gas turbine/electric set TGV001 was five bodies on six bogies, with a driving cab at each end.
The other thing to note is that there seems to be no mention of trains going anywhere but "Central". Parramatta is only about 21 km from Glenfield, and allowing 17 minutes, this would give a Parramatta - Canberra express timing of 67 minutes, or with one stop, a Liverpool - Canberra timing of 55 minutes. This would be much faster than air for much of suburban Sydney, and far more desirable than 81 minutes from Central. And it is not hard to see such a service extended to Penrith or beyond, just as it is not hard to see a similar service to Hornsby or beyond.
And here is a nice problem to pose. Even a four car TGV might be too big to run a frequent service to suburban centres. Is it too much to imagine a fleet of two car MiniGVs running to all the non-Sydney destinations? For this brings me to the other end of the line. It appears that Speedrail will cross existing lines at Glenfield, and somewhere near Douglas Park, Mittagong, Marulan and south of Joppa Junction. If I was a Picton commuter, Iíd start dreaming of a very fast Xplorer that could mix it with TGVs as far as Douglas Park. And travellers on the Main South west of Goulburn might start thinking of a next generation XPT that could do the same thing as far as Goulburn.
Speedrail, if it actually happens, should be much more than just a Sydney - Canberra service. But before we get the right timetables, we must buy the right trains!
Andrew McLean, Taradale, Vic 3447
Not enough time in your day? Then this 25 hour timetable recently produced by Coral Coaches will give you an extra hour every day! I found it in the Port Douglas, Reef & Rainforest 1999 travel brochure. Obviously they meant to show 0015, 0020, 0025, 0030, etc instead of 2415, 2420, 2425, 2430, etc.
Noel Farr, Lakemba, N.S.W.
Kent Hannah, editor of The Collector which is published by NAOTC (National Association of Timetable Collectors) has written to me saying that he has recently obtained a copy of Gordonís Monthly Australasian Air Guide No. 4 for 1 August 1937. Kent would like to write an article about it for a future edition of The Collector and has asked if any reader of The Times could write to him (Kent Hannah, 1312 Woods Drive, Roanoke TX 76262-8905 USA) with answers to any of the following questions:
1) Was a fourth edition ever published?
2) Was Gordonís the equivalent to the Official Airline Guide in the U.S.A.?
3) Does it still exist today or did it perish?
4) Would any readers of The Times be able to send photocopies to Kent Hannah of any 1930 era timetables for some or all of these Australian and New Zealand airline companies that are listed in Gordonís:
* Adastra Airways Pty Ltd 136 Liverpool St, Sydney, N.S.W.
* Aircrafts Pty Ltd Wood Exchange Building, Eagle St, Brisbane, Qld.
* Airlines of Australia Ltd 14 Martin Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
* Airlines (WA) Ltd 65 St Georges Terrace, Perth, W.A.
* Ansett Airways Ltd 204 Gray Street, Hamilton, Victoria
* Butler Air Transport Co. Cootamundra, N.S.W.
* Cook Strait Airways Ltd Nelson, New Zealand
* East Coast Airways Ltd 60 Peel Street, Gisborne, New Zealand
* Guinea Airways Ltd 45 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, South Australia
* Intercity Airways 10 OíConnell Street, Sydney, N.S.W.
* MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co. 156 St. Georges Terrace, Perth, W.A.
* Qantas Empire Airways Ltd 43 Creek Street, Brisbane, Qld
* Union Airways of NZ 36 Customhouse Quay, Wellington, N.Z.
* Victorian and Interstate Airways Ltd 360 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Jack McLean, Box Hill North, Victoria.
How would you react if you went to book a day trip by coach from
Brisbane to somewhere down the N.S.W. north coast and were told the coach
leaves at 3.15am? Would you believe it? Well it used to happen back in
1991. Reproduced below is part of the coach timetable for Kirklands dated
1st July 1991 which shows their day service departed Brisbane at 3.15 am
and arrived their Sydney Terminal at 8.30 pm. I understand the reason why
the coach departed at that time was that it was basically a balancing run
from Brisbane to the N.S.W. border so it could pick up from N.S.W. far
north coast towns at a more reasonable hour. Iíd be interested in hearing
from anyone who may have travelled on this service to learn what the
patronage was like.
Following on from the review of the Two Airline Policy in last month's Graphic Insight, this month we look at the service frequencies provided by Australia's two domestic airlines, and how these vary with city population and distance.
The graph below plots the population of sixteen selected cities on the vertical axis against the distance in kilometres from Sydney on the horizontal axis. Against the IATA code of each city is listed the weekly number of non-stop flights scheduled from Sydney to that city. This figure is the total number of flights scheduled by QANTAS, its affiliates and subsidiaries plus those scheduled by Ansett Australia, its affiliates and subsidiaries. Note that the scale of both axes has been distorted slightly to ease viewing. Flowing through the graph are lines which indicate the apparent boundaries of service frequency levels - ie the lines connect points of the same value. (Would these lines perhaps be called flight-o-heits?)
As you would expect, cities with greater population get a greater number of flights, and the further from Sydney the fewer flights a city receives - BUT as we get quite close to Sydney, the number of flights drops away. For example Newcastle is larger than Canberra but it receives fewer flights. This is probably partly because it is closer to Sydney and flying is less viable but its probably also partly due to the strategic political role of Canberra.
Another interesting exception is Cairns which has a higher number of flights than one would expect for its population/distance location - this is presumably due to its key role as a domestic tourism destination.