CROCKERY AND WATER BOTTLES
Badge railway crockery has existed in NSW since 1915 when the railways assumed control of all the private refreshment facilities around the State. Over the ensuing years many varieties and colours were in use. The circular crest housed the initials NSWGR or in this case New South Wales. The inner circle included the letters RRR, also the crown of the reining monarch of the time of its manufacturing.
In the early 1960's a general upgrade of refreshment services, with the railways establishing dining cars and buffets on most long distant passenger trains. This move saw the closure of many of the refreshment rooms, and in 1986 Goulburn RRR was the last to close where a train stopped for refreshments. In the mid 1980's Junee opened their doors to the public in an attempt to keep operating. Other stations followed suit and were leased e.g. Glenn Innes and Byron Bay. In 1987-88, Trading and Catering Services became known as Retail and Catering Services. By March 1990, the RCS refreshment rooms were all privately leased, subsequently closing down the Retail Section of RSC. The last privately run RRR at Lithgow ceased operating on 28th July 1990.
Following the introduction of the Indian Pacific, which operated under the banner of ROA, special cutlery and crockery was introduced. Trains such as the Southern Aurora and Ghan had their own crockery, as did each State and private railways.
The provision of drinking water in country trains, required a considerable effort by the railways. Over the years there have been subtle changes to the bottle naming and their shape. The most radicaloccurred in the 60's, when it was decided to produce the bottles and glasses in blue plastic with NSWTD in raised lettering on them. The storage of water in plastic was of very poor quality, so they were short lived. Most water bottles have been sand blasted with the initials NSWGR, NSWTD, PTC of NSW or SRA of NSW.
A trolley was specifically made to convey the bottles and glasses to the carriages. There was spaces on the trolley to hold 100 glasses when doubled up in each hole, and when loaded up with bottles it holds 48, but another 22 can be accommodated down the centres. The responsibility for the provision of drinking water rested with the carriage cleaning branch.
Our museum has a large collection of crockery, glassware, silverware and refreshment room items. We also have all the variants of water bottles used on the NSW railways over the years.
Page last uploaded on Fri, 7 Aug 2015 05:59 Australia/Tasmania sec