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


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lautoka and Rarawai Friday 11 September 2014

Just time to investigate a few more things before leaving for home.

Two significant things:
1. Lautoka Mill has a small Chinese tamping machine
2. The Fowler locomotive that was formerly in a park in Ba has been moved to a new museum. It hasn't officially opened yet, but it ids just visible inside.

Small tamper built in 2013 by Shifang Railway-Helper Machinery Co in its shed at Lautoka.

Ex Fairymead Mill 60 at Rarawai Mill

The Rarawai line car on a short excursion

Three Clyde HG-3R locos at Lautoka's Navo out-depot.

Ontrak Clyde rebuild 23 getting a lunchtime wash at Navo

Tonight I'm off to Nauru for a short work trip. I believe there's not much left to see there but I'll let you know when I get back in a few days.

LATE CORRECTION - Unfortunately Nauru Airlines couldn't provide a serviceable aircraft and the fight was cancelled. I hope to get over there in a few weeks time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lautoka Thursday 11 September 2014

Clyde HG-3R locos 14 and 11 at Lomolomo for the 8am change of shift.

The former BLI-BLI hauls full trucks through Visesei village.

The Navota line car setting off for a day's work

Ontrak Clyde rebuild 24 crosses the Vuda River with 45 loaded trucks.

Baldwin ex-RUBYANNA being serviced at Navo while Clyde ex-HINKLER behind has gearbox problems.

Nothing much has changed at the Coral Coast Railway in the last couple of years except that there has been a fire in the station buildings.

The 100hp Simplex of 1960 that replaced the saddle tank locomotive on the Lautoka wharf.

The 48/63hp Simplex of 1957 THE PUFFING BOTO.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Penang, Rarawai and Lautoka Wednesday September 10

After a morning visit to Penang Mill, it was time to head back to Lautoka.
At Rarawai it was the second ‘maintenance day’ in a row but crushing was continuing at Lautoka Mill.

The mini Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 preserved in the Penang mill yard – still in quite good condition.

Clyde 21 at Penang is awaiting gearbox repairs.

A model proudly displayed at Penang to demonstrate a bridge rehabilitation project.

Rarawai Mill’s Clyde 28 parked at the top of the Maqere Range between Tavua and Rarawai.

Work continuing to clear up the mess in Elevuka Creek in Ba.

Lautoka Mill’s Ontrak Baldwin rebuild 13 CHILLI heading empties north at Tavarau.

Ex Lautoka Mill Fowler 0-6-0T of 1906 on display at Raffles Gateway Hotel opposite Nadi International Airport.

Clyde Model HG-3R locos 14 and 11 following 4pm shift change at Lomolomo.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lautoka Rarawai Penang 9 September 2014

Today I drove over to Rakiraki on the north part of Viti Levu to visit Penang Mill.

In the Lautoka full yard, two very different-looking Baldwins.

Work is going on to recover some of the cane from the derailment at the Elevu Creek bridge in Ba.

At Penang, Diema number 10 shunting empty trucks at the mill.

On the afternoon shift, Baguley-Drewry number 9 heading out towards the west light engine.

In the late afternoon, Baldwin number 3 picks up cane on the Nanuku line.

Baldwin number 3 brings 7 loaded trucks down the Wailevu branch.

Rarawai 8 September 2014

Rarawai Mill is north of Lautoka and is connected to it by rail. A line extends to the north from Rarawai Mill to Tavua and beyond for a total of 40km. There is an out-depot at Tavua. There is also a network of lines in the Ba River valley but it is very had to find trains in this area as many of the lines do not coincide with roads.

Close to Ba, the navvy line car was attending the site of a recent derailment as witnessed by the spilt cane in the left background.

The gate guardian at the mill is a 1908 Fowler 0-6-2T.

Clyde number 9 in the empty yard preparing for a run with empties to Koronubu.

Clyde Ontrak rebuild 8 BOZLEY brings cane in from the north.

Ex Fairymead Mill Clyde 60 has retained its old number and its livery has been adopted for the Rarawai Mill fleet.

Hunslet 6wDH 21 heads across the Namasau Creek bridge with empties on a delivery run south.

Tavua-based Hunslet 6wDM 21 and ex Fairymead Mill Clyde 56 on a late afternoon run with cane from Drumasi.

The third loco at Tavua is ex-Isis Mill Clyde number 28, normally kept as a spare to cover breakdowns.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lautoka Sunday 7 September 2014

I didn’t get out today until the afternoon but managed to catch up with a few trains between the mill and Navo depot south of Nadi.
The sad remains of the last Free Train carriage at Lautoka.

Ontrak Baldwin rebuild 13 CHILLI hauls a rake of cane from the south into the full yard.

Clyde Model HG-3R 14 waits for loaded trucks on the Tunalia branch just south of Navo.

Also waiting for loaded trucks, Clyde 11 waits at Salovi 2 points on Back Nadi Road.

A long way from Bundaberg, Baldwin 20 hauls 77 laden trucks with 20 crippled trucks bringing up the rear past the lagoon north of Vuda between Nadi and Lautoka.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Labasa Friday 5 September

Today I went out to the east of Labasa on the 53km line to Nubu. The return trip from the mill to Nubu by cane railway usually takes about 20 hours reflecting the track conditions and the productivity of the rail transport system. However, Fiji Sugar Corporation does appear to be making welcome improvements. The dirt road conditions are also bad although used by bus services.
The Wainikoro navvy line car, allegedly originating with Clyde at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, in 1966 but maybe a bit like Grandpa's axe.

EM Baldwin 14 heads south beside the picturesque Wainikoro River with empties.

I meet yet another friend, the ‘points boy’ of Clyde 11, at Kelikoso.

EM Baldwin 12 collecting truck cripples at Field 16, Nagigi.

16 DAMO ex Millaquin Mill Clyde ASHFIELD, rebuilt by IBS in Innisfail in 2013, on the Wainikoro River bridge.

17, ex Fairymead Mill Clyde 55 heads out light engine at Vuo Tank.

Labasa Thursday 4 September

Today was the day of my official visit to Labasa Mill where I met the Chief Engineer, the Transport Engineer and the Civil Engineer. The visit gave me access to the mill yard, which you can’t enter without a security pass.
Regular weighbridge shunter 5 limps back to the loco shed obviously in need of repairs

Clyde number 8 being refuelled near the weighbridge 

The temporary weighbridge shunter – Clyde number 17, ex Fairymead Mill 55, recently transferred from Lautoka.

Clyde  number 11 brings a rake of empties through the mill yard, heading west

Baldwin number 14 nears the end of its afternoon run with empties on the Bucaisau River line

Baldwin 14 prepares to leave Coqeloa Loop with the first of its pick ups of full trucks as a tractor heads off across the river with empties the loco has just delivered.