Comeng: A History of Commonwealth Engineering
By John Dunn
This book continues with the history of the Australian company Commonwealth Engineering (Comeng), from 1977 - where the previous volume left off - and carrying the story through to 1985. This period of Comeng's history was highly productive though unquestionably turbulent. One of the highlights of Comeng's New South Wales branch was the design and construction of the XPT trains for Australia's State Rail Authority in the early 1980s. The introduction of the XPT trains represented a quantum leap in the development of modern long-distance passenger trains in Australia. The book offers an appreciation of the political, commercial, and engineering hurdles that were associated with such a complex project. At the same time, in Victoria, a huge contract for new electric multiple-unit suburban trains was an equally important milestone - it was for the introduction of modern commuter passenger stock. From the 1960s onward, Comeng had progressively diversified into activities that were not railway-based. These included the manufacture of engineering products and the sale under license of a wide range of equipment used in Australia's construction, manufacturing, and mining industries. In addition to its wholly owned operations, Comeng had acquired substantial investments in Bradken Consolidated Limited, Union Carriage & Wagon Co. Pty Ltd, and Australian National Industries. Then, in 1982, Comeng was suddenly taken over by Australian National Industries. This was a turning point in the company's fortunes and set in motion events that would see the ultimate demise of this robust and well-respected group of Australian manufacturing companies. Throughout this period, all the rolling stock plants were fully occupied, turning out passenger trains, trams, light rail vehicles, diesel railcars, locomotives, freight stock, and a host of other smaller, but nonetheless important, products.
Publication Date: 4/11/2013