Locomotives of Australia, 1854 to 2007
Locomotives of Australia first appeared as a 272 page work three decades ago, its main aim being to provide a potted examination of the multiplicity of steam, diesel and electric locomotives that have graced this country from 1854. Since this book's appearance, Locomotives of Australia has grown in content, photography and style, reflecting not only the best in publishing practices, but examining in some detail the massive technological changes that have swept onto the Australian locomotive scene, particularly in recent years.
Since the last fully revised edition appeared in 1996, the Australian railway scene has experienced wholesale privatisation. This has seen many locomotives, once captive to specific Government-owned State systems, crossing firmly established borders and now working for private companies thousands of kilometres from their original homeland. This shift has already seen locomotives originally manufactured for Western Australian Railways regularly working in far away New South Wales and vice versa.
The author also chronicles the latest 2006 move to regauge locomotives previously captive to the Queensland Railways narrow gauge, to allow them to further their sphere of influence, opening up new opportunities on the nation's standard gauge. This revised, much enlarged 448 page 2007 edition contains references and/or direct entries to no fewer than 39 new locomotive types, considerable fresh research, and where possible, new photographs. And for the first time, many of them appear in living colour. One of the hosts of new steam entries details the 2002 importation of a South African 2-8-4 locomotive for tourist service in North Queensland. Other steam entries new to this edition include examples once seen in large numbers across all Australian States, including a type that saw war service in Europe and another that originated in New Zealand.
But the latest diesels have not been forgotten either, with lavish spreads chronicling the West Australian Pilbara's newest heavy iron ore haulers, giant locomotives that weigh in at 197 tonnes and exert a massive 4300 hp. But Locomotives of Australia is not all about the locomotives, for the author firmly believes the stories behind why certain types were introduced add to the social fabric of the big work. With an up-to-date map of the nation's rail system and photographs provided by some of the nation's more dedicated photographers, Locomotives of Australia continues to place between two covers a concise as possible profile of the country's diversified motive power, both private and government, in what is one of the largest railway books yet produced in this country.
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