C1945

Standardisation of Railway Gauges – Railway Map of Australia Indicating the Recommendations for Conversion to 4′. 8 1/2″ (Standard) Gauge and … 1945

Scarce map of Australia by Harold Winthrop Clap made for the proposed standardisation of the Australian railway network. In February 1942, Clapp was appointed Director-General of Land Transport by the Curtin Government to co-ordinate Commonwealth and State road and rail … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Standardisation of Railway Gauges – Railway Map of Australia Indicating the Recommendations for Conversion to 4′. 8 1/2″ (Standard) Gauge and … 1945

Date:

C1945

Condition:

In good condition, with folds as issued.

Technique:

Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

535mm 
x 463mm

Paper Size: 

572mm 
x 500mm
AUTHENTICITY
Standardisation of Railway Gauges - Railway Map of Australia Indicating the Recommendations for Conversion to 4'. 8 1/2" (Standard) Gauge and ... 1945 - Vintage Map from 1945

Guaranteed Vintage Item
dated:

1945

Description:

Scarce map of Australia by Harold Winthrop Clap made for the proposed standardisation of the Australian railway network.

In February 1942, Clapp was appointed Director-General of Land Transport by the Curtin Government to co-ordinate Commonwealth and State road and rail transport. In 1944, he was asked to prepare a report on the standardisation of track gauges in Australia. The Second World War had greatly increased rail traffic through the shipment of men, munitions and supplies around the country and exposed the inefficiency of a national rail system built on different gauges. Multiple break-of-gauge points across the country between 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge, 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge and 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) broad gauge compromised the ability of the railways to support the war effort and required upwards of 1,600 men at various break-of-gauge points to transfer cargo from one train to another. Clapp submitted a national rail plan for the complete conversion of the Victorian and South Australian broad-gauge networks to standard gauge, the conversion of the Silverton Tramway and south-east South Australian narrow gauge lines to standard gauge, and the linking of Perth to Kalgoorlie by a new standard gauge link, at a cost of £44,318,000. He further recommended and the linking of Darwin to the national network via a new standard gauge link to be built from Queensland at a cost of £10,898,000, and a new inland standard gauge link through New South Wales and Queensland, cost £21,565,000.

Parochial state interests eventually meant that the plan was never implemented.

 

Sir Harold Winthrop Clapp (1875 - 1952)

Sir Harold Winthrop Clapp (1875-1952) was a transport administrator who over the course of thirty years had a profound effect on Australia's railway network. In two decades as its Chairman of Commissioners, he revolutionised Victorian Railways, with unprecedented attention to customer service and innovations such as more powerful locomotives, air-conditioned carriages, and faster services culminating in the introduction of the flagship Spirit of Progress express train. Seconded to the Federal Government in World War II, he played a pivotal role in the manufacture of fighter aircraft in the defence of Australia. As Director-General of Australia's Land Transport Board, he presented a report on railway gauge standardisation that ultimately led to the eventual linking of all Australian mainland capital cities by a uniform track gauge.

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