Series 567 Rail Video
No-one could ever have imagined that a very casual conversation between 2 Locomotive Drivers in early 1989 would ever have led to a business lasting 19 years.  A discussion between myself and David Gunn about purchasing videos of US trains led to what is now known as Series 567 Rail Video.  The partnership of the business commenced with David’s brother, Stan joining the two of us. It was registered on 30.06.89.  Trading commenced in March 1990 after an agreement had been reached with the UK distributor, Steam Powered Video in December 1989 to be the Australian dealer for their product.  The partnership has changed a couple of times, the first when David’s brother left; David’s wife, Gail and Jeanette then came into the business.  On January 1st, 1997, the partnership was to change again when Jeanette and myself purchased the business share from David & Gail.
  The business had a growth pattern for every one of the 19 years.  Series 567 was the 2nd largest mailing customer for Australia Post in Heathcote.  The newsletter went through a number of name changes - From the original name of ‘Division Point’, then ‘567 News’, ‘Switcher’ and ‘Train Order’ which was its last title.  During the period April 1996 to June 1999 we did an additional newsletter (‘The Tube’) for customers of UK titles only.  To cater for customers only interested in computer simulation programs, we did for a while put out the newsletter ‘Download’.  We were finding that customers of our USA product were also interested to some degree in UK titles and ‘The Tube’ & ‘Download’ were finally put on the ‘scrap road’ in mid-1999.  We did have another newsletter (‘Highball’) for our Retail outlets, which is basically a carbon copy of ‘Train Order’ with some variant to the information.  In conjunction with the newsletter which is mailed out, we also advised some of our customers by email when the newsletter had been updated on our website.
In January 1992 we attended our first ever exhibition, when we ventured down the Geelong Highway to Corio.  This was to be the first of many, not only within Victoria, but interstate also.  Aside from Corio we have been to Ballarat, Bendigo, Latrobe Valley, Glenroy, Sunshine, Shepparton, Waverley (World Vision), Sunbury, Camberwell / Box Hill (AMRA) and the World Trade Centre.  Interstate, we have participated in Exhibitions held in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. 
The biggest job we had was doing our yearly catalogue.  Work normally started in February / March for a June printing.  When we first started, the catalogue was typed up and information ‘cut & pasted’ from brochures and then taken to the Sunshine Library for photocopying.  This was very time consuming and expensive and it was not long before we rented our first photocopier.  With titles ever on the increase, we found that the job of compiling the catalogue in this way was getting beyond us.  We approached Sunshine Printers to compile and print the catalogue.  These catalogues did not show any price, a separate price sheet was included.  With our move from Sunshine to Heathcote we were lucky enough to find Jane Hardwick of Graphic Design who did all the design work whilst it was printed by Paul Rieusset of Euroa Printers.  The compiling of the catalogue was a huge task and involved many hours of proof reading etc to ensure the document was correct.  For the first time ever, the 2004 / 2005 catalogue contained DVDs only, with a separate document, compiled and printed by us, listing our video titles.  Video titles no longer play any part in our sales.  The World Transport Video / DVD catalogue was fully managed by Jeanette.  When we commenced dealing with ‘The Signalbox’ in the UK we requested a copy of their catalogue on a disc.  When we accessed the disc we found (naturally) that all the prices were shown in English Pounds.  We then had to format a price calculation chart and alter the price of over 3000 titles to show Australian Dollars.  Jeanette did all the alterations and corrections, plus compiled the update sheets that customers who had this catalogue received.  We did have a number of other catalogues covering Big E (USA) titles, PC-RAIL computer simulation and the 3 major UK suppliers - VIDEO 125. Cinerail and Globe Video Films.  These were ‘in-house’ compiled documents.
It has certainly been an exciting and interesting 19 years for us.  I must confess that when we first started, we thought this would be easy – Advertise the product, buy the product in, send the product out.  Not so, we had to learn about Wholesale Tax, importing goods, and dealing with Australian Customs etc etc.  We have supplied titles, not only to customers in Australia & New Zealand, but also in Fiji, UK, Dubai, and Sweden.  Over the years we have also been a keen supporter of Australian made product by such producers as Mike Condon of Express Train Video (Tracks in the Sun / Macalister 9829), Bruce Williams of WV Productions (Cold Steam / Titans’ Last Winter), and more recently the range of titles offered by Tony (Ashcat) Marsden of Steam Media Productions, plus titles from Train Pictures.
There have been many highlights, however, the one that eclipses all was being involved with Tony Marsden to produce the 2 DVDs, Vic’s Railways, (Vol.1 - January ‘07, Vol.2 - October ‘07).  Without the blessing of Jo Greensill this very historic footage would never have been seen and our thanks go to her for allowing the production to proceed.  (See article ‘VIC GREENSILL’ below)
I can however say that we have met a lot of great people and made many friends, not only customers through our attendance at Exhibitions and phone conversations, but the suppliers and Retailers we also deal with.  We have also learnt about producing a video, a DVD and a CD - This has been a great insight into the various facets of the business which a normal mail order company would probably never experience.  We have always endeavoured to treat the customer as we would like to be treated if we were the customer.  To our knowledge this has been achieved.  Our thanks go to David and Stan who saw a business potential in the early stages, our customers who supported us through the past 19 years and not forgetting the 3 wives who stood by us in the early times as we worked to establish a business in Australia that was badly needed - Our sales and customer base proved this point.
It was decided that 2009 would be our last year.  We did not however think that even if a buyer was found it would happen so quickly.  Due to commitments which the new owner, Benjamin Page has in the new year, it became necessary to finalise everything sooner rather than later.  So we have now arrived at the ‘buffer stop’.

The Business Name.
Over the years we have often been asked in regard to the relevance of the business name.  With both David & myself having had a liking for the Victorian Railways ‘B’ class locomotive which had the power plant known as a ‘Series 567’ engine, this became our obvious choice when Ironbark Video was not available.  The 567 engine was used in locomotives built by General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division from 1938 until its replacement in 1966 by the EMD 645 engine.  The ‘567’ engine used in the ‘B’ class was a V16, with a two-stroke cycle.  It was rated at 1,500 hp.  The ‘567’ related to the displacement of 567 cubic inches per cylinder.

Our 19 Years
‘As It Happened’
30th June 1989
Business name ‘Series 567 Rail Video’ registered.  It was originally going to be Ironbark Rail Video but we were unable to obtain this business name.
11 Dec. 1989
Letter sent to Steam Powered Video accepting offer to be the Australian distributor.
March 1990
Trading commences.  Catalogue had a listing of 52 videos (PAL only).
1991 - 1992 
Through representation by David & Daryl to the USA producer, Pentrex, they were able to convince them to produce 6 titles in the PAL format.  This was later    to become 13.  Pentrex had never previously released any titles in PAL.  A world ‘first’ for Series 567 Rail Video and a win for the Australian customer.
May 1994
David & Daryl visit UK to meet Ian & Ann Andrews of Steam Powered Video. Also visit VIDEO 125 and Transport Video Publishing.  A visit to Pentrex in the   USA was also included in this trip.
June 1994
‘567’ becomes Australian distributor for VIDEO 125 & TVP
October 1994
The video, ‘Rail Victoria’ released.  This was a co-production between John Stone and ‘567”.
July 1995
‘Rail Victoria’ goes on sale in the UK through Steam Powered Video.
January 1996
The video ‘The Hills Are Alive’ released.  This was a co-production between John Stone and ‘567”.
November 1996 
The catalogue ‘U.K Video Catalogue’ released and comprised 56 pages.  The name was later changed to World Transport Video/DVD catalogue.  The 9th   Edition of August 2003 comprised 90 pages. 
5th January 1999
Letter to ARHS (Vic) requesting to have permission to produce the previously released LP titles, Steam on the 5’3” and
Nightshift as Compact Discs. The  agreement was signed on 9th June.
July 1999
Release of the CD’s - Steam on the 5’3” and Nightshift
July 1999
The catalogue issued for 1999 / 2000 was the last issued that contained videos only (PAL/NTSC) and had a listing of 694 titles.
January 2000
Construction of Module Stand for Exhibitions.  Previously all equipment had been hired.  Used for the first time at the Shepparton 2000 Exhibition.
March 2000
The title, Cold Steam, produced by Bruce Williams of Mooroopna, Vic. on Jingpen Pass and other parts of China was released.  Now withdrawn.
March 2000
We release our very first DVDs.  American Steam - A Vanishing Era and Empires of Steam.  Both of these have now been withdrawn.
March 2000
Attend the very last Model Railway Exhibition held at Camberwell.
June 2000
First catalogue compiled by Jane Hardwick of Graphic Design and printed by Euroa Printers is released.  Previous catalogues had always been issued in   January.  The change was due to introduction of GST.
February 2001
Distributor for the UK producer, Globe Video Films
March 2001
First AMRA (Vic) Exhibition at new venue in Box Hill - We were there!
July 2001
The newsletter ‘567 News’ becomes ‘Switcher’
September 2001
Distributor for the UK producer, Cinerail / Marsden Rail
February 2002
  Distributor for the USA producer, BIG E
May 2002 
Attend our first Model Railway Exhibition in Brisbane.  We attended again in 2003.
August 2002
Release of the QR title, ‘Macalister 9829’, produced by Mike Condon, Brisbane
March 2003
The video ‘Rail Victoria’ withdrawn from sale.
October 2003
The title, ‘The Hills Are Alive’ released as a DVD.
January 2004
‘The Hills Are Alive’ DVD goes on sale in the UK through Steam Powered Video
June 2004
  Travel to Perth and attend Model Railway Exhibition.  On return, attend Exhibition in Adelaide.
October 2004
We commence selling Steam Media titles produced by Tony Marsden.  First up was ‘A Garratt Goes Again – Part 1’.  It was available on video & DVD. We attend our very last Sydney Model Railway Exhibition.
March 2005
Series 567 Rail Video celebrates 15 years of serving those interested in transportation, in particular rail operations world wide.
May 2005
We release the DVD title, ‘747 Flight Deck Tour’ from Tony Marsden.  Footage from the 747 flight deck on an Antarctic flight.
June 2005
Commence selling ‘New Zealand Railscene’ titles from Majik Video
August 2005
Cease selling the computer simulation product, ‘PC-Rail’
November 2005
Rail Victoria – The Changing 80s’ released on DVD with Bonus disc after being re-edited / re-mastered by Tony Marsden.
March 2006
Attend our last AMRA (Vic) exhibition at Box Hill.  Trailer and Stand equipment sold to NSW Rail Transport Museum.
May 2006
We release the first WIDESCREEN DVD titles. ‘East to Green River’ from Highball Productions and 2 UK titles ‘Yorkshire Steam’ and ‘Running the Legend - The Flying Scotsman’ October 2006  Pentrex release the DVD title ‘The Ultimate Tehachapi’. 2 DVD set covering 8 hours of action from Bakersfield to Mojave & return.
November 2006
A check of the number of titles released from January to November showed a total of 140.
January 2007
Series 567 & Steam Media Productions release Vic’s Railways - Vol. 1. A resounding success, and a worthy tribute to a great person & Engineman. [See below]
April 2007
Attend Hobson’s Bay Model Railway Exhibition at Collingwood College.  This was to be our very last Exhibition.
October 2007
Vic’s Railways – Vol. 2 released.  [See below]
November 2007
A check of the number of titles released from January to November showed a total of 153.  13 more than 2006.
Pentrex release ‘The Ultimate Cajon Subdivision’.  This 4 DVD set covered 12 hours of rail action featuring over 500 trains.
March 2008
Series 567 & Steam Media Productions again team up & release on DVD the Bruce Williams title, The Titans’ Last Winter – Parts 1 & 2.
April 2008
Series 567 secures distribution rights to the 32 DVD title range of Valhalla Video Productions.
May 2008
The Bernie Baker DVD title, The Missing Link - Working on the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway is released.
June 2008
The Roger Greenwood title, The Geelong Tramways is released.  Covers the system from its opening in 1930 to closure in 1956.
August 2008
‘567’ commences selling NSW steam titles as produced by Richard Whitford.
October 2008
The business of Series 567 Rail Video is put on the market for sale.  An Expression of Interest to Purchase is received from the Queensland-based business   of Train Pictures, which is owned by Benjamin Page.  Pentrex release the latest in the ‘Ultimate’ series - ‘The Ultimate Beaumont Hill’.  The 2 DVD set has a running time of 6 hours with over 300 trains shown.
Daryl & Jeanette visit the USA and meet with Mike Clayton & Carol Sartain of Pentrex, also Bob McMillan of Valhalla Video.
November 2008
A Contract of Sale is formalised with the signing between Series 567 Rail Video & Train Pictures with a settlement date of 15 December.  A 19 year era is coming to an end!  The last ‘Train Order’ newsletter is sent out to customers advising of the sale and new owner.
15 December 2008
On this day, settlement of the business sale to Benjamin Page of Train Pictures.

Vic Greensill

Over the 19 year period of being involved with the business of Series 567 Rail Video, I have had moments of great joy through what we achieved at various times.  It would be remiss of me not to mention in greater detail what I can honestly say gave no greater feeling than when Tony Marsden and myself completed the DVD Vic’s Railways - Vol. 1.  This is the story of that production.

Late in 2005, and knowing of the video footage taken over many years by Vic Greensill, I contacted him with the view to having a DVD produced.  To carry out the task I asked Bruce Williams (Producer, ‘Cold Steam’) if he would be interested.  On viewing the tapes, Bruce felt the task was far bigger than he first anticipated and suggested that Tony (Ashcat) Marsden of Steam Media may take the task on board.
Vic, who was a Driver for Pacific National lost his life in an unfortunate accident on 28 April 2006 while returning to Melbourne from Dimboola.  Vic was aboard the afternoon train service from Ararat to Ballarat, being operated by a VLocity train when it struck a semi trailer on a level crossing at Trawalla.
Vic was highly respected and admired not only by his peers but railfans alike.  I had worked with Vic many years ago and admired his dedication as a Driver and the interest he had from a ‘fans’ perspective.  I last spoke with Vic in December (2005) just prior to his departure for a holiday in Queensland.
I was unable to speak with Vic prior to his untimely passing to advise of the decision as suggested by Bruce Williams.  I did speak with Tony and he stated that the project had merit.  The accident at Trawalla put all plans on hold pending a decision from Vic’s wife, Jo.  We were not even aware if Jo knew of what Vic had planned.  Advice was received through a family friend that Jo was aware of the project and was happy for it to continue.  The project became a joint venture between Steam Media Productions and Series 567 Rail Video.
Initially we envisaged a 60-minute program.  However, after reviewing over 34 hours of footage, which contained some absolutely priceless and completely unrepeatable material, it was decided to produce a two-hour DVD as a tribute to Vic.  Editing such a long program is very time consuming.  As Vic’s footage was shot on VHS it also had to be digitised, adding more time to the edit process.  Rushing post-production on the lengthened program to meet a December 2006 deadline was not an option.  Both Steam Media and ‘567’ have always prided ourselves in bringing customers a top quality product and the decision was made that a late January (2007) release would ensure time to produce such a program.
The history-filled DVD covers rail operations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland on a variety of gauges featuring diesel, steam and electric traction.  Tram fans are also catered for with a selection of scenes from the 1991 historic vehicle cavalcade.  There are many gems including:- triple C class on ‘Jets’, triple S class on briquette drags, triple R class at Macedon, triple T class travelling to Barry Beach, triple parallel run with 3801, K 183 and R 761, the double track to Bendigo beyond Kyneton, double H class on the Castlemaine - Maryborough line, P class on Leongatha passes, B 61’s last run on the Stony Point pass, cane trains in the main street of Nambour, pre-electrification Brisbane suburbans, far north Queensland diesel and electric action - some on lines now closed, tuscan/gold and candy liveried locos in NSW, the beautiful VR blue and gold and a multitude more.
Three chapters of this very historic title will probably generate more interest than most - Cheetham’s Salt Works, ICI Deer Park and SEC Electric Railway at Yallourn.  I must admit that I was not aware that Cheetham’s or ICI operated their own railway system.  The Cheetham’s Salt Works was located on the Point Cook Road on the southern side of Geelong Road, Laverton.  This location is now the housing estate of ‘Sanctuary Lakes’.  Between the estate and Port Phillip Bay is now the Cheetham Wetlands.  The last salt harvest at this location was in 1991, with the operation closing in November 1992.  Cheetham’s still operate, with their current works (Lara Operations) located adjacent to the Avalon Airport at Lara heading towards Geelong.
The 2’ 6” railway within the boundary of ICI Deer Park Explosives Factory is another that little would be known about, let alone seeing footage of it.  During my career as a Driver I shunted ICI Deer Park a number of times, however, a STOP board a locomotive length and a ‘bit’ after passing across Forrest Street in Ardeer did not allow us to see what actually happened beyond.  Seeing the footage that was taken by Vic brings home to the viewer, that more than just 5’3” operations were taking place in Victoria.
The State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) operated a 900mm gauge, 1100 volt DC overhead electric system on an Interconnecting Railway between Yallourn and Morwell.  The electric locos were withdrawn from service in 1993 and replaced with diesel-hydraulic locos.  The entire railway operation was closed by early 2001 when mining operations were extended – It is now all but a memory!  How fortunate we are to now be able to view footage of these 3 systems which no longer exist.
The action is filmed from lineside, parallel roads and footplates giving a great variety of angles.  As with ‘Rail Victoria – The Changing 80s’, this DVD is two hours of absolute history and records an era that is now gone forever. The picture quality is superb for what is essentially archive video.
After the release and success of Vol.1, and having a vast amount of material still available for a further production, it was decided after consultation with Tony Marsden to produce Vol.2.  This volume only covers Victoria and Queensland.  For reasons only known to Vic, his interest in NSW did not carry to the point of obtaining a lot of coverage.  I suppose that whilst going north if a train came along then it was filmed.  Queensland and Victoria was where it all happened for him.
The passage of time has seen most of Vic’s footage become simply unrepeatable.  Privatisations, line closures, livery changes and operational restrictions have all contributed to make Vic’s footage absolutely outstanding archive material at the time of this DVD’s production in 2007.  In future years, the contents of this DVD will greatly enhance in value as the documenting of an era of significant change on eastern Australia’s railways.
Vic’s dream was to have his material published for others to enjoy and through the co-operation of  Vic’s wife Jo, and many of his friends,
Series 567 Rail Video and Steam Media Productions are extremely proud to make Vic’s dream come true.

Copies of Vic’s Railways Vol 1 & Vol 2 and 747 Flight Deck Tour and Titans' Last Winter may be purchased from Steam Media Productions,
P.O. Box 707, Mulgrave, Vic. 3170, Phone: (03) 9561 8061 -------Check out SMP website: www.steammediaproductions.com.au
Copies of Rail Victoria – The Changing 80s & The Hills Are Alive may be purchased from Train Pictures, P.O. Box 687, Beenleigh, Qld. 4207,
Phone: (07) 3804 1996 --------- Check out Train Pictures website:  www.trainpictures.com.au