Last week Gareth Dennis posted this superb and hilarious thread of British PMs as locomotives. It’s very funny, even if (like me) you’re not much of a Brit trainspotter.
A friend asked me to do an Australian version. Initially I said I wasn’t sure if there were enough Australian trains to match the multitude of Australian PMs, but I’ve had a go at it.
So here are some Australian PMs as (mostly Victorian) trains and trams, as a Twitter thread.
Menzies = XPT— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Steeped in British influence. In service for way longer than anybody thought possible. pic.twitter.com/g2PAx5ZItY
Whitlam = Melbourne PCC tram 1041— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Seen as perhaps too revolutionary when introduced, and only in service for a short time. Controversial, but ultimately influential on those that came after.
(Tram pic from John Ward) pic.twitter.com/kpgTp9xdSq
Fraser = Sydney Tangara— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Replaced a shortlived predecessor. Made seat irreversible – previously it used to flip regularly. Seemed to improve with age. Has a long face. pic.twitter.com/m4CYmfU70F
Hawke = Melbourne Hitachi train— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Dashing in silver, was around for quite a while. Eventually replaced by a flashier younger successor. Near-universally loved after retirement. pic.twitter.com/pZlFeDyLBq
Keating = Melbourne C-class tram— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
European-styled exterior seemed impressive at first glance, and certainly had smarts not seen in earlier models, but didn't have much of a run before crashing into things and derailing. pic.twitter.com/XMv6QacdRb
Rudd/Gillard/Rudd = Lithgow Zig Zag Railway— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Back and forth, and impressive to watch in action, but ultimately not actually moving very far at all. pic.twitter.com/ELXt98gGwH
Abbott = Puffing Billy— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Clearly a product of 19th century thinking. Some have said "almost too attractive", but moves so slowly that really isn't of very much use to anybody in the 21st century. pic.twitter.com/8lWL64RmYM
Turnbull = Spirit of Progress— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
Super smooth and streamlined. Seen as having huge potential, but ultimately couldn't go as far as some wished, thanks to affiliation. pic.twitter.com/Msti2XzOib
Morrison = Victorian Railways H-class loco— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) August 29, 2020
A relatively recent arrival, yet traditional values sometimes seem like a throwback to the past. Has a deep love of coal. pic.twitter.com/3ydc9IdMbP
I’ve got a few gaps in here, and I’m sure someone else can do better.
The good people of Twitter are coming to the rescue with some great suggestions. I’ll add a few to this post in a day or two.
8 replies on “PMs as trains and trams”
I love it. Grinning. You did terrifically well and the Twitter additions are good too. Is there are political equivalent of a B Class tram. Solid, dependable, smooth, cool in a crisis, warm when the need is there and long lasting……I’ll sleep on that one.
Andrew: Not in our lifetime, the Z3/A/B class trams are just too reliable!
Keeping with the topic, John Howard might have passed as the W2 class tram just for his longevity. And just like the Liberal Party’s main priority being to maintain the status quo, the vast majority of W2s maintained their 1920s status quo of wooden seats and no doors right until their retirement (while W2s eventually ended up with vinyl seats near the end of their life, only a handful of W2s actually gained doors and the SW2 moniker; they were few and far between unlike the later SW5s).
@Heihachi_73, the A-class could be criticised for lacking capacity. Not sure who that matches it up to.
@Anonymous, I think you might have misinterpreted the premise.
John “Black Jack” McEwen – an unplanned bustitution due to unforseen circumstances. Only needed until regular service could be restored.
John Howard – Z1 Class Tram. Came in during the 1970s in very drab colours, and hung around long enough to become very popular. Later seen sporting Green and Gold. Should have been phased out for a newer model but managed to hang on well past its expected service life.
And just because it writes itself – Joh Bjelke-Petersen. A suspiciously low number of seats and a loud screech. Comes with a tropical atmosphere and likely to hang around far longer than rightfully should be expected.
Sorry, Joh Bljelke-Petersen is a D Class Tram. Not quite sure how I left that crucial bit of info out.
@Rob, I read your description and thought “I think he means a D class tram”! Amused that I was correct!
Surely Harold Holt is a Harris train set. A long delayed successor, which ultimately sank without a trace.