Here is member’s news for 2022. Other years member news may be found at:

Please note, links in member news are not maintained in general, they remain as a record of what was sent to members.

January 2023

Hello everyone, and welcome to the January 2023 ATA Members News.

40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AUSTRALIAN TIMETABLE ASSOCIATION

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the Australian Timetable Association, and there are already several supporting activities in the planning to support this important anniversary.

We will be reprinting and updating feature articles from the past, including the History of AATTC and ATA, in The Times. There will be special tributes to our founder Jack McLean. 36 of the original first 100 members are still members of the Association – we will be inviting them to contribute reminiscences of their time in AATTC and ATA. There might even be a national Zoom meeting so that we can all ‘meet’ each other. Members suggestions for special activities are very welcome.

POSTAGE RATE CHANGES

Australia Post increases its basic postage rates from 3 January 2023. For postage of Distribution List and Auction times we can absorb the increase to $1.20 in the cost for small letters, but we will need to pass on the cost for all other items.

CALL FOR DIGITAL ARCHIVES OFFICER

As the ATA progresses with the sorting and eventual cataloguing of the digital aspect of the National Timetable Collection, we are in need of an officer to assist in the reception of material and sorting those files. The files will be sorted by year, month, and mode to allow for easy recall of files should they be requested. The officer will act as the receiver of items for the digital arm of the National Timetable Collection from members, and sort them according to the file structure. Assistance can also be provided by those who have access to the ATA’s computer located at CAVAL.

The collection is managed within the ATA’s Dropbox account, so the officer should either be familiar with Dropbox, or be willing to learn. Dropbox works as an extension of the Windows native File Explorer, so if you are familiar with this, then Dropbox should present no problem for you. The ATA has a spare Dropbox account allocation should you need it. In turn, we ask that the value of the digital data be respected and protected, as the collection represents a valuable asset to the ATA, as well as a potential revenue stream in the future.

On a more wide-ranging aspect, the ATA wishes to expand its digital collection, and calls for digital material that members may have to be submitted to the ATA for inclusion into the digital National Collection. If you would like to submit material to us, and you already have Dropbox, the ATA will share the Digital Timetable Deposit folder with you so you can place items for incorporation into the collection for sorting.

SYDNEY DIVISION MEETING LOCATION

I am pleased to report that the ATA has been offered a meeting space for the Sydney Division by the management committee of the Sydney Bus Museum in Leichhardt, and the ATA has accepted this generous offer. The meeting space is available to us on Saturdays, and access can be provided by Duncan MacAuslan, a fellow ATA member and member of the management committee of the Sydney Bus Museum. In return, the Sydney Bus Museum ask for a small donation for the use of their space.

The position of Sydney Convener is vacant. The ATA would appreciate a volunteer to fill this position, so we can get the Sydney group actively meeting again.

MEANWHILE DUG OUT OF THE ARCHIVES…

Peter Walhouse joined VicRail over nine years ago and for the last 16 months has worked as a Signal Assistant at the station. Prior to this move he worked at McKinnon and Ormond groups and at Highett Station. Peter, a railway buff witha preference for steam locos, has travelled extensively at home and overseas pursuing his interest in the iron horse.

Recently, David Hennell was sorting ATA’s archival collection of Victorian railway magazines. He came across an article on Sandringham Station in April 1982 which featured ATA member Peter Walhouse. Peter retired recently from Metro Melbourne after working on the railways for over 50 years, 41 of them at Sandringham. Peter joined AATTC in the late 1980s and has remained an active and supportive member ever since.

Peter is a prolific supplier of timetables and brochures for the Distribution List, and he is a generous donor of many useful stationery items. He still enjoys travelling extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand and takes every opportunity to collect timetables and brochures for ATA.

We are very grateful for the support that we continue to receive from Peter.

UNINTERRUPTABLE POWER SUPPLY

When ATA bought its own computer in August 2021, it expected that it would be able to move into its own premises in a vacant railway building or council community centre. For either location, an uninterruptible power supply unit would be essential, and we bought a CyberPower Pro 1200VA/720W unit for $230 . However, the eventual move to CAVAL in November 2022 has negated the need for this unit, and it can be made available to a member or community group who may have a use for it at a negotiated price. If you might be interested, please contact Treasurer Len Regan on 0409 209 114.

RELOCATION TO NEW ZEALAND

Since the last edition of the Members News, I have been offered and accepted a new position with KiwiRail in their Auckland Integrated Rail Management Centre (AIRMC) as Network Control Manager. The AIRMC is currently under construction in Ellerslie in the inner suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand, scheduled for opening in the middle of 2024. The current network control functions are shared by the National Train Control Centre in Wellington, and a temporary control centre in the operations building of Westfield Marshalling Yard in South Auckland. This is an outcome of the current de-centralisation project for the network control functions of KiwiRail, which also includes the relocation of Wellington’s train control centre to the former AgResearch facility in Wallaceville, Upper Hutt.

This will mean I am relocating back home to New Zealand in the middle of February. I have notified the Committee of my pending relocation but have also stated my intention to remain as President of the ATA, and to continue my current roles and responsibilities to the organisation. For the most part, those responsibilities are digital in nature, and can be done from anywhere. There will be some minor disruption while I am in the process of moving back home, but this shouldn’t present any ongoing operational problems. I am grateful to the Committee for their endorsement, and ongoing support while I transition back to life overseas.

Andrew James
President

FAREWELL TO ANDREW JAMES

We congratulate Andrew on his prestigious appointment at KiwiRail and we wish him all the best with his return to New Zealand. We are also very pleased and grateful that he will retain his position and activity as President of ATA.

We are planning a farewell function for Andrew which will most likely be an evening event somewhere between 12 and 16 February 2023, inclusive. We invite all ATA members to participate in this event and show our gratitude to Andrew for the constructive work he has already done for ATA.

Further details will be included in the February 2023 Members News. If you need to know the details before then, please contact me on 0438 364 568.

Richard May
Secretary