August 2019:

Here is a copy of my tribute to Tim Fischer in a special edition of the Wattrain Newsletter. The full newsletter can be downloaded in the link at bottom of this post.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester(PATRON of WATTRAIN)

Dear friends,

Like all of you, I mourn Tim’s passing, but celebrate his astonishing achievements in so many areas of activity. He was someone who made a real difference in whatever he took on.

We remember him chiefly as Australia’s greatest railway heritage afficionado. I was honoured to be asked by him to write the Foreword for his splendid book Trains Unlimited in the 21st Century. I concluded with these words:

I am delighted to celebrate the renaissance of the railway, described with such prescience and verve by Tim Fischer. Ambassador Fischer is an extraordinary phenomenon: a country boy and farmer from New South Wales, a Vietnam war veteran who became successively a legislative assembly member and then Federal politician. He was leader of his party, and for three years deputy prime minister in a coalition government. For all the time he has been such a distinguished public servant, Ambassador Fischer has kept alive and developed his passion for the railway both ancient and modern, and most importantly, convincing others of his point of view.

Many of his successes are described in the book. And so too are the achievements of his beloved railways, from transforming urban and rural life in the 19th century, and making the Industrial Revolution possible, through to the development of high speed rail in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In many countries the railways’ heyday were in the years leading up to the second world war, to be followed by periods of retrenchment, contraction and doubt. Thanks to people like Tim Fischer their time in many countries has come again. Read this book and you’ll see how this has happened, and enjoy with Tim the railways’ superb architectural legacy, its extraordinary technological advances, his description of some of the finest lines, stations, and services around the world – and above all, his message of hope for the railways’ future.

The HON Tim Fischer

Download and read the full article here