Reviews

Chuck Balyeat of South Texas sent me some gasket material for review. The material is black in colour, about 1.5mm thick and appears to be a cardboard and asbestos material with metal (probably steel) mesh sandwiched in layers. The same sort of material is available in Australia under the name "Klingerite" which I have used extensively as head gaskets with my engines.

While the sample that Chuck sent me was not big enough for a head gasket, this stuff would be ideal for that job. To test the material, I made an exhaust gasket for my Southern Cross P Type 4hp engine. The engine ran for six hours prior to my leaving home for a show, then for a full day at the Upper Yarra Valley Draught Horse Festival. When I got home I took off the exhaust manifold and the gasket shows no signs of heat damage.…

Read more: Review: Gasket Material

Review: Video, Glenreagh Mountain Railway – Wheels of Time
 

Premise

“Glenreagh Mountain Railway Inc was established in 1989 to operate a heritage tourist railway on the Glenreagh to Ulong section of the former Glenreagh to Dorrigo railway line. The star attraction is the beautifully restored engine No. 1919, ‘Betty’ the steam locomotive.

In the Wheels of Time documentary, the volunteers of GMR share the hard work that has been undertaken to restore ‘Betty’ to her former glory and to re-establish the railway line to become a successful tourist attraction.”

Initial Impression

When I watch a video I’ve chosen I often find myself viewing footage which has little or nothing to do with the premise on the cover – not so with Wheels of Time. This video is interesting and provides an immersive experience as is possible in such a special interest genre.


Produced by Jacaranda Films
Directed by Robert Pommer
Edited by Colin Henry of 1Image Design
Music and Lyrics by James Buck Donald
Narration by Terry Daniel
PAL Colour DVD MPEG-2 720x576 (625/50) in standard 4:3 TV format
Video: Single title of 41.47 minutes
Sound: English only LPCM 2-ch (stereo) 48Kbs sample rate
Subtitles: None
Where To Get It
Jacaranda Films www.jacarandafilms.com.au
More information about GMR can be found at www.gmr.org.au

Presentation

Features:

  • The original music soundtrack by James Buck Daniels is a welcome change to the run-of-the-mill train video. Many of them resort to royalty free tracks just for the sake of background music. GMR-WoT uses music to tell the story of the locomotive and of the railway. Embedded in the lyrics are technical details about locomotive 1919 ‘Betty’, her history, the people who restored her and the railway on which she runs.
  • The narration and interviews are interesting. The interviews have been edited, probably for brevity (after all people who love their topic do tend to ramble!). For the most part the interviews are a mix of video and audio as well as audio only playing over the video of the run down the track, the magnificent mountain views around the railway, or contextually related still images.
  • The main focuses of the production are the GMR itself, and the steam locomotive No. 1919 ‘Betty’. Also covered in lesser detail are: an operational Melbourne a W2 Tram; Rail Motor CPH 11; volunteers and track machines.
  • The video is both a documentary of the hard won efforts of the volunteers and their local community and a plea for assistance to complete the long term plan of reopening the railway all the way to Ulong. Volunteers and funding are both needed.
  • The GMR features a standard gauge track running through the picturesque scenery of northern coastal NSW. It has been restored for 2.5km from Glenreagh and is used for operating the steam train and the tram. The operational railway currently stops at a trestle that must be rebuilt. It is possible to navigate much more of the track by track machine (trolly or trolley depending on your era!) and during the film this is done until an impenetrable (for now) wall of forest is reached at the end of the line. The rough motion of the trolly clearly defines the work to be done on this track before trains can run on it.
  • There are enough detail shots of No. 1919 ‘Betty’ to interest the modeller without boring the average viewer.
  • The railway sounds are clear and well recorded. There is a complete absence of the common audio clipping heard in many productions of this genre.…

Read more: Review: Video, Glenreagh Mountain Railway – Wheels of Time

Surviving World Steam Locomotive Database

Product Details

Product reviewed: Surviving World Steam Locomotives
Reviewer: Paul Pavlinovich
Date Reviewed: 17 Jan 2001
Overall Rating (0 = Terrible, 5 = Satisfactory, 10 = Magnificent): 8

Product made available for review by: James Heffner
Product is available from: James Heffner
Link to product homepage http://www.pernet.net/~james1/us_steam Price $A 

Click on the image for a clear full size view of the database.

Installation & Environment

Surviving World Steam Locomotives is as the title suggests a database of surviving world steam locomotives. The database is designed to operate under the MS Windows environment. For the review I installed it under both Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0. It installed easily, and performed under both environments well. As is normal with all good Windows software the application includes a simple installer/uninstaller. The application installs into its own directory and includes the stub version of Microsoft Access making the application independent of your installed environment. The application consumed 68.3MB of hard disk space. Since the application is dependant on Microsoft Access it will not operate in any environment apart from MS Windows.

The Windows 98 test computer was a generic desktop Pentium @ 166Mhz with 64MB of RAM. The NT 4.0 test computer was a Dell Laptop Pentim II @ 500MHz with 256MB of RAM.…

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Review: Vintage Commercial Vehicles Down Under Magazine

Product Details

Product reviewed: Magazine: Vintage Commercials Down Under
Reviewer: Paul Pavlinovich
Date Reviewed: 30 Jan 2001
Folloup Review: 04 Oct 2002
Overall Rating (0 = Terrible, 5 = Satisfactory, 10 = Magnificent): 9

Product made available for review by: Steven Parinder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Product is available from: Vintage Commercials Down Under Publishing
Price $A29 including postage for four issues to anywhere in Australia. 

General Comments

UPDATE Oct 2002

The magazine has survived its first year and is moving from strength to strength. Now up to issue number 6. This latest issue is 30 pages! The photo quality has improved considerably from the early efforts and I'd have to say the production standard is now on par with any other dedicated magazine of its genre. Issue 6 included: Letters, News, Events, Show Reports, Artciles, Photo Essays such as Paddock Wrecks, Book reviews; and classifieds.

I just cannot recommend it enough - subscribe and support this Australian production. Steven is to be congratulated on his mammoth efforts in producing such a high quality publication from scratch. Remember he (like me!) needs authors to contribute, so write about your favourite and send in a few pics to Steven.

Read more: Review: Vintage Commercial Vehicles Down Under Magazine