Here is a much better view of a Victorian Railways platform trolley, showing all of the design features.
I took the view because it was being towed by local resident Claude Einsiedel. He was a retired horsebreeder, and a grand old man of the railway hobby: a regular traveller and recorder/writer of his travels, former ARHS president, and regular reporter of railway news from his beloved South Gippsland line. He was awarded a BEM for services to the community. One had been to ensure that Victoria's place-names committee adopted the spelling 'Koo-wee-rup': he did the full historical research. Since his death, it has morphed into 'Koo Wee Rup'; I don't know if consciously, or just a junior clerk lacking knowledge.
The train is the afternoon one from Leongatha to Melbourne, with a connection from Wonthaggi (where I had spent the day). Notice the bracket so that the handle can be kept upright when the trolley is not in use, and the steering axle. There were no brakes; I can't even recall in inbuilt sprag brake. They were unsprung, and the bearings were fairly crude: they could be quite stiff to move even before loading them heavily.
Also notice the varied parcels which it is carrying, including chilled insulated containers of bull semen.
The earlier one in the series, taken at Parkes, I scanned for Cinema & Theatre Historical Society, to accompany an article of the memoirs of a film distributor. Sets of film canisters were forever on the move to/from country cinemas. I was surprised not to find some amongst the jumble of mailbags, parcels and luggage.
Another traffic, where I would have to search for a photo, was crates of homing pigeons: sent to a country station, and released by the stationmaster. That is one of the memories of my childhood, when staying with my grandfather at Nar Nar Goon.
681220F Koo-wee-rup Claude Einsiedel trolley (Roderick Smith)
Here is a Victorian Railways platform wheelbarrow, taken at Nar Nar Goon (Vic.) in 1955.
This is a crop of a the version printed in Sept.2004 'RNV', when I wrote a history of my grandfather's railway career as my contribution to the pool of publishing celebrating the 150th anniversary of Australia's first steam-hauled public railway (Flinders St to Sandridge, now Port Melbourne).
That was the last issue when I used screened bromides, so the original is back in a box somewhere, and hard to locate fast. When I do, I'll remove this post, and replace it with a better scan.
The Victorian line was beaten as a public railway by Goolwa - Port Elliot (SA), but that line was worked by horses.
Here are five crops from photos on the hard drive already, showing typical north American (and South Australian) high-level trolleys for low-level platforms, also a typical tractor/tug.
The backdrops don't show them to best advantage: several of the trains are Spanish-design low-floor Talgo ones, and not the usual high-floor ones. The double-deck long-distance Superliner carriages run with older single-deck high-floor vans for parcels.
I am still searching in the main collection for ones taken at close range.
The third photo of the preceding set did show a traditional baggage van, with a normal floor height.
Here is a better view of the North American style, also taken at Portland, on a different holiday.
In Australia, the early tugs were petrol fuelled; by the 1980s they were using lpg or lng. I can't recall electric ones here, and the sort of traffic for which they were used has vanished from rail. USA has electric versions, although my main memory is of them carrying frail people from terminal buildings to train doors. Lots of airports have that style too.
961224Tu Portland (Oregon USA) baggage tug & trolleys. R Smith.
I suspect that this style of trolley tug/tractor was fairly recent in 1982. My memory is that the type was gas burning (lpg or lng). Even on the full-size scan, I can't read the sign on the bonnet. It seems to be a maker's plate, but all I can read is 'C___'. I suspect this one came from an outside supplier, not in-house construction.
The trolley was part of the new-look passenger services, where all long-distance trains had onboard buffets; cleaning and resupplying were done at the platforms at Melbourne Spencer St during tight turnarounds, increasing the productivity. Most sets could make three long-distance journeys in one day (traditionally, only two).
The trolley could be a modern body on an old chassis.
The old style of trolley, carrying stacked assorted parcels & luggage, was redundant. VR was copying British Rail's wire bin trolleys, loaded over a ramp, then conveyed in the van to the destination to be offloaded (the railway equivalent of airline underfloor cargo containers).
Here is my full resto story. Sarge fund this one for me - a bit rough, but should buff out ok!
Making a new frame
Yep, that fits
Speaking of wheels, I was surprised how rough the casting was. Looked a bit home made. There where no makers name of serial numbers on any of the parts so it might have been a tech college project or a home blacksmith jobby
Hard at work carrying the International 3M stationary engine