The issue with the rental car this morning gave us a later than expected start. So after breakfast, off to the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide.
Australia has had a mixture of 3 gauges (narrow 3'6", standard 4'8.5", and wide 5'3") in various areas around the country. All the state capitals were only joined by standard gauge links in 1995. Conversion to standard gauge is still ongoing around the country.
|Break of gauge station|
There are mostly steam trains here 😃, from small
|Y97 class, narrow gauge, 2-6-0, 47 ton weight, 13298 lb tractive effort, 129 built, service 1890-1970|
to huge heavy express trains.
|624 class, broad gauge, 4-6-2, 140 ton weight, 25k lb tractive effort, 70 mph, 10 built, service 1937-1967|
Including one of the broad gauge go-fast streamliners, Essington Lewis, that entered service in 1944. It could run up to 70 mph with specially balanced driving wheels.
|4-8-4, 200 ton weight, 32600 lb tractive effort|
One of the big articulated steam locomotives, (409 class, narrow gauge, 4-8-2+2-8-4, 149 ton weight, 43520 lb tractive effort, 10 built, service 1954-1963) for the heavy ore trains between Broken Hill and Port Pirie. Several were returned to service in the late 60s while the diesels were being converted to standard gauge for the new ore line.
|junction between the front water section and main boiler|
|from rear fuel tank showing 2nd articulation|
Some oddities, a diesel-hydraulic locomotive ETSA No.1 which shunted coal wagons from 1958 to 1986 for the power station.
|ETSA No. 1 - 53 ton, 545 hp tractive effort|
Old style manual release couplers were common
|Manual release coupler|
There was the Tea & Sugar train that supplied the railway employees on the Nullarbor Plain, and later to isolated communities. The display included the Relay Brake Van, Provision Van (grocery store), Butcher Van, and Pay Car.
|Tea & Sugar train|
After lunch, we headed over to the Southern Australia Aviation Museum just down the street from the trains. Not a huge place, just one hanger, but interesting nonetheless. A new building is under construction to house the collection plus the DHC-4 Caribou they just received (it will not fit in the existing hanger).
The pride of the museum is a Mk5C Spitfire that was used on Goodenough Island and Kiriwina Island PNG during WW2. It had a landing accident in 1943. It was recovered and restored starting in 1971. Note the different nose cowling. This was the ‘tropical’ version to prevent sand from being ingested during takeoff and landing. You can also see the belly tank beside the right wheel for long distance operations.
|Admiral Yamamoto propeller|
The other big display is the F111. Swept wing super sonic fighter. This one had been converted to intelligence gathering with a camera pod replacing the bomb bay.
They had some rockets that were of the type used in the Woomera test range. I had not seen a solid rocket before with a spherical fuel container.
|Waxwing apogee boost motor|
There were also target drones (both remote controlled and towed), a single engine homebuilt plane that an Australian Jon Johanson had flown around the world, and a British Vampire (early centrifugal jet engine).
Time for some maintenance. 2 loads of laundry to get us to through the next week, then off to the airport to return the rental car and put extra luggage in a locker.
Our plan was to take the bus from Adelaide to Cape Jervis, the ferry across to Kangaroo Island for a couple nights, then the ferry and bus back to Adelaide. We didn’t need to be dragging all our baggage around, so into the locker it goes. The bus station was 2 blocks away from our hotel, so we didn’t need the rental car either. Just took the local bus from the airport back close to where we were staying.