Wednesday, October 31, 2012

in a Zaz to a picnic in the woods, Latvia

No, Zaz isn't short for zazzle but Zaporiz'kyi Avtomobilebudivnyi Zavod, Ukraine,'s main car manufacturer. This pic showing a Zaz 968 looks to date from the 1970s judging by the guy's hairstyle. From those containers, it's possible the outing was for berry picking or mushrooming. 

Thunderbird Inn, Williams, Arizona, late 1950s

One of the towns on the historic Route 66.

Liepajas harbor, Latvia

A steam locomotive is working a train at left.  No date but before WW2. See the earlier post on Liepajas/Libau.

double-decker London trams on The Embankment, 1940s

With some interesting vehicles on the road including what could be a 3-wheel car on the left. Cleopatra's Needle is visible in the right background.

Cessna 402B at Taupo

A lightweight unpressurized Utiliner/Businessliner version of the Cessna 402, certified on 12 November 1969 and made until 1985. They are powered by 2 x 300 hp (224 kW) turbocharged Continental engines with three-bladed, constant speed, fully feathering propellers. Some aircraft have a propeller synchrophaser to reduce cabin noise and vibration. The 402B Utiliner/Businessliner have a baggage compartment in lengthened nose and an optional crew entry door; from 1972 they had an increased cabin volume and five windows on each side; 129 were built.  The Utiliner version has a ten-seat interior intended for commuter airline operations. The Businessliner version has a six to eight-seat interior with executive seating.

Off-Road vehicles stuck

Just because it's described as "Off Road" doesn't mean it can go anywhere...
(thanks to Bert for sending these in)


1936 Plymouth De Luxe coupe advert

With the rumble seat option.

the Oriental Limited, 1909

Seen in Puget Sound, Washington. The Oriental Limited ran between Seattle and Chicago and was operated by the Great Northern Railway between St. Paul, Minnesota and Seattle; and by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad between St. Paul and Chicago. The train's name was intended to evoke travel to the Far East, since trans-Pacific Great Northern steamships once connected with the railway's trains in Seattle. The train entered service in December 1905 between St Paul and Seattle and was extended to Chicago in 1909. Once the premier train on its route, it was downgraded to secondary status in 1929, when the Great Northern's Empire Builder passenger train was inaugurated. The Oriental Limited name disappeared in 1931 and the Great Northern operated only a single through train between Chicago and the West Coast until 1946, when the railway's secondary through train was resumed, but that train was renamed the Western Star in 1951.

NYC 86th Street subway station under water

Part of the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy (Veronica de Souza on Twitter).

Extreme weather like this is getting more common everywhere because of global climate change.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the old Tacoma Union Station, Washington, 1950s

The old Union Passenger Station in Tacoma, Washington, was built during 1910, opened in 1911 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.  After Amtrak built a new station for Tacoma it fell into disuse; but now serves as a courthouse. The distinctive architecture, dominated by the copper dome, is a local landmark.

the Nutmobile

A novelty ride near Nambour, Queensland, Australia. The Nutmobile tractor and carriages are meant to resemble macadamia nuts and transport visitors between the Sunshine Plantation and CSR's macadamia nut factory.  Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and have a lovely buttery flavour, but are very difficult to shell.

early double deck carriage on the Appenzeller Bahn, Switzerland

An early scene of a steam loco on the standard gauge Zahnradbahn or rack and pinion railway from Rorschach to Heiden, pushing four cars - the first has two levels.  This 5.6 km line which ascends 400 metres above the Bodensee, was opened originally as the Rorschach–Heiden-Bergbahn in 1875. It was electrified in 1930 and became part of the Appenzeller Bahn in 2006.

now official - it's to be Penguin Random House

Following speculation whether it would be Random Penguin or Penguin House, they have decided to keep all three words, although it will be no surprise if the third is dropped before long (see earlier post). From the Publishers Lunch blog :

After last week's official confirmation of talks and a news making weekend overture from News Corp., Bertelsmann and Pearson made their intended partnership official in an early Monday morning announcement that they have agreed to combine their trade book businesses into a single entity known as Penguin Random House. Under the deal, which is "expected to complete in the second half of 2013" but could take some time while awaiting regulatory clearances in multiple territories, Bertelsmann will hold 53 percent of the new company and Pearson will take a 47 percent stake, agreeing to hold those stakes for a minimum of three years.

Moscow trolleybuses, 1950s


Two color postcards (the reproduction quality wasn't the best) of a trolleybus crossing the Kammeny bridge, with a view of the Kremlin, and one in Gorky Street.

Jura Simplon Bahn compartment car, Switzerland, circa 1900

The interesting thing about this 3-axle compartment car is the division into 2nd and 3rd class compartments, rather than the usual 1st and 2nd class.  This one-time Swiss rail company was formed in 1890 and absorbed into the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB/CFF/FSS) in 1903.  One of the major projects commenced before it was nationalised was the building of the Simplon tunnel between Switzerland and Italy.

trams outside the Leipzig new Town Hall, Germany

The Neues Rathaus or new Town Hall from 1905, as distinct from the Altes Rathaus or Old Town Hall, one of the city's most notable buildings which fortunately was restored after WW2.  In fact the old town hall still exists, too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

SNCF X 73500 class diesel railcars

A Geoff Churchman pic taken at Mouchard of a set of three coupled X 73500 class single railcars ordered by the SNCF and and delivered by Alsthom between 1999 and 2004 jointly with Germany's Deutsche Bahn Class 641 units. They have been nicknamed Baleines bleues (Blue Whales) Concombres (Cucumbers) and Saucisses (Sausages).

Length: 28.9 metres (94 ft 10 in)
Width: 2.9 metres (9 ft 6 in)
Height: 3.7 metres (12 ft 2 in)
Maximum speed: 120 km/h (75 mph)

river bus in Tartu, Estonia, 1978

On the Emajõgi River in Tartu, Estonia's second biggest city.

Novosibirsk bus art, 1950s

It was probably intended to be foremost a view of the building, but the artist must have been a bus fan :-)

The car may have been intended to be a Pobeda (see earlier post).

Nowa Huta, Krakow, Poland - the inefficiencies of communist planning

Shopping area in Plac Centralny (Central Place), 1950s

A scene in Plac Centralny circa 1960.  After the fall of communism, it was renamed Plac Ronald Reagan, who was US President during Poland's marshal law years in the 1980s.
Trams in Plac Ronald Reagan, 2010. (Geoff Churchman)

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Literally "New Steel Works," Nowa Huta, an eastern suburb of Krakow in Poland, was built between 1949 and 1959 as a model example of a communist workers paradise with a giant coal fired steelworks and a complex of Soviet style apartment blocks.  Although clean when built, the pollution soon caked them in grime. And just in case the workers decided it wasn't a paradise, these were designed with only a few strategic entrance points which could be blocked off by soldiers, as happened in the marshal law years of the 1980s.

Today Nowa Huta is an educational archaeological and anthropological experience! A good analysis of it is here and a tourist experience is here.

more WW1 train scenes

The first is a German card stating "French prisoners of war" and the second, apparently taken in Bulgaria, shows soldiers pushing flat cars laden with military equipment.  If that sounds implausible, it should be remembered that steel wheel on steel rail involves much less friction, and thus energy, than rubber tyre/tire on tarmac.

unrestricted observation car at Glenwood Springs, Colorado

An end-of-train flat car with seats but without roof or windows - obviously placed as far from the steam loco belching soot and cinders as possible - about to head eastwards in the Colorado River canyon on the Denver and Rio Grande.  This very scenic experience is still to be had on the Amtrak California Zephyr, but you will get enclosed air conditioned observation cars, albeit with curved windows between walls and roof to give a good view, as well as seats that can swivel.

Heinkel He 72 "Kadett" aircraft, Germany, 1936

"School, sport and art [flying display?] aircraft"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cessna skiplane on Tasman Glacier, NZ, mid 1960s

A Cessna 180C of the Mount Cook Air Service on Tasman Glacier - for details of the aircraft, of course,  The Aircraft of Air NZ and Affiliates since 1940 by Paul Sheehan is your book.  This was one of the many pictures taken by NZ's "postcard queen", Gladys M. Goodall, who from 1952 went around the country taking photos for picture postcard publishers. She celebrated her 100th birthday in June 2008.  Most of her collection is now in the Alexander Turnbull Library, part of the National Library.

1930 Motobécane advert

Motobécane was a French manufacturer, established in 1923, of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and other small vehicles. The name was a combination of "moto", slang for motorcycle and "bécane" for bike.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 1981 and was bought by Yamaha. In 1984 it was reconstituted as MBK (pronounced "em bay kah") and continues to make motorscooters. It has no relation to Motobecane USA.

at Tzaribrod train station, Bulgaria, a century ago

A small town now in Serbia and called Dimitrovgrad.

above Struer railyard, Denmark, late 1920s

Struer is a small town in north Jutland on the Limfjord, best known as the base of TV and audio manufacturer Bang & Olufsen.