Saturday, March 13, 2010

The end of Z 102

Z 102 was a second series Z class tram built by Comeng in 1978-79 and issued for service on 2nd January 1979.

Now I am trying to recall what I was doing, but I think in either 1981 or 1982 when I was living in Dennis Street, Northcote I was at home. I recall hearing the fire engine and looking out from my house seeing smoke and thinking it was about the site of the Northcote RSL. Bruce Ruxton was the outspoken (arguably racist) leader of the RSL and Northcote was his club so I thought maybe someone has firebombed the RSL. Grabbing my trusty Mamyia SLR I popped around to High Street .

Tram Z102 Fire2_0001 At least one fire engine (an International Pump Escape) was at work and as you can see the tram was well alight.

Tram Z102 Fire2_0002

According to the tram driver the fire started at the rear of the tram in a seat. as it was smouldering they decided to head on to the Northcote Fire Station to get them to put it out. The trams didn't have fire extinguishers at that time so they had not means to put any fire out. But as you can see things developed! I wonder if in continuing the journey they fanned the fire. Anyway they abandoned Tram near the Northcote RSL. Tram Z102 Fire2_0006

Tram Z102 Fire2_0008

According to VicSig Z102 was scrapped following the fire. Nobody was hurt but I imagine the tram crew would have some explaining. Later that year I noticed fire extinguishers appearing on trams presumably as a result of this event.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Deaths in Web 2?

As some readers may know there have been two recent deaths in the Web2 world I inhabit. The first, some weeks ago now, was Railpage  which seems to have died on 22nd January 2010. the second was the Perth Military Modelling Site (PMMS) whose owner/operator Terry Ashley has decided to stop adding content.

Railpage was a great and unexpected loss. It simply wasn't there and all the Gb of useful and useless information has simply gone.I am feeling its loos as I would browse the Railpage forums at least once a day – particularly the Model Railway and Railway Archaeology forums. There seem to be a number of knockers – some complaining about over moderation, others like Bob Cooke accusing posters of being slanders and stating that legal opinion was some posts were libellous (posting on the Aus Model Rail Group 3rd March 2010).

There was certainly a mixed bag of posters, some seemingly naive in their view of the hobby and the businesses that support it, others seemingly delighting in taking a view and defending it to the death and others were trolls. But in all that there were some who genuinely tried to provide good creditable information to help modellers.

I hope it comes back but its been almost 2 months.

PMMS was a reviews site which mostly dealt with model tanks, guns and other military items. It proprietor Terry Ashley was known for his detailed and accurate reviews of kits never being afraid to point out errors and omissions. as such he ran foul of Dragon and some serious nutters from “the Panther Project”. As a result I felt he seemed discouraged and drifted away from his site leaving the Review field to the ignorant and the hagiographers.

Again as someone who would view the site about every 2-3 days this development is a big disappointment.

We rely so much on the Web these days that when favourite sites disappear it leaves a hole in life.