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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
See also John Raby's blogs at www.rabylee.uk/linesidingindex.html


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday 9 April 2013 - last day in Tasmania

We returned to Hobart from Strahan today to catch our flight back to Brisbane, and took the chance to visit the West Coast Wilderness Railway on our way.

MOUNT LYELL No.1, built in 1896, receiving a very complete polish before starting its day's work

Departing from the station at Queenstown

Mount Owen from the 'Iron Blow', the original Mount Lyell  mine

Mount King William

Penstocks at Tarraleah power station with a disused 2ft gauge incline tramway down its side



Monday 8 April 2013 - Tasmania's west coast Day 2

This was the day we had booked on the West Coast Wilderness Railway which runs between Queenstown and Strahan. It is the rebuilt Mt Lyell Mining & Railway Company's line which includes an Abt rack section. The top section (including the rack) is worked by steam locomotives of Dübs design while the bottom section is worked by diesels of Vulcan/Drewry design. The line is threatened with closure and will be closing this winter season although it is anticipated that it will reopen later in the year.
The line is spectacular in its engineering and its environment.
The presentation of the locomotives, steam and diesel, is second to none anywhere in the world.

MOUNT LYELL No.5, built by North British in 1938

On the rack section through the forest

King River Gorge

The loco is being oiled by its female fireman from the pit at Dubbil Barril but she can't be seen underneath the locomotive
The diesel-hauled train from Strahan arrives at Dubbil Barril

Turning No.5 at Dubbil Barril
. . . and D2, also supplied originally to the Mount Lyell company

D2 at the Lower Landing station with typical west coast vegetation in the background
In the lower King valley

On arrival at Regatta Point, Strahan
At the Queenstown depot, MOUNT LYELL No.3, fitted with Porta-style draughting

Also at Queenstown, ex TGR V9, the first locomotive built at their Launceston Workshops
Regatta Point dusk

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday April 7 – Tasmania’s west coast Day 1

We drove from Sheffield to Tullah, the home of the ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ railway that once served a silver-lead mine in the days when no roads penetrated the west coast.

Mount Roland near Sheffield

Mining display at Tullah – 14 inch gauge mine skips

Wee Georgie is waiting for a new boiler to arrive later this year but in the meantime services are hauled by a rare 1925 Italian internal-combustion locomotive built by Nicola Romeo in Turin.
Wee Georgie Wood awaiting the arrival of its new boiler
Only a short part of the old line remains but it goes through nice bushland.

Nicola Romeo loco at the terminus

Picturesque station

At Rosebery there is a memorial to the old 2ft gauge haulage at Williamsford – a man rider and ore car with a tower from the cable haulage that replaced the need for the 2ft gauge Zeehan and North East Dundas Tramway on which the first Beyer-Garratts worked.
At Zeehan we inspected the old tunnel that the 2ft gauge line to the Silver Spray Mine once ran through.

The West Coast Pioneers Museum at the old Zeehan School of Mines has a collection of locomotives and rolling stock.

Mount Lyell copper mine 2ft gauge Krauss

2ft gauge Krauss from the tramway at Boulder.

TGR Beyer Peacock 2-6-0 C1 from the isolated Strahan-Zeehan railway (L) and ex Emu Bay Dübs 4-8-0 (R).
We visited Queenstown after finding our accommodation at Strahan.

English Electric 2ft gauge electric loco from Mount Lyell

Near the Spion Kopf lookout in Queenstown.

Looking back towards Queenstown on the Strahan road.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday 6 April – Redwater Creek & Don River

We visited the 2ft gauge Redwater Creek Steam Railway at Sheffield. There is a short 1km line on the course of an old Government Railway branch line. The sole locomotive is a 1907 Krauss and there are some nice passenger vehicles.

Loco crew
At the Victoria Street East terminus

Zeehan & NE Dundas Tramway passenger car A1

A quick visit to the 3ft 6in gauge Don River Railway was also achieved. Passenger services were being worked by a twin Waddingtons/Drewry railcar unit.

 A tour of the workshops provided much of interest

Classic Emu Bay Railway Dübs 4-8-0 of 1900

Malcolm Moore contractors 0-4-0DM rebuilt for use by Tasmanian Government Railways
1886 John Fowler 0-6-0T


Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday 5 April - Ida Bay Railway

Today we rode the 2ft gauge Ida Bay Railway, leased from the Tasmanian Government by Meg Thornton. It was a limestone carrying line with ex World War II Malcolm Moore Ford V-8 engined petrol locomotives. Two are now in use fitted with diesel engines. The line now runs 7 kilometres from the depot at Lune River through the bush to Deep Hole.
A work train and the passenger train were both out on the line today.

Shunting at the depot at the start of the day.

The line skirts coastal inlets there are many wonderful views across the water.

Work train in the loop at Deep Hole.

On the return trip with driver Dave.

Passenger train returning to Lune River depot . . .


 . . . followed in by the work train.

Meg told us that although the line is owned by the Tasmanian Government, they have provided very little assistance in its rehabilitation. With an extensive program of sleeper replacement required, a funding boost is urgently required to allow the line to meet new accreditation requirements.
Our accommodation was at Oatlands, in Tasmania’s southern Midlands, which has many stone buildings from the 1820s and 1830s including a working windmill.

Supreme Court Building, 1829

Callington Mill, 1836

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A modest start to the Tasmanian trip.
A visit to the Museum of New & Old Art was on the cards so I used the opportunity to have a reconnaisance of the Tasmanian Transport Museum at Glenorchy, knowing it wouldn't be open. The Climax was visible behind barbed wire defences.

An unexpected bonus was the appearance of a 4-loco lashup running light out of Hobart on the adjoining line of whatever TGR is called this week. They came from four different QR classes.
2003, ex QR Clyde 1508 rebuilt by Tranz Rail in NZ

2101, ex QR GEC Aus 2355 rebuilt by AN Tasmania

2134, ex QR GEC-AEI 1320 rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen

2006, ex QR 1465 rebuilt by Tranz Rail

MONA was certainly worth a visit.

and it was a lovely afternoon to stroll around part of old Hobart.