Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dutch railways timetable book cover, 1966


Featuring a Mat '54 electric multiple unit graphic (see earlier post).

Georgian Military Highway


Not the Georgia in America: the Georgian Military Road runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) and follows the traditional route used by invaders and traders throughout the ages. The road stretches some 208 km through the Terek valley, crosses the Rocky Ridge (хребет Скалистый) in the Darial Gorge, past Mount Kazbek, and Gergeti Trinity Church, then leads through the canyon of the Baidarka River to the Jvari Pass, where it reaches an altitude of 2,379 metres (7,815 feet). It continues along the Tetri Aragvi River past the medieval fortress of Ananuri and Zemo Avchala, ahydroelectric dam and follows the right bank of the Kura (Mtkvari) River past the ancient town of Mtskheta to Tbilisi. (wikipedia)

NZ crime rates continue to fall, but burglary resolution remains very poor

Reflecting trends in the US, violent crime and homicide rates in NZ continue a downwards trend, but only 42.3 % of all crimes are solved: that statistic is dragged down massively by a mere 13% for burglaries and the incidence of them has gone up on last year.

Reported on the TVNZ News webpage, burglary victim Reina Webster is unimpressed by police claims to a drop in overall crime. She's taking few chances these days, having been burgled three times in 13 months.

"When someone smashes down my front door and cleans out my house and they [police] don't come to visit me, I'm not comforted by these stats at all," she says.

We've learned the hard way ourselves with opportunist theft in Waikanae, having a retirement village next to us which regrettably attracts lowlife thieves preying on the elderly, including a few individuals who are employed by it. It's one thing to have strong suspicions, however, it's another thing to prove them: accordingly we have installed internet-monitored security cameras so that if there is a next time, we'll have photographic proof.  The systems available aren't as expensive as you might think.

'I like to relax with a book'

1971 Simca 1000 Gls outside NZ's first state house


For more on the house, see the book Wellington: a Capital century

De Dietrich autorails for Algeria from France, 1951


The De Dietrich diesel-mechanical twinset railcars of 640 hp were built after a formula adopted for the first time in France by the builder in 1932 and maintained for ones delivered to the S.N.C.F., the D.H.P. network, and the railways of Syria, Algeria (12, as shown in the pic) and Tunisia.

C.F.A. specifications
Axle arrangement: B'2'+2'B'
Total length: 48.85 metres
Bogie (truck) wheelbase in each body: 16.86 metres
Wheelbase of motorised axles: 4 metres
Wheelbase of unpowered axles: 3 metres
Weight in working order: 75 tonnes
Number of seating places, 1st/2nd classes: 40
Number of seating places, 3rd class: 98
Baggage compartment capacity: 2,800 kg
Normal speed at 1500 rpm: 120 km/h

Performances achieved in official trials
On level: 120 km/h
On a slope of 1.5 %: 62 km/h
On a slope of 2.5 %: 40 km/h

'Coastal Pacific' train journey between Christchurch and Picton

1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 'Picadilly Road'


the Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts


Built between 1909 and 1914, thus contemporaneous with the Panama Canal (see earlier post), the Cape Cod Canal connects Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south.

Part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the approximately 7 mile (11.3 km) long canal traverses the narrow neck of land joining Cape Cod to the state's mainland. Most of its length follows tidal rivers widened to 480 feet (150 metres) and deepened to 32 feet (9.8 metres) at mean low water, shaving 135 miles (217 km) off the journey around the Cape for its approximately 14,000 annual users.

The pic shows an oil tanker passing under the vertical lifting railroad bridge built over 1933-1935 at Borne near Buzzards Bay. Its centre span is 544 feet (166 metres) long and has a 135-foot (41 metre) clearance when raised. The two towers are 271 feet (83 metres) high. It replaced a bascule bridge that had been built in 1910.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Christchurch to Picton passenger train stops at Kaikoura, February 1987


At the time this was one of NZR's celebrated 'Refreshment Stops'. The luggage van and the first three cars are in Southerner (Christchurch to Invercargill) livery.  Today the station is the base of Whale Watch, the train is now the upgraded Coastal Pacific and the Dj locos are history.  For more, see our books.