b'The road train operated for 12 years, with pressure afterthe second World War for the Government to relinquish itsfreight operation in favour of private enterprise. By 1946 theGovernment officially closed its road and rail service, withvehicles sold off. During its 12-year life in Governmentservice the AEC road train covered around 850,000 miles.Road train rebornIn 1946 the AEC prime mover and its trailers were sold inDarwin and bought by Territory Timber and used locally,until engine failure saw it sold as scrap. Like so manymachines and buildings, their historical importance are notRestored 4-axle self-tracking trailer. Note inter-connecting recognised, often resulting in priceless assets celebratingturn tables, which provided self-tracking facility aspects of our past, and Australias development beingThe prime mover had a tray type body and carried three allowed to be lost for future generations. The AEC govern-ton, while six tons could be carried on each of the two ment road train was a unique vehicle featuring advancedimported four axle Dyson trailers. A further two trailers were engineering, and being one of only three in the world,built locally to give a massive nominal total payload of 27 could easily have been lost once its working life hadtons. concluded. The prime mover lay derelict for many years inA Government report of 1937 (Payne Report) on land use the wreckers yard and it was through the initial efforts ofand development in the Northern Territory commented: Northern Territory identity Noel Fullarton in 1979 that thehistorically significant commercial vehicle was rescuedA development of outstanding importance in land from its Darwin deathbed.transport was the introduction three years ago of a 15-ton The wreck was returned to Alice Springs for restoration.motor transport unit. After operating less than three years it The frame and mechanical equipment were intact, althoughhas succeeded in redeeming its cost paying all working the bodywork had suffered the ravages of time. In 1981 itexpenses and making a small profit. was acquired by the Northern Territory Museums BoardThe first regular driver of the road train was Ewan Clough and restored for display in 1984.who commenced driving it in October 1934, through to Today this unique truck and one of its trailers takes pride ofNovember 1936. He recalled that while the road train was place in one of the best collections of motor vehicles to bedesigned to carry 15 tons, that on occasions this limit was found in Australia, at the Road Transport Hall of Fame, partgreatly exceeded. The biggest load credited to the road of the Transport Heritage Centre at Alice Springs.train was two railway carriages weighing an enormous 45 Brian Tannertons each. EditorFour Wheel Drive VictoriaTRAINING COURSES 2020BOOK ONLINEOpen to all club members, the general public and corporate organisations.Browse courses online at www.fwdvictoria.org.au and call the office tobook on (03) 9874 7222PROFICIENCY COURSESTuesday 8th September - PC200912 - TheorySaturday 12th September - PC200921PracticalFriday 16th October - PC201017 - TheorySaturday 17th October - PC201017 - PracticalTuesday 10th November - PC201114 - TheorySaturday 14th November - PC201114 - PracticalTuesday 1st December - PC201205 - TheorySaturday 5th December - PC201205 - PracticalTraining Bookings Go OnlineFour Wheel Drive Victoria training courses can now be booked entirely online.Being a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 21605), all bookings can bedone via our website link. Both accredited and non-accredited courses can nowbe booked online and online payments will also soon be available. Four WheelDrive Victoria offer non-accredited Proficiency 4WD training and a rangeofAccredited 4WD and Chainsaw Courses. Check out all the details at fwdvictoria.org.au/trainingTRACKWATCH SEPTEMBER 2020 27'