Template talk:Locomotives and rolling stock of the Victorian Railways, predecessors and successors

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VR Locos[edit]

Hi there

I noticed you've set up a template that differentiates between steam and diesel power on the VR. I guess you're working towards a series of articles for the diesel electric fleet.

This raises an interesting problem, how do we classify the VR diesel (and for that matter, electric) fleet? The VR steam fleet was largely designed in-house, whereas the diesel fleet was largely bought from GM-EMD as off-the-shelf products. The VR K class steam locomotive has only ever been used in Victoria, whereas the VR T class diesel was an EMD G8 that was also sold around the world.

In articles I've created for the steam fleet, I've referenced the "T class" diesel for example as the EMD G8, pointing to the article created for that off-the-shelf GM-EMD product. Do you propose to create a series of articles for the diesel fleet based on the VR class name, or the GM-EMD product name? I guess the other issue to consider is, if you base your article names on the convention I've used for the steam fleet, how do you take into account for the fact that some were purchased by Victorian Railways (eg C class), and others were purchased by V/Line (eg N class)?

I'd been warming up to writing an article on some of the early VR diesel locos (eg B class, S class) and was pondering this point.

Zzrbiker 10:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I found your series of loco articles and wanted to help develop them further, the template seemed the most logical starting point. I've been pondering what to do with the diesel fleet as it is a bit of a mixed bag, with most being modified off the shelf products. My own view was to write specific VR articles and at a minimum link back to the parent products, as in most cases there were significant differences that make the VR versions unique in their own right.
I've spent most of the evening looking at how to deliniate the whole lot. My best thought was to leave the steam group as is, and then sub-divide the diesels into the VR group and include the A class, the N class and the P class in seperate, but linked, articles. The template can then be modified to list VR steam, VR railcars, VR diesels, post VR diesels and post VR railcars, which brings us right up to the the V'Locity sets. In the steam group I was planning to add a separate section for the Na and G locos.
I've also added the template to the bottom of the last section of each article, which in some cases is Preservation, in one case in Modelling and another Other Liveries. Is there a case for settling on a standardised format for all the pages and the template going at the bottom after them?  :Jaxsonjo 12:28, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
One of the joys of Wikipedia is that because anyone can edit it, trying to keep anything consistent is a bit of a battle! As such, other sections have been added and it is likely that yet more sections may be added to other articles, or section names changed, etc in future. I'd suggest that the best course of action is that this template goes to the end of the page, after the "References" and "External Links" sections, which seems to be the accepted norm and where other category links are located. See |LNER or GWR examples.
As to the naming conventions for articles and links to GM-EMD product pages, that's a tricky one. I can see a perfectly reasonable argument for having a Victorian Railways T class (d/e) article that links back to the EMD G8 article or a Victorian Railways S class (d/e) article that links back to an EMD A7 or EMD A16C article, but then you have the other VR-only classes like the B class where the EMD article would seem almost redundant. Perhaps just a redirect page in those cases?
Zzrbiker 22:33, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'll discuss it here rather than continue at my talk page. The shops of the same name, the 'plain' name is a disambiguation page, then they use the ship name and the year. Perhaps were should do this for all locos - Victorian Railways B class becomes as disambiguation, then we have Victorian Railways B class (18xx) for the steam and Victorian Railways B class (19xx) for the diesel? Or keep the (diesel) disambiguation, and use (steam) as well.

I think we should let a bit of discussion ensure before we go leaving a trail of redirects (though I have already contributed to that already!) Wongm (talk) 07:02, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the trouble with disambiguation pages is that given we've only got at most three choices including steam and diesel (and at least one of those is likely to be a pretty obscure one, eg 1889 X class, 1882 C class) it seems overkill to have the default choice being a disambiguation page. Particularly for all the other cases like B class where there's only going to be just the two choices. If it came down to it, I'd rather have one of those italicised dablink messages at the top of the affected articles, or a "See also" link within the article.
As far as the naming convention, I'd suggest just leaving things largely as is. No-one is going to confuse the Victorian Railways N class with the V/Line N class, so why add dates? Even within the fleet delivered to VR, I'd say it's pretty straightforward. There's the VR steam fleet, eg Victorian Railways C class, there's the diesel and electric fleet with (diesel) or (electric) appended to the class name, eg Victorian Railways C class (diesel) (even though by then VR called itself "VicRail"), and for the few long-gone 19th century locos that preceded another steam locomotive class of the same designation we could just append a year of introduction to avoid ambiguity, eg Victorian Railways C class (1882). Note that in some cases, these early loco classes (being the first C, G, H, J, K, S, V, X classes) have very little available source data about them and possibly push the limits of WP:NOTABILITY anyway, so you could argue for lumping a number of them into a single article.
Remember that given that all these articles have a pretty clear category box listing all the classes, I think it's reasonably easy to find what you want even if you did end up on the wrong C class page! Oh well, that's my $0.02 anyway. - Zzrbiker (talk) 09:25, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm probably just complicating matters - I see your point about the few options, and it is a small group of editors who are going around adding links to the loco articles anyway. If you throw in redlinks to the articles you plan to write into this infobox, then we won't get confused.
Has there been any true differentiation made between 'old' and 'modern' VR steam? If there is one (not just something we have made up) then it might be worth doing this to the infobox as well. Wongm (talk) 02:08, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I think whoever created the infobox assumed you'd have one bunch of articles for steam locos 1900-1954, and another bunch for all the 1854-1899 locos. This more-or-less matches the timeline for the "standard" classes designed entirely at Newport which supposedly began with the Dd. I'd suggest that you could also break down the 19th century stuff into a few groups - the Speight-era 'standard' locos (eg 'New A', D, E, X, Y classes), the early VR locomotives (eg B, O, Q, 'Old A' classes etc) and the early private locos (eg Melb & Hobsons Bay, Melb & Geelong railway locos, etc). As it is, I think let's just put them all in the one category of "steam" for now and worry about regrouping them when we've got enough articles of quality and detail to justify it. -Zzrbiker (talk) 11:59, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


Taking Victorian Railways X class (diesel) as an example, it has a VR, V/Line, Freight Australia, Pacific National and QRNational locomotive. Shall we make a categories for each operator, and add each loco they operate to it? Or will this be to unwieldy? Another option is to just add a fleet list of the article on each operator? Wongm (talk) 02:08, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not that keen on multiple lines of categories for an article - after a while I think the law of diminishing returns starts to apply. I'd also note that we face the same issue as those who've written articles on British Rail locos face - in that we have a fleet that was once owned by a government monopoly now owned by any number of private operators. I guess ideally our articles on the VR diesel fleet would be along the lines of British Rail Class 87 or British Rail Class 43 (HST) as far as structure goes. Note that they don't go overboard on categories, but instead discuss the post-privatisation career company by company as subheadings or in a table.
My thought is that the best way to improve the VR-V/Line diesel articles for now would be to expand them. Categories are all very well, but the big problem for me is that the VR B class diesel, possibly one of the most important locomotive classes in Australian rail history, currently has an article of just 152 words in the main body, with most of that being about their post VR semi-retirement in private operation or their rebuilding into the A class, and the article is rated as low importance stub class! I'd edit it myself if I wasn't busy with the pre-1900 fleet (so many articles to write!) - Zzrbiker (talk) 11:08, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Tee-hee-hee - have a look at Victorian Railways B class (diesel) now - if only I had a copy of The ML2 Story. Wongm (talk) 11:01, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Pre-20th century[edit]

With the thing about the AA and B classes being pre-20th century, I now realize I was wrong about the AA's.

However, the B class should go into the pre-20th category, because they serviced from 1861 to 1881. Same for the C, J, M class suburban tank engines, and so on. More-or-less, the pre-20th was referring to when the locos were built, but I wasn't sure how to show this.

Also, all the locos from these companies:

  • The Melbourne and Hobsons Bay Railway Company

- 2-2-2WT (x1), 2-4-0WT (x5), 0-4-0WT (x1), 2-4-0WT N Class (x5)

  • The Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company

- 2-4-0 (x2), 2-4-0 (x2)

  • The Geelong and Melbourne Railway Company

- 2-2-2 (x2), 2-2-2 (x2), 2-4-0T (x2), 0-6-0 (x4), 0-4-0 [Ariel] (x1)

  • The Melbourne Railway Company (Combination of The Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company and The St. Kilda and Brighton Railway Company.)

- 2-4-0T (x2)

  • The Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company

- 2-4-0ST (x3)

  • The Melbourne & Hobson’s Bay United Railway Company of 30/6/1865

- 2-4-0 (x4), 4-4-0 C Class (x6), 0-4-0 Pier Donkey (x1)

Therefore, at the end, the M&HBUR Company had 28 locos.

When the VR abosrbed the M&HBUR in 1878, they built 5 new locos, no's 1-5 (yes, they overlapped numbers!)

BTW, I got all the above from "The First Fifty Years."

Steamtostay (talk) 13:11, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I can see the point of a pre-20th Century category when we have so many VR steam locomotive articles that we need to differentiate between the K class of 1874 and the K class of 1922. But at present, there is only two locomotive articles (B class & NA class) that would go in this category, and with no magical compelling event surrounding the year 1900 that makes an 1899 locomotive somehow different to a 1900 locomotive, it just becomes a category for the sake of a category. There's not even as many steam loco articles (14 at present) as there are diesel-electric articles (15) so why break steam locos up into two lists?
If you are dead keen on creating categories, or creating redlinks in the template for articles that don't yet exist, could I suggest a far more obvious problem with the current template is the complete lack of any freight wagon articles. Because that category is empty, the template iterates in a way that suggests the VR had no freight wagons. Which makes it seem even more odd to be worrying about multiple categories for a relatively short list of steam loco articles.
Just my $0.02. - Zzrbiker (talk) 09:03, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, so it's two days later and I find the same division into two categories, and no attempt to discuss the issue on the talk page. Except this time it's an even sillier category - Victorian Steam 1850(!)-1899. What steam engines ran in Victoria prior to 1854?
Before anyone runs off and yet again splits up the steam locomotive articles into some other arbitrary, unnecessary set of subcategories, could they at least take the time to present in the discussion page some attempt at a cogent argument as to what justifies it before just bulldozing ahead? - Zzrbiker (talk) 09:02, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Freight wagons[edit]

I think creating articles on each freight wagon is pretty crazy, and the only real source is the work of Peter J Vincent, including his website, and the 'Brief History' book series produced in association with Norm Bray.

However a page like Freight wagons of the Victorian Railways might work better, with details such as how four wheelers were first, continuous train brakes were introduced, the first bogies vehicles, removal of buffers, autocoupler introduction, the import of ACF wagons from the USA, moves to steel underframes, the rise of container traffics, the ubiquitous GY, the 1960s VR moves into regional manufacturing at Ballarat and Bendigo, the 1973 design bogie hopper used for umpteen types of traffic, the ROA 4 letter recoding, the GH conversions and the emergence of bogies grain vehicles and block trains, the elimination of four wheelers, the NR wagon transfers, and PN scrapping things today.

Big topic... Wongm (talk) 12:41, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

I forgot - you get into the 'goods' vs 'freight' wagon argument for the title as well! Wongm (talk) 12:43, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I suppose we could start with the freight wagons of the VR page, then have two extra pages, a glossary on four-wheelers and a glossary on bogie wagons.
From this would evolve articles on some of the more represenative wagons, such as the GY's (and GH's in the same page), and we could also have separate articles on the autocupler conversion (which affected locos and passenger sets as well), and so on...
Thinking about it, the best way to go I reckon would be to steal Peter J Vincent's idea, which is to sort by general shape and purpose: http://www.pjv101.net/cd/pages/type_frt.htm
Baggage/Mail vans
Hopper wagons -> Open type, Covered type
Container Wagons
Coiled Steel Transport
Explosives Transport
Flat Wagons
Hearse Vans
Livestock Transport -> Horses, Cattle and Sheep
Louvre vans
Motor Car Transport
Miscellaneous (Other)
Open Wagons
Refrigerator Vans
Special Load Transport
Timber wagons
Tank Wagons
All we need to ask ourselves is:
a) Do baggage and mail count as freight, passenger or "other"?
b) Should we group Boxvans, Louvre Vans, Refrigerator Vans, Explosives Vans and Hearse Vans?
c) Should we group Miscellaneous and Motor Car with Special Load? Do these count as freight or "other"?
d) Should we group Container Wagons with Coiled Steel Transport, Flat Wagons and Timber Wagons?
e) What about the Service Stock wagons (HD, WW, WT, etc.)? What about cranes?

Steamtostay (talk) 13:23, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

The present number of pages is going a bit overboard - will the articles be anything other than a regurgitation of the work of Peter J Vincent, focusing on the conversion between classes? Or something more? Wongm (talk) 06:17, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

For now, just a regurgitation, but it's supposed to be an invite for more information from other sources. Where applicable I intend to add information from Mark Bau's site, but that's the only one I know of. I also don't have easy access to books on the subject, but I'm sure someone else out there does. Steamtostay (talk) 06:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

VR livestock article created.[edit]

Article for the M, L and F wagons and bogie variations. Needs links, pictures figures, stats, degunzelling.


Steamtostay (talk) 13:03, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Narrow Gauge question[edit]

Should all the narrow gauge rollingstock be grouped together, or split among the given broad gauge articles?

Steamtostay (talk) 15:20, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

There already seems to be stuff under the narrow gauge page, perhaps put it all together then put a mention on the type page. Wongm (talk) 11:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Wagon types[edit]

Thinking about the types of wagons, particularly in terms of the new hoppers article I'm writing.

Should we really be sorting by type/shape, or should we be looking at traffic carried? i.e. a page for ballast (and sleeper) transport, another for grain transport and so on? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anothersignalman (talkcontribs) 06:38, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Reorganised; traffic section added[edit]

The intention is that each of the traffic pages will either link directly to the only type of wagon qualified for that segment, i.e. the corpse, explosive and perishable pages (which I haven't linked properly, but I'm not sure how to code), while the rest will link to disambiguation-style pages with links to all the relevant classes (i.e. Gypsum would link to both the VOJF in open wagons, and VHJA wagons in the hopper page.

Anothersignalman (talk) 12:32, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Railway company naming[edit]

I have fixed wikilinks to most of the railway companies, but note the use of the ampersand in the template - when the articles use 'and'. This makes me think the links to the various locomotive class articles might be wrong also.Garyvines (talk) 02:47, 1 July 2014 (UTC)