Comeng Vol 2: 1955-1966

Comeng Vol 2: 1955-1966

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This second volume takes up the story in 1955 (where volume 1 left off) and traces the companys activities to 1966 -- detailing the unprecedented expansion that took place during that period. With plants in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia Comeng had already become the largest rolling-stock manufacturer in Australia. In 1955, Comeng entered into a licence agreement with the Budd Company of Philadelphia to manufacture stainless-steel rolling stock to Budds patented shot-welding method. This gave Comeng a lead in passenger-car design that no other company could match and established a benchmark for modern rolling stock in this country. Then in 1958 it founded the Union Carriage and Wagon Company (UCW) in Nigel, South Africa -- a plant that would quickly achieve the highest output of rolling stock of any firm in the Western world. The export of Comeng's Australian railway products in this period extended to New Zealand, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaya. Railway products exported from UCW went to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Luanda (Angola), Malawi, West Bengal and Taiwan. Other Comeng products would eventually cover a much broader export field. Much of the expansion in this period was due to the Comeng Boards determination to diversify its product range -- one of the most successful of these endeavours was the pioneering in Australia of curtain-walling for high-rise office blocks. Comeng also initiated the use in Australia of glass-reinforced plastic in road, rail and general applications. Other non-railway work ranged from saws and spades to heavy earth-moving equipment as well as a wide variety of products for the steelworks industry. By the end of the period covered in this volume the company was returning a healthy profit and each of its plants was fully occupied, turning out a wide range of products in this important era of Australias postwar growth. As in the first volume, much of the story has been told from the personal accounts of those who worked at one or other of the five plants. Their memories and anecdotes bring a rich tapestry to this work that goes far beyond anything the author could have achieved by his own research alone. This is very much their story.Interior of the Indian railcar showing the five-across timber- slat seats, ceiling fans , baggage racks and window shutters. Eric Adam related an amusing incident in relation to Jimmy Huntera#39;s involvement in the project: To give due credit to Jimmy Hunter, it should be recalled that, from the time that he joined ... a#39;I had to learn the schematics and go through the system and write the maintenance manual.

Title:Comeng Vol 2: 1955-1966
Author:John Dunn
Publisher:Rosenberg Pub Pty Limited - 2008


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