News

Dundee & Space Transport

On the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 (16th July 1969), Dundee Museum of Transport looks at Dundee’s current links to space transport. Most people would be surprised to learn that space technology research based from Dundee is now used in £10 billion worth of spacecraft thanks to the pioneering work being developed at the University of Dundee’s Space Technology Centre.

The SpaceWire team at the UoD Space Technology Centre has been working in the field of space craft data technology for over twenty years, creating what they describe as essentially a spacecraft’s nervous system in that it connects on-board computing technology.  Other space research at Dundee includes the PANGU (Planet and Asteroid Natural scene Generation Utility) planetary landing simulation tool – computer software that simulates the realistic surface of planetary bodies, and tests the vision-based guidance systems (cameras, LIDAR, and RADAR) on a lander approaching asteroids, moons and planets.

The adoption of SpaceWire on NASA (America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration), ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) missions led to the need for improvements in device interoperability (the exchange of data between computer systems). Supported by international engineers, the University team created The Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP) – which became an international standard in 2010 – to successfully tackle device interoperability.

Over 100 spacecraft so far have used SpaceWire and RMAP. The missions include BepiColombo – the joint European and Japanese space mission to explore the planet Mercury, and the ExoMars Rover mission in scientific operations in the orbit and surface of Mars.

ExoMars 2016
Image : ESA

Professor Stephen Parkes began work on spacecraft data technology in 1998, winning a technology research contract from ESA. This research laid the foundations for what was to be published in 2003 as the SpaceWire standard. Over the period 1998 to 2013, the success of the £1.6 million research programme led to the establishment of STAR-Dundee, a company which has 16 employees and 400 customers in 50 countries. STAR-Dundee is currently developing SpaceFibre, the next generation of SpaceWire technology, for vision-based navigation systems.

University of Dundee Space Technology also conduct research on chip and software development tools, run the Dundee Satellite Receiving Station and maintain an important archive of images from NOAA, SeaStar, Terra and Aqua polar orbiting satellites. These images are available to view for free at www.sat.dundee.ac.uk.

On a side note, Dundee born scientist and engineer Andrew Abercromby is now Lead of the Human Physiology, Performance, Protection & Operations (H-3PO) Laboratory within the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at Johnson Space Centre for NASA. Working on several missions, he undertakes the design and testing of spacesuit systems.

Sources:                                                                                                                           https://www.dundee.ac.uk/research/aboutourresearch/researchcasestudies/casestudies/space-technology.php

https://www.dundee.ac.uk/news/2016/university-of-dundee-space-tech-to-land-on-mars.php

http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/

https://www.star-dundee.com/products/pangu-planet-and-asteroid-natural-scene-generation-utility

E. Derrick

edited by Samantha Walker

New Acquisition – 1897 Railway Timetable

Our small collection of railway-related items has been enhanced thanks to this generous donation of a 1897 North British Railway Timetable and two rail tickets. The tickets appear to date from the 1850s and 1860s and relate to commercial trade between Dundee and London.

We hope to find out more about these items later this year during Neale Elder’s talk on 12th September titled ‘The Dundee to Arbroath Railway: From Pioneering Line to Trunk Route’.

Do you have any local railway items that you would consider donating to the museum? If so, we would love to hear from you!

Audi 80 Donated

The museum would like to thank Mr John A. Smith for donating his Audi 80. John received his new 1994 Audi 80 from Lex Retail Group in Dundee on the 3rd of December 1994. He has been the proud owner of the car for 25 years until he donated it to the museum last week.  Along with the car John has kindly included various pieces of paperwork about the car including service invoices, instruction manual and DVLA letters. John was also able to supply the museum with two brochures about the Audi 80, both of which are in very good condition.

Back in 1994 Audi 80 Saloon was an impressive and luxurious car for all those who owned one. John’s car has a 1.6 litre engine, was capable of reaching 62 mph (miles per hour) in 13.4 seconds and could achieve a top speed of 111 mph. The Audi 80 came equipped with a 5 speed gear box, 5 forward gears and reverse, and the estate model even boasted a Final Drive Ratio. The base model came with a 4-cylinder engine and this was capable of producing 130 Nm of Torque and 100 bhp (brake horse power). The stats for the Audi 80 were impressive for a saloon car that weighed 1230 kg (the estate model came in at 1270 kg). In the 90s, the Audi 80 was a stylish and comfortable way to travel whether you were cruising around town or clocking up the miles on long drives down the motorway.

We at the Dundee Museum of Transport are very grateful to John for donating his Audi 80 to us and we are happy to give it a new home here.

Donor Mr Smith with Museum Manager Sam and the Audi 80

DING-DING! BUSES GALORE AT THE TRANSPORT MUSEUM

Single-deckers, double-deckers, open-toppers and coaches – this week you can see them all at Dundee Museum of Transport. The museum is hosting two bus-themed events, the first kicking off on Thursday 13th June at 6pm with an illustrated talk on Dundee Buses: From Green to Blue by transport enthusiast and amateur photographer Derek Simpson.
The talk will focus on Derek’s extensive photographic collection of Dundee’s buses over the decades and promises to be a trip down memory lane with photographs of many scenes that no longer exist in Dundee. Derek said, “in 1975 when Tayside Regional Council took over the running of Dundee’s Corporation buses it wasn’t just the colours that changed. I’m really focusing on the last years of half cabs in Dundee, the move from green to blue and also what the buses would look like as we moved into the brave new world of regionalisation.”
On Sunday the 16th of June from 10:30am – 3pm the Museum will also be hosting its annual Bus and Coach Day, with over ten vintage buses attending the Market Mews premises from across Scotland. There will also be some stalls, the popular tea-on-the-bus and free vintage bus runs for visitors to enjoy.

 

Truck Extravaganza 2019

Last Sunday 19th May the museum hosted it’s very first Truck Extravaganza!

Over 10 vehicles attended, some dating from as far back as the 1950s. Height for Hire came along with their cherry picker and some fantastic shots were taken from above – check out our slideshow for some images from this event.

Dundee Slot Car Club (DSCC) set-up a racing track inside the museum for visitors to enjoy. Their racing competition raised over £50 for Ninewells Children’s Ward, with the fastest lap time on the day being 3.33 seconds!

The museum would like to thank the vehicle owners, DSCC and our volunteers for all their hard work in hosting this event. Special thanks to museum members and volunteer Brian Robertson who was key to organising this event.

1978 Ford Capri Mk III 3.0 S (138bhp V6)

The Ford Capri Mk I was originally launched in January 1969, a master stroke of Ford’s marketing. The Capri was ‘The Car You Always Promised Yourself’ and squarely aimed at the ‘baby boomer’ generation.

1974 saw the introduction of the Ford Capri II where the mechanicals were much the same as the previous model but with completely new bodywork incorporating a most useful hatchback and a much roomier interior. Engines ranged from 1.3 to 3 litres and, depending on size, were built in either Britain or Germany. The Mk III followed in 1978 with minor tweaks and is recognisable by its quadruple round headlamps replacing the oblong ones. The S (Sport) replaced the former GT. This particular car has modified bodywork with swelled wheel arches, wider tracks, and special wheel equipment together with after market spoilers.

The Capri was a very successful model for Ford with production running from 1969-1986, and will be on display at Dundee Museum of Transport for the entire summer.

‘Bridgescapes: Scotland’s Bridge Building Heritage’ by L. Bruce Keith

Our first museum talk of the 2019 season kicks off on the 22nd of May, 6pm, with ‘Bridgescapes: Scotland’s Bridge Building Heritage’ by L. Bruce Keith.

Join us for a fascinating journey through Scotland’s Bridge Building Heritage. Scotland boasts a rich and varied heritage. Its landscapes and history combine to provide a legacy of human endeavour, ingenuity and endurance. Within that heritage lies a tangible and functional element of Man’s Creation – the bridge – linking lands and communities while providing a structural artefact and landscape element that reaches beyond its primary purpose as transport infrastructure.

As author John Buchan said: The bridge is a symbol of mans conquest of nature. History social, economic and military clusters more thickly about bridges than about towns and citadels. Bruce Keith authored Bridgescapes in 2017, which is a journey through history celebrating this heritage, finding voice in the challenges to the traveller and the achievements of the engineers and architects in creating solutions as part of the country’s road, rail and canal networks.

Tickets are £5, including refreshments and museum entry. Members can attend the talk for free.

You can book directly by calling 01382 455196 / info@dmoft.co.uk and pay on the night. The museum will open at 5:30pm and close at 7:30pm.

We Are 5 Today!

Today, the 26th April 2019, the Dundee Museum of Transport marks its 5th birthday! 

To celebrate this milestone we once again play host to National Drive-It Day. This coming Sunday, the 28th of April, there will be a street display of vehicles, family-friendly activities, stalls and tea-on-the-bus – check-out the images below for an idea of what to expect. We would love for you to join us to help us celebrate!

Our collection continues to grow, and the museum continues to draw thousands of people every year in increasing numbers. We thank you all, our members, volunteers, visitors and partners, for your support over the years and hope to see you in the very near future.

 

 

Steam Weekend 2019

Despite the cold and often wet weather, Dundee Museum of Transport’s first big event for 2019 – The Spring Model Steam Weekend – was enjoyed by all. The heavy rain on Saturday stopped the outdoor engines from being able to run however by Sunday we were back on track. Here are some images from the weekend!

Our next Steam Weekend will take place on the last weekend in September however before then we have a fantastic line-up of events including The National Drive-It Day on the 28th of April and our Truck Extravaganza on the 19th of May. Check out our What’s On section at the top of the page for a full list of museum events.

On this day: 3rd April (1832), the full extent of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway line opens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Kinloch, Dundee’s first elected MP, was a great supporter of the idea of a Dundee and Newtyle railway. In 1826, Kinloch piloted a Bill through Parliament, leading to the creation of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company – wherein he swiftly took upon himself the position of Elected Chairman. Charles Landale, a civil engineer within Dundee, proposed two routes in which the new railway should go through. One route would go from Dundee to Forfar via Douglastown, before making its way to Mill of Newtyle, whilst the other route would take a direct route from Dundee to Mill of Newtyle. The latter route was chosen. The railway would provide Newtyle with potential for growth, as it was a promising industry. However, it was difficult to reach from Dundee. Prior to the construction of the railway, the only mode of transport to Newtyle was a stagecoach to and from Blairgowrie that only came 2-3 times a week during the summer months. Furthermore, with the industrial nature of Newtyle, the railway would offer the working-class citizens of Dundee a cheap method of travelling to Newtyle. A final major benefit of this railway line was its ability to transport various products (such as coal) cheaply between the two towns. In 1831 the railway was officially opened and was one of the earliest railway lines in operation.

For passengers, during the summer, the train would run four times daily – at 8am, 10:30am, 1pm and 4pm. In the winter the train would miss out the 1pm timeslot available during the summer. First-class passengers would pay 1s. 6d.; second-class passengers would pay 1s. 3d.; and third-class passengers would pay 1s. Due to the train company making a loss in its later years, an ‘extra first-class’ was added to the fare prices – at 1s. 8d. The carriages of the train were divided into compartments for the respective classes: first-class had the most room, with a single carriage, split into three compartments, each holding eight passengers. Third-class travellers would have to make-do with a great number of passengers crammed into open compartments. The trains would also carry all kinds of goods: from manure, to coal, to bricks, slates and stones. Charges would be made according to the number of tonnes the goods weighed, and the mileage required. Pricing would be divided into 4 miles, 4-7 miles, over 7 miles and any distance. Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company employed 26 different roles. The Manager at the top, who would be paid £70 a year; a humongous salary in comparison to the ten-way men at the bottom. The annual cost of the railway (including coal, maintenance, wages, etc.) would cost £3,400.

The Company was unprofitable for its shareholders, and there was an unsuccessful attempt at raising the prices of third-class passenger fares from 1s. to 1s. 3d. in 1836. This had caused a decline in the number of passengers from 40,378 to 29,387, further causing the Company’s profits to dwindle and forcing the Company to return their prices to their prior state after just nine months. Various accidents were happening to the railway workers due to bad design in some areas, or simply due to negligence from other staff. This gave the Company a bad reputation. Thomas Coupar a porter, was working on the railway track in Dundee on the 23rd April 1841. He was killed after another member of staff failed to alert Coupar that the train was about to move off. A year later, the Inspector-General of Railways inspected the Company’s railway line, leaving a scathing report on the many technical issues present. Both the financial and practical issues lead to the eventual demise of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway company. In 1865, the Company’s railway line was absorbed by the Caledonian Railway company, before the Caledonian Railway Company was taken over by London Midland and Scottish lines in 1923. In 1948, the railways of the UK were nationalised. The final death of this railway line itself was to occur in 1967, when the very last section of the line – the route from Ninewells Junction to Maryfield – was closed.

Information and photographs from:
Dundee Museums and Art Galleries Extension Services, 1981. Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 1DA, now: The McManus, Leisure and Culture Dundee.