Romance of Australian Trams by John Larkins and Bruce Howard Dust Jacket 1978

Romance of Australian Trams by John Larkins and Bruce Howard Dust Jacket 1978

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Romance of Australian Trams by John Larkins and Bruce Howard Dust Jacket 1978
 
Romance of Australian Trams by John Larkins and Bruce Howard Dust Jacket 1978 183 Pages
Trams are humble beasts of burden, mules of mechanised transport. They have neither the snorting virility of the great railway locomotive, nor the sulking arrogance of the aircraft. Yet, despite their innocence and pleasant disposition, they have been the subject of a merciless propaganda barrage (trams rattle, buses glide) and an uncomplaining source of humour (` . . . the trams were so crowded today, even the men were standing'). We tended to take our trams too much for granted; they were as common as milk bars. Suddenly, in many places, they have disappeared. And now, choking on petrol fumes, some of us are very sorry.
A tramcar, by the strictest definition, is a vehicle which runs to a regular timetable on a track of grooved rails laid flush with the surface of a public road. Having made clear that we really do know that, we can dispense with strict definitions. Even the greatest fanatic (who could probably tell you the average number of times that conductors of Launceston single deck bogie cars visited the dentist in 1913) can be remarkably easygoing about the specific differences between tramways and railways. Indeed, our very first tramway was variously described by its chroniclers as a railroad, tramroad and, sometimes, even a tramway! It seems that most sets of tracks running from one place to another can be called tramways, as long as it isn't perfectly obvious that they are railways (i.e. the Indian-Pacific).
Thus, having allowed ourselves delightfully broad terms of reference, we can proceed . . .

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