Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Le Croisic fishing boats, France

A 1960s view by the fish auction.

double deck tram through Eastgate, Chester, 1900s

Chester in England had an extensive tram system (stretching as far as the border with Wales) in 3'6" or 1067 mm gauge, which was electrified in 1903 and lasted until 1930 when the system closed.

Louis Blériot traverse la Manche!

Crossing the Cliffs of Dover.  The actual weather was reported to be 'turbulent'.
Postcards of the first crossing of the English Channel/La Manche by aeroplane (a trip which took 37 minutes), piloted by French aviator Louis Charles Joseph Blériot (1 July 1872 – 2 August 1936) on 25 July 1909 for which he won a prize of £1,000 offered by the Daily Mail newspaper.  As well as an aviator, he was an inventor and engineer, and he developed the first practical headlamp for cars and established a profitable business manufacturing and making them, using much of the money he made to finance his attempts to build successful aircraft.

'I think a transpress nz book would be better than this one'

bush tramway vehicle

Seen at Waitatahuna some 5 decades ago.  For details, see the book The Era of the Bush Tram in New Zealand.

a joyous sortie...

... waking up the countryside.

the Wengeneralpbahn, Switzerland

This cog wheel railway, part of the Jungfrau region railways, is 19.1 km long and in 800 mm gauge. It leaves Lauterbrunnen and connects Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald. Opened in 1893 as the longest cog-wheel railway in Europe, it was steam powered to 1902, mixed steam and electric to 1912 and electric since then.

fun on the Biggesee, Germany, 1980s

Or in English, Lake Bigge, in Westfalen, an artifical lake created for a hydroelectric power station in the 1950s and it provides resevoir water for the Ruhr district.  The Salonschiff or saloon ship Bigge in the pic was built in 1982 and substantially added to in 1993.  Pics and plans of its present appearance here.

great railway songs - 18 "Train kept a rolling" by the Yardbirds

A clip from the movie Blow Up (1966) featuring both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on guitar.

carrying prams on buses in Lower Hutt, 1950s.

Just hooks on the back, or an alcove, in both cases with a bar on the base. The NZR Road Services bus on the left seems to have a sign saying "school bus" so you wonder why there is a pram on it too.  Is the bus in the distant right an AEC?

WCC buses mostly had alcoves in the left side with a base bar, while DCC buses had hooks on the front (see earlier posts). 

Another photo that was considered for, but not used in the book Wellington Transport Memories.

Swedish steamer 'Nord', 1900s

The significance of the 'continental' isn't obvious - another way of saying it steams around Europe perhaps. The * may mean 'star'?

Bulgarian railway stamps, 1964

Brisbane Central Station, Queensland, 1911

Without being told, hardly anyone would identify this location now, as the station is buried underneath a high rise development.

'where is a transpress nz book?'

the Columbus-Bahnhof, Bremerhaven, Germany

The late 1960s: 4-wheel goods wagons and cranes for lifting their contents into the hold of the Norddeutscher Lloyd ship  Bremen
Before people took to flying en masse, leaving shipping companies bereft of passengers, Bremerhaven on Germany's North Sea coast was an important embarkation point for trans-Atlantic passengers to America.  A quay-side railway station was built and used, with rebuilds, into the 1970s.

Kuala Lumpur railway station, Malaysia

A view of the exterior in the 1960s.
The interior (wikimedia)
Designed in a "Raj" style, this station was opened in 1910.  It has three platforms (2 side and 1 island) with 4 tracks. Its long distance train function was replaced in April 2001 by Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL Sentral) or Sentral Kuala Lumpur and the 1910 station now serves local commuter traffic only.

Monday, January 30, 2012

the tug Taiki

In 2008 the Port of Wellington celebrated the arrival of its new tugboat, the Taiki, built in Vietnam. She replaced the aging Kupe, which was reassigned to the port of New Plymouth. Here the Taiki is shown in a Wallace Trickett oil painting with workmates the Ngahue and Toia alongside.

former tramway from Beek to Berg en Dal, Holland

You may think that Holland doesn't need bridges except over rivers and canals, however, this former Bergspoor ("hill track") tram line from Beek to Berg en Dal (literally "hill and dale") ran in the area close to Germany.  In the second pic there is another track alongside the road in the foreground: this was part of the loop to overcome the height difference in this area. This viaduct was built in 1912 was one of the first reinforced concrete structures in Holland. The tram closed in 1955. Here is a video on the line (Dutch commentary):

British Aerospace BAe-748 Srs2B-378 aircraft

In the livery of the Deutsche Luftverkehrs-Gesellschaft or DLT ("Germany Aviation Company"). Info on the model on this webpage

Greymouth evening goods train

It's not just coal which goes over the Midland Line, the dairy factory in Hokitika is another source of traffic. Here is a recent pic of such a train running through the Greymouth station with natural evening light bathing the area.

Somes Island, Wellington, funicular

The Somes Island (a.k.a. Matiu) lighthouse is at the south end of the island.  This photo on display in the visitor centre shows the little railway worked by cable (thus a funicular) once used to bring supplies up from the beach.  It has long been removed.

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1930s Berliet and Renault buses, France

L'Hirondelle = the swallow.

great railway songs 17 - 'Marrakesh Express' by Crosby, Stills and Nash

Recorded in the 1960s about travelling on the train from Casablanca to Marrakesh in Morocco, a journey which today takes about 3 hours.

'the beach, sunshine and a transpress nz history book - what could be better?'

old Auckland Harbour ferry

A 1900s view from Birkenhead showing a ferry making its way towards the Northcote wharf.

September 1945 airshow

A 10-minute compilation of two films shot during the September 1945 airshow at Freeman Field Base in Indiana with aircraft (mostly American but also some captured enemy aircraft) seen both in the air and on the ground. The Freeman Army Airfield Museum provided the video, here 

the restored Bristol, Virginia, train station

This old colored postcard would make a good art theme
Restored to its former glory, a pic from the official website.
Built in 1902 by the Norfolk & Western, the Bristol Train Station was unused in the latter part of the 20th century after the cessation of passenger services (although the railway line is still in use, part of today's Norfolk Southern), so a non-profit foundation and the two local governments bought it in 1999 and after a 9 year, $5 million restoration, it was reopened as a local shopping mall and convention venue in 2008.  Website

Auckland Anniversary Day, 30 January

So here is an appropriate recent book: Historic Auckland and Northland is the third in a series of regional pictorial histories commissioned by David Bateman publishers and like the first two, on Gisborne/Hawkes Bay and Otago, consists of a selection of interesting b/w photos which fill most of the page with captions, plus chapter introductions. These ones are mostly from the Auckland Museum, the large building that dominates the Auckland domain, where the compiler is a curator.

Aimed at a general history audience, the compiler has regarded transport as incidental rather than the main focus, but given its importance it is inevitable that it features in quite a few of the approximately 150 pictures, particularly ships and early road vehicles; and even a train: the second photo above shows the narrow gauge industrial line of the Drury Pottery and Fireclay Works with one of the 400+ private industry steam locomotives that were brought to NZ, about which little has been researched and published.

This isn't in-depth history, rather "flick lit" but the printer in China has done a superb reproduction job (which is usually the case, despite what a few people think) and it has been attractively designed.  160 pages in 260 mm square format, hard cover with jacket, $49 from the transpress nz shop.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Danville, Virginia, cotton mills

The bridge over the Dan River
An undated aerial view of the Dan River Mills - the factories have gone.

Danville in Virginia was a town associated with cotton milling, but that era ceased during the the last decade.  A history here

Ab 663 at Cromwell, 1958

Now preserved by the Mainline Steam Trust, "Pacific" type steam locomotive AB 663 is seen at Cromwell station yard in Central Otago in 1958.  This area is now under the artificial Lake Dunstan. For hundreds of photos similar to this one, see the book New Zealand 1950s Steam in Colour. (Stephen Buck).

Portland, Oregon, trolley car

Built by J.G. Brill in 1904 for the Portland Railway Company with motors and brakes especially designed for the steep Portland Heights Line, converted to buses in 1950.  It is now at the Oregon Electric Railway Museum in Brooks, Oregon.

A heritage operation using replicas of these cars was begun in 1991 in Portland and currently operates along a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) section of Portland's MAX Light Rail system, on the transit mall in downtown Portland, from Union Station to Portland State University.

great railway songs - 16 'Night Train' by Jimmy Forrest

A 1950s rhythm and blues instrumental standard which hit number 1 in Billboard Magazine in 1952.

1956 Lincoln Continental advert

'I love reading books about maritime history'

1956 Bedford Plaxton Consort bus

Made in Britain by Bedford (engine/chassis) and Plaxton (bodywork), 41 seats.

old Cobden road and rail bridges, Greymouth

Viewed from the north side of the Grey River. Both these bridges have since been demolished and replaced - the S shaped railway trestle bridge (to the left) only in 2006.  For more, see the book On the TransAlpine Trail.

great railway songs - 15 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

One of the best known train songs, "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was written by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (words). It was recorded in a big-band/swing style by Glenn Miller and his orchestra and featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade.

The song was recorded on 7 May 1941 for a 78-rpm single on RCA Victor's Bluebird label and became the first to be certified a gold disc on 10 February 1942 for sales of 1,200,000.  In 1996 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

the former Boston and Maine station of Salem, Massachusetts

This former impressive looking station was located at the intersection of Washington and Norman Streets in Salem, Massachusetts, a town most associated with the witch trials of 1692, despite the town's name which means "peace" in both Hebrew (shalom) and Arabic (salaam).

Understandably, with the growth of road traffic, this street railway was later sunk underneath the streets in tunnel and the present day station is found at the north end of Washington Street beyond the tunnel.

the Rocky Mountaineer trains, Canada

In the recent snail-mail was a brochure for the Rocky Mountaineer trains operating out of Vancouver (including services to/from Seattle, Washington) designed to treat tourists to "rail cruises" on different routes through western Canada's sumptuous mountain scenery, as shown on the route map.  Very tempting...  Rocky Mountaineer website

the TGV-POS Lyria, France - Switzerland

A TGV-POS set from the time of their deployment on French-Swiss services in February 2011. (CFF pic)
Since 4 March 2002, the name Lyria has been applied to TGV high speed rail services between France and Switzerland and was applied to Paris–Geneva trains around January 2005. Service to Geneva had existed as part of the Ligne à Grande Vitesse or LGV Sud-Est since 1981.

After the opening of the TGV Est in June 2007, Lyria service between Paris and Zurich began using the newly-constructed line instead of the previous route, passing through Strasbourg, Colmar, Mulhouse, and Basel. Consequently, service from Paris has run from the Gare de l'Est instead of Gare de Lyon.

In February 2011, service improvements were announced, with a fleet of 19 latest generation TGV POS (the POS standing for Paris-Ostfrankreich-Suddeutschland) trains giving increased frequencies.

Since 12 December 2010, travel time on the Paris–Geneva line has improved with the reconstruction of the Haut-Bugey line, which connects Bourg-en-Bresse and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. Until then, only the western part of the line was open (up to Oyonnax), and the project has restored the entire length of the line. Travel time between Paris and Geneva reduced by 30 minutes, to 3 hours and 5 minutes, and track capacity was also increased, allowing nine trains each way per day instead of the usual seven.

With the completion of the LGV Rhin-Rhône this year, travel time between Paris and Basel/Zurich will be reduced by 30 minutes. The departure station in Paris will be changed back to the Gare de Lyon instead of the Gare de l'Est.