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The Commonwealth Railways were formed as part of the Federal Government's "buy-off" of Western Australia, as an inducement to enter federation in 1905. Of course, political promises being what they are, it took a while before the railway system actually came into being, and the CR was established by an Act of Parliament in 1911. The Commonwealth Railways had the responsibility of running the trans-continental line from Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia (opened in 1917), and then subsequently, the Central Australia Railway (Port Pirie to Alice Springs) and the North Australia Railway (Darwin to Birdum) when they opened.
In 1974, the Whitlam Government offered to take over the railway systems of each state. For political reasons, only the South Australian and Tasmanian Governments took up the offer, and the Australian National Railways were born from the conjunction of the Commonwealth, South Australian and Tasmanian Railway systems.
From inception, a system that controlled only two non-adjacent states was bound to suffer the same difficulties as any other separate system, and so very little of substance changed. Australian Railways, let alone "National" ones, have always suffered from political interference. Here was the chance to move the fragmented, isolated and largely decoupled railway systems forward, and most state governments could not see beyond their parochial interests. This railway system goes into the category of "what might have been ..."
The ANR pages now include all the material previously filed under CR, and also all diesels previously classified under SA.
CLP-10 was reclassified 3010 when it was taken over by the Australian Railway Group (known in Yankee-speak as the "Australian Railroad Group").
In relation to the above two images, Neil reports that if you check out the Google Earth coordinates (-33.888816,151.024056) for the site of the above derailment, you will find evidence of track work. Amazingly, there appears to be a heavy lift crane lying on its side! Any reader who can bring more information to this story is most welcome to email me.
See also http://locopage.railpage.org.au/private/cfcla_el.html for further details on this class of locomotive.
Moved to a separate page
Thanks to David Heah for his correction to this page.
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