Robin Barnes - Railway Art and History
That the Commonwealth Railways' 1691 km of standard gauge track
across the arid, inhospitable Nullarbor Plain was unsuited to operation
by steam locomotives was obvious to the line's first Chief Engineer,
Henry Deane, but his intention to employ diesel-electric power from the
beginning was thwarted by higher level indecision. Alternatives to steam
were on offer, however, one early example of 1914 coming from the
British builder Hawthorn-Leslie. Pictured here, it was to have employed
William Durtnall's silent, long expansion 1000 hp petrol engine, driving
six axles through his sophisticated Paragon electro-magnetic control
system. World War 1 forced its abandonment, although it seems
unlikely Deane in any event would have been permitted to place an
order. Steam locomotives struggled on until as late as 1951.
All railway art is for viewing only and is copyrighted to Robin Barnes 2002.
The railway art may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from the artist.