Here is member’s news for the current year. 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.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the March 2023 ATA Members News.
Farewell event for ATA President Andrew James
A function to farewell our President Andrew James was held on Monday evening 13 February at the Auburn Hotel in Melbourne. Twelve members and partners attended the night which was enjoyed by everyone present. As members would know, Andrew has vacated his position as a Train Controller at Melbourne Metro and moved to Auckland, his home town, to take up a position with KiwiRail as Network Control Manager in the Auckland Integrated Rail Management Centre. Andrew will retain his position as President even though he lives in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, Andrew arrived home in Auckland to face a serious problem with his house. As a result of the recent weather in Auckland, a slip has occurred underneath Andrew’s house which has impacted the piles holding up the house. While the house does not appear to have moved, the house cannot currently be entered after being assessed by engineers. It is unclear what challenges lie ahead for Andrew. We wish Andrew well as he seeks to resolve his housing issues.
Members event in Adelaide
In December 2022 a gathering of Adelaide members took place at Glenelg. While only 3 members attended there was a good discussion about the many cuts to services, some haphazard, in the Adelaide Metro system, ostensibly due to staff shortages. Numerous “temporary” cuts made in January 2022 are still effective. We thank Robert Field for organizing this meeting and hope that further meetings will be possible during 2023.
Members meetings in Sydney
For some time it has not been possible for Sydney members to gather due to the difficulty in finding a suitable location to meet. An offer to use meeting facilities at the Sydney Bus Museum in Leichhardt has been received from Duncan MacAuslan who is both a member of the ATA and also a Director of the Sydney Bus Museum. In order to commence meetings, we need a Sydney member to take on the role of convenor and to arrange an appropriate time for an initial meeting at the Sydney Bus Museum. Interested members should make contact with Secretary Richard May at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0438 364 568.
As usual in February each year, the ATA Committee has considered and
adopted the Membership Fees of the coming financial year. There will be
no increases in fees for 2023-24, and the lower fee for members who
receive the monthly mailout only by email will remain. The overseas
only-email mailout fee will be adjusted to be the same as for Australian
members. A new fee is introduced in the remote possibility that we may
get new members from New Zealand who wish to receive the mailouts by
Here is the Membership Fee schedule for 2023-24:
|Australian Member: post mailout||$72||$6.00|
|Australian Student Member (aged under 25 Years)||$36||$3.00|
|All Members: only email mailout||$66||$5.50|
|New Zealand Member: post mailout||$96||$8.00|
|Other Overseas Member: airmail post mailout||$108||$9.00|
One of our ATA members is keen to obtain a full set of Transit Australia magazines from February 2015 inclusive up to the end of publication in about 2018.
If you have a set of these magazines and have no further use for them, they can go to a good new home. Please contact Len Regan, Archives Officer, email@example.com or 0409 209 114.
Cobb & Co: new publication
Along the tracks of Cobb and Co. - Cobb’s Coach Drivers by Hazel Johnson is a new publication of historical significance that may be of interest to members.
Hazel Johnson has compiled words written about Cobb & Co between the mid-1800s to the mid 1900s, thus letting history tell its own story. The book has 208 pages, identifies 700+ coach drivers with 65+ Cobb and Co. images.
The retail price is $29.95 and is available from www.cobbandcotracks.au
Hello everyone, and welcome to the February 2023 ATA Members News.
Farewell event for ATA President Andrew James
Our esteemed President Andrew James has accepted the high-profile KiwiRail position of Network Control Manager at the Auckland Integrated Rail Management Centre. We offer Andrew our sincere congratulations.
Andrew has vacated his position as a Train Controller at Melbourne Metro and moves to Auckland, his home town, on 19 February 2023.
Andrew was elected President of ATA in October 2022. He will retain this position after he moves to New Zealand. This is feasible given that most of our management functions are now conducted on-line.
A function to recognise Andrew’s significant contributions to ATA will be held in Melbourne at 6.00pm on Monday evening 13 February 2023. All ATA members are invited to attend with their partners and friends.
The function will be an evening meal in a dining room at the Auburn Hotel, 85 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn East very close to Auburn Station. The table booking has been made in the name of Richard May.
The arrangement is that you buy your own drinks at the bar. The bill for the meals will be paid by ATA. You are asked to pay ATA for your meal. This can be done by:
- Cash on the night
- EFT deposit to the ATA bank account on the night
- EFT deposit to the ATA bank account as soon as you get home
- Deduction from your ATA credit account.
Here are ATA’s Bendigo Bank account details: BSB 633-000 Account 1925 46489.
For catering purposes, if you can come, can you please send an email to Richard May, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0438 364 568, before Friday 10 February.
If you wish to contact Andrew, his email address is email@example.com.
If there is sufficient interest, arrangements can be made for members to inspect ATA’s National Timetable Collection facility at CAVAL in the grounds of La Trobe University, Bundoora, on the next day, Tuesday 14 February. For security protocols, please advise Richard May before Friday 10 February if you are interested in this inspection.
We hope that you may be able to join us for this special event on 13 February 2023 where you can meet Andrew, our President, and other ATA members.
We welcome two new members to ATA:
- Leigh Zaghet, Seven Hills, Sydney
- David Bowman, Mount Waverley, Melbourne.
We look forward to working with Leigh and David and help them with their interests in timetables.
National Timetable Collection at CAVAL
The National Timetable Collection (NTC) is now well established at CAVAL which is on grounds of La Trobe University at Bundoora in Melbourne.
All the boxes containing the timetables are now stacked and labelled in order of transport mode within each State, so it is easy to find the timetables for any locality or region. The work routines for processing the timetables are now well established and we are keen to attract more members to join the team of workers on this challenging project.
ATA’s name for the facility at CAVAL is Mern Merna, after the next station beyond Hookina on the old narrow-gauge Central Australian Railway.
The ATA computer has been set up permanently at Mern Merna and can be used not only for the NTC project but also for other ATA management tasks.
There are many tasks to be done, and these can be tailored to individual members needs and capabilities.
- The timetables need to be sorted when they are initially received.
- Timetables need to be separated from maps, guides and information, and from material that is more suited to the ATA’s archives.
- The new timetables need to be merged with timetables already received.
- Timetables from collections in large heavy boxes need to be repacked into smaller lighter boxes.
- Duplicate copies of timetables need to be separated and filed in the ‘duplicates’ boxes.
- Batches of timetables need to be selected from the duplicates for Auction catalogues.
- Timetables for the core Collection need to be sorted and bundled into date order.
- Sorted timetables need to be catalogued in Excel for the State Library. This is best done with two people working together.
- The catalogued timetables need to be coded, checked, packed and labelled ready to be deposited at the State Library.
Workers can take on particular tasks of their choice, and they can work on these tasks on each of their visits to Mern Merna. At present, we are working usually on Thursdays each week at Mern Merna, but this can be varied to meet member’s needs.
As more workers become in involved, it may be possible for small teams to work at CAVAL on more days each week. The Association’s stocks of overseas timetables and transport books are currently stored in Steven Haby’s garage at Hughesdale. There is a lot of sorting, labelling and filing to be done there, and this work is done on Saturdays for the time being.
ATA’s name for the storage at Hughesdale is Federation, after the name of the street where it is located.
If you are interested and able to work on any of these tasks, you will be very welcome. If you are able to work only occasionally, you are still welcome. It is a major task that the Association has undertaken, and all the help that can be given will improve the results that can be achieved.
There are security protocols for working in Mern Merna at CAVAL. There are no formalities for working at Federation.
To discuss your interests in being involved with the National Timetable Collection and the Association’s archives, please contact Archives Officer Len Regan on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 0409 209 114.
The NTC’s collection scope does include public transport maps and guides. The following treasure was discovered when Steven Haby was sorting through a collection of brochures. Note the bus stops marked on the map and the Queenscliff ferry route which included a stop at Portsea.
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…
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.
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.