... almost finally ... innovation and history

Wednesday 29 Aug 2018

... are not mutually exclusive. Innovation has always been around, it's not something that happened since the first mobile phone or electric car. Here is a fine example, in this case, of a double-engine car, from over 70 years ago.


Caption: Olly Smith built quite a few snappy-looking rail tractors in his time, but this double-ender gets the prize for being the most noticeable. Its construction started in 1947 with the Whakatane Board Mills contract as his goal, but when the opportunity was lost, it was not completed until 1952 when it became Gamman’s mill shunter, taking sawn timber rakes to the Mamaku station. Chevrolet engines were installed at both ends, but only one could be used at a time for moving in either direction, driving all twelve wheels. It was also used on tram construction and even on log trains as a backup. Seen here in 1961, it was last used in 1971 to pull up Gamman’s train.
(Credit: PJ Dillicar)



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