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Container trains 10 Apr 2020 23:02 #208338

  • cobbadog
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Lack of height in tunnels heading out of Sydney would stop the double stacking heading North, then many of the bridges wont have the clearance either so a heap of infrastructure needs to be done. Doing that work would be cheaoer than trying to lay a double track so they can actually fill the tracks up with freight. Much of the northern line is a single track and is why there is so little freight run on this track near our house. Hopefully one day they will do something about being able to run 4 times the amount of freight to what is done now.
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Container trains 11 Apr 2020 11:46 #208350

  • Roderick Smith
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The Puffing Billy container was a bit misleading. Colin Rees of CRT transport has been a good supporter of the railway. He owns the three former West Melbourne Gasworks locos, on permanent loan for special operation (notably 'Thomas the Tank Engine' days and driver-experience). He has a trailer fitted with 762 mm gauge rails for taking equipment to ceremonial events. This container was running a mobile tools & equipment shed for track work.
I have checked my existing scans.
My photo of a mixed train on Central Australia Railway (the original Ghan line, 1067 mm gauge) shows containers on flatwagons, not whole semitrailers. I haven't scanned my photos of the gantry crane in operation at Larrimah, but I suspect containers, not trailers.
My photos of mixed trains on Trans Australia Railway (1435 mm gauge) show both trailer only and trailer with prime mover. I don't know when this traffic commenced. From 1960, Commonwealth Railways was converting redundant older sleeping cars for truckie use: Five cabins with two double bunks, a kitchenette and small lounge/dining area. The carriage was placed at the front of the train, well away from the sitting carriage which was conveying the wives and children of railway workers to medical appointments and shopping holidays in a major centre.
As at 1960, much of Eyre Hwy was unsurfaced, with notorious patches of bulldust. A lot was surfaced for 1962, Commonwealth Games in Perth. I don't know when the job was finished. Even so, companies found that it was worth sending trailers by train. The passenger crossing took about 26 hours from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie. The freight trains would not have been much slower. Trucks were conveyed between Port Augusta and Parkeston (CR's Kalgoorlie depot).
770518W-KG05-Watson-westboundfreight.CL4.GM20-TeaSugar-RSmith. I was riding on the famous T&S, serving workers in isolated communities: grocery, butchers shop, often a community-welfare vehicle. It was upgraded to supermarket style, then was withdrawn altogether. There are no isolated workers any more. With increased mechanised maintenance, they are based at either end, and are brought in for the duration of a project.
770518W-KG07a-Watson-double-widthcarcontainer-RSmith. Normally cars went on two-deck car wagons (USA stacks them on an angle). This special one, just for Minis, two abreast, was a container. It was too wide for anything else but this route. I don't know if the clearance existed the whole way into Perth.
770515Su-KC05a-nearAnnaCreek-mixed-RSmith. Containers on flatwagons.
770511W-JZ20-AliceSprings-motorail-RSmith. Very inefficient. Most motorail has drive-on/off ability.
770518W-KF27a-Cook-freight-CL7-CL9-RSmith. This shows trailers with and without prime movers. The carriage is one of the early 1950s ones, with the airconditioning removed, and truckie facilities added. I have a better photo from a 1984 trip, at www.flickr.com/photos/13175590@N00/49762570006

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Container trains 11 Apr 2020 12:52 #208355

  • roKWiz
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IHScout wrote: Yes I've wondered why we aren't doing double decker container trains in Aus after seeing them all of the US..

It would be fine if ARTC wasn't involved in modifying the track, seems they have no clue how to build a railway properly as they have butchered the main Melbourne to Albury line several years ago and can not fix it.
Scares the hell out of me living beside this line as was recently witnessed by the container train accident at Barnawatha in Feb then the XPT accident a couple of weeks later.
Heritage Stonemason
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come... D. Did

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Container trains 02 May 2020 20:25 #209488

  • Fred in Geelong
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Heres a piccie from the Graham Ford collection of Ivan Laney' s Knock er on the train to, or from Parkeston!
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Container trains 12 May 2020 10:48 #210025

  • bparo
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they do some double stack containers - Parkes to Perth and Adelaide to Perth and Darwin are some routes that spring to mind. The new inland rail is being setup for double stacked containers

There are normally 3 container trains leave Melbourne for Perth over Friday night/Saturday morning. I was told that once in Adelaide they used to be restacked but now they go straight through as singles due to the handling costs.

While our interstate rail track gauge is now the same as the USA and the UK our structure gauge (how close things can be to the track in height and width at various places or the maximum outline size) is bigger than the UK but not as big as the USA. The USA had 'car racks' where they would drive their new full-sized American cars on a ramp at right angles to the railway carriage, they would be secured to the ramp and the ramp tipped so the car was carried on the train nose down, tail in the air, roof to roof with another car tipped in from the other side in an enclosed carriage with a roof above the trunk. We don't have that height and I was always amazed they cars didn't lose all their fluids in transit

One thing we found when going through the old Victorian Railways paperwork for Puffing Billy was if anything got built to the 'structure gauge' then the NA class steam locomotives (the traditional Puffing Billy most people think of) wouldn't fit , it's whistle would get knocked off for being too high. The railway fixed the paperwork in the 1990's to ensure it wouldn't happen. Luckily nothing overhead was ever built that close!
Hiding in the shed covered in grease and muck - want a coffee?
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Container trains 12 May 2020 17:18 #210040

  • Zuffen
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In the early 90's we put a Porsche 911 on the train from Kalgoolie to Sydney and it arrived with the roof rack off the falcon wagon in front of it wedged in the windscreen opening.

Did a heap of damage and I would have thought a falcon wagon on the top deck wouldn't be all that tall.

Lucky the car in front wasn't a VW Kombi.

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Container trains 13 May 2020 05:38 #210071

  • lantana jack
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Fred in Geelong wrote: Heres a piccie from the Graham Ford collection of Ivan Laney'


er on the train to, or from Parkeston!

Looking at the tie down it looks like they didn’t want it to roll forward. Looks like a chassis tie as well.


“The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” Thomas Huxley

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Container trains 13 May 2020 06:47 #210074

  • Lang
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There is a thread on the truck trains. They used both chains and twisted rope with a stick.


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