At the end of World War 2, the Victorian Railways was in a parlous state, with rolling stock and track requiring major restoration.
As part of the rejuvenation of the system, a review was undertaken and recommendations were made under the title of `Operation Phoenix’, which set out what would be required to restore health to the Victorian Railways.
The implementation of some of these recommendations brought about 2 decades of unprecedented change, where over the course of the 1950s to the end of the 1960s, the Victorian Railways was transformed.
It was not only the change from steam locomotives to diesel electrics, but also electrification and the introduction of light weight railcars. There was also the closure or truncation of over 50 branch lines.
In this programme, utilising film from a number of sources, we look back at how the Victorian Railways looked in the early 1950s and the changes that occurred over the next 20 years.
We feature the various types of steam locomotive that were in use at the time, along with their gradual demise, as well as the diesel and electric locomotives that replaced them.
Also the then new Walker rail cars that saved many branch lines from losing their passenger services.
Trains running on soon to close branch lines, that are now, but a distant memory.
The introduction of the standard gauge to Victoria.
Scenes of a major accident that marred the Victorian Railways safety record, which saw the scrapping of the first R Class on site at Broadmeadows following a collision.
In addition to the railways, it should not be forgotten that the VR also ran 2 tramways.
Overall, a dvd that takes you back in time to witness these `Decades of Change’.
Narrated by Gordon Mc Kenzie Director: Rod Cook
Running Time: 70 minutes colour/black and white
(Please note: Some of the material contained in this video has appeared in earlier productions.)
DECADES OF CHANGE - VR 1950s and 1960s
DVD - 5 pressed dvd. Available for all regions in PAL.
NTSC by special order.