Browse Published Resources

Published Resources Details Conference Paper

Johnston, Ben
Tasmanian railways: A tradition of engineering innovation
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 504-523

It is the year 2011 and Tasmania's railways are just recovering from a "near-death-experience" following many years of neglect and under-investment. This sad exterior masks a former state of the art railway that under-pinned Tasmania's economic development. Between 1836 and 1959 a number of national and internationally significant rail technologies were pioneered. Most of these innovations were extremely successful and many railways throughout the world looked to Tasmania for inspiration and guidance. This paper briefly looks at a few significant innovations and demonstrates there is risk and potential failure associated with innovation, however in the majority of cases it proved well worth the risk and resulted in success and acclaim. If Tasmania is to substantiate its clean/green branding then it needs to embrace the efficiency afforded by steel wheels on steel rails and break the 50 year innovation drought that has depleted Tasmanian Railways.

Related Published resources