Armistice Day and ANGRMS

On 09/11/2011, in Members, by Mike

Armistice Day Friday 11th November 2011

 

Terry Olsson, from ANGAMS contributed this following article:

 

With this Friday being Armistice Day, I think it is important we all pause and remember those who made the supreme sacrifice. Railways played an important part in World War 1, with many Australian railway personal involved both here and abroad. ANGRMS has a direct link to WW1 as we have a genuine WW1 war relic in our collection – a Hunslet 610mm gauge steam locomotive which saw active service in France. Light railways played an important part in WW1 in France. In the environment of the Western Front, main line railways could get no closer than five to eight kilometres from the trenches, as they were a prime target for artillery and were very expensive to install and maintain.

Narrow gauge ‘light railways’ served as the vital connection between the main line railheads and the forward areas. By 1917, an average of 165,530 tons of war material was being moved per week on the light railways. A peak of 210,808 tons was reached in October 1917 in connection with the Battle of Ypres. By the Armistice in Nov 1917, these light railways totalled about 6000km of track in the British sector alone, to which about 750 steam locomotives and a similar number of small internal-combustion locomotives had been delivered.  Australians played an important part in the operation of these “Light Railways”, with several Australian Light Railway Units. Below is a very interesting “YouTube” link to some great old WW1 war footage showing these “Light Railways” …

 

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