Title Details

Rail Town

Port Augusta, midway between the city and remote western and central Australia, is headquarters to the Commonwealth Railways.
Year : 1953 | Total Duration : 11 Minutes | Producer : Eric Thompson
Director : Joan Bundy |
Track along railway line as from front of train and opening credits. Graphic map of Australia with zoom into Spencer's Gulf to Port Augusta marked on map. WS of waterhole with LS to birds and WS of flat mallee scrub plains. WS edge of wheat belt with Flinders Ranges in background. WS of flat salt bush plain. WS outback homestead in mallee landscape.
Access No. 20517 | 1 min 5 secs | 1950s | SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS pan across flat plains to LS town of Port Augusta. WS of main street in Port Augusta with cars angle parked in front of historic buildings of shopping strip. GS of stockman wearing akubra hat window shopping in town with CUs of his face and boots with spurs.
Access No. 20521 | 28 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
GS two Aboriginal stockmen sitting on their haunches under a tree. WS cross section of people alighting train at railway station of Port Augusta. VS men carrying suitcases, swags or haversacks over their shoulders, luggage trolley on platform. Woman getting into the back of FJ Holden as men pack suitcases into boot of car. GS Port Augusta street scenes and two women walking past sign for Chapel Street. WS man in front of large dilapidated tin shed with Beach Cafe signage.
Access No. 20527 | 25 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
Track following five railway gangers riding railway trolley car through outback landscape. WS Port Augusta hospital and good shot of children piling into the back of a van, actually a flat-top truck with pop-up extension. Good shot of young girl holding a wriggling black kitten and waving to camera. WS children in van as it drives away.
Access No. 20529 | 27 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS across flat plains and swamp toward township of Port Augusta. CU of railway track narrowing into distance and high angle shot over railway station, headquarters of the Commonwealth Railways with goods train at platform. CU of diesel train departing. GS woman with baby sitting on iron lace balcony overlooking historic main street of Port Augusta. Horse and buggy towards camera down main street.
Access No. 20538 | 34 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS of drovers herding large flock of sheep and GS of stockmen on horses. Two shots of tall ships at sea. Exterior of old stone building and VS of other early buildings including tilt to iron lace verandah of hotel, church and old timber customs house. Good MS of three down-and-out looking sitting together and smoking pipes and cigarettes. Good MS of older man in braces. WS ocean liner being pulled into port by tugs.
Access No. 20545 | 38 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta,SA, Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | B&W |
Graphic 1912 on black background. Archival footage of the arrival of the Great Trans Continental Railway.
Access No. 20553 | 7 secs | 1950s | Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | B&W |
CU travelling along railway tracks POV of train driver of fast moving train. CU of train wheels past camera. Graphic map of Australia showing spread of rail lines. WS men walking across yard of factory complex and interior shots of railway workshop with VS of fitters and turners, welders, machinists and engineers in workshop. CU man lowering crane hook in machine shop, GS man attending cart in engine yard, GS man on shunting tracks and good shots of men riding luggage transporter on railway platform.
Access No. 20559 | 44 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS large ship docking at wharf with VS of man directing the unloading of large steel pipes from ship and unloading wooden barrels in rope cargo net. VS of scoop unloading coal into container. VS railway workers with trolleys loading carriage of Port Augusta to Alice Springs train with assorted goods. GS butchers loading fresh meat carcasses onto the Tea and Sugar Train. VS men using hook to load blocks of ice and crates with other produce.
Access No. 20568 | 1 min 1 sec | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS bags for washing outside railway laundry and VS of women working inside laundry with VS of laundering processes including drying rollers, women folding and stacking sheets and CU of linen with Commonwealth Railways branding being processed. VS inside railway general store for railway workers showing GS of staff behind counter in front of shelves stacked with provisions. VS employees looking at goods and GS woman looking at dresses on racks.
Access No. 20587 | 28 secs | 1950s | Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
MS train controller sitting at desk talking on mouthpiece of phone which he can extend across desk and writing on paper. WS of steam train through rolling countryside. Travelling shot of Commonwealth Railways two-carriage diesel train across flat plains. Interior shot of passenger carriage with conductor walking down the aisle collecting ticket from passenger.
Access No. 20597 | 24 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS of Transcontinental diesel train carrying livestock and goods trucks towards then past camera. WS steam train past camera. GS men washing diesel engine and carrying out maintenance. GS of diesel train leaving platform. GS interiors of Commonwealth Railways diesel train showing galley kitchen and waiters formally setting tables in dining carriage.
Access No. 20605 | 58 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
VS of derelict broad gauge steam engines lying on rail tracks in outback. VS cross section of Port Augusta's population on the streets of the town showing men gathered outside the Great Northern Dry Cleaners, women walking along main street and shop front windows. High shot over main street and tilt down facade of Town Hall Theatre Ballroom. VS of children in playground with good shot of girls on seesaw which they push from either end to move.
Access No. 20608 | 31 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS Mother and Babies Health Association building with LS to mother and baby arriving. WS of ambulance along a dirt outback road towards then past camera and GS arriving outside country hospital. WS of students arriving at Port Augusta High School (no school uniforms). WS row of single level housing in Port Augusta and GS man walking down suburban road of older housing.
Access No. 20611 | 28 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS pipeline running into distant countryside. GS woman squatting down in her front yard tending gardening and CU of dahlia flowers. GS avenue of trees lining street and WS caravan in caravan park. WS camping scene in caravan park. WS construction of a new regional power station just outside Port Augusta with VS of men at work. GS on electrician working on electric grids and high voltage power poles and GS of dogman riding on pile of timbers attached to crane hook.
Access No. 20622 | 36 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
WS of spectators gathered around tennis courts. WS men in their bowling whites on bowling green with mountain ranges in distance and WS of small sailing boats on Spencer's Gulf. VS children playing in the sea of and fishing from the bridge. Gs small boy playing in water with brown beer bottle and pair of boys floating on their backs in shallows. WS with beach and jetty and shot at night with jetty and ship silhouetted against sea.
Access No. 20634 | 32 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
CU of notice announcing English class for migrants ("New Australians"). MS of male teacher at blackboard and WS classroom of adult male immigrants learning English. VS of couples ballroom dancing. GS train driver entering driver's cabin of diesel train at night and MS woman kissing female passenger farewell at train window. MS conductor holding out lamp and VS train slowly leaving platform. WS of Port Augusta at night, Commonwealth Railways diesel departs.
Access No. 139905 | 46 secs | 1950s | Port Augusta, SA, Australia | © NFSA | B&W |