Sunday, November 30, 2014

R766 The standard gauge R class

Recently I was lucky enough to have a self tour at the Hunter Valley Railway Museum in Rothbury, where I saw many historic locomotives and rollingstock. I made the most of my opportunity, taking as many photos as I could. Seeing the R766 sitting in the workshop was quite a thrill. It has had a few owners/care takers over the years -VR/Australian Vintage Travel, 766 Syndicate/West Coast railways and now Hunter Valley Railway Trust, where it is now slowly being converted to standard gauge from broad gauge. It was also odd to see it sitting next to a SMR 10 class. I hope its not too long before its running again.

More photos from Rothbury to come
Till next time
 Mathew Hughes

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rotting Row (behind Trainworks Thirlmere)

  Recently we went for a trip to Trainworks Thirlmere and outside their compound, down the track a little, lays what I like to call Rotting Row.The railway vehicles look like they are literally rusted to the rails (I have always wanted to use that line in a blog entry). It is a real shame to see some rare stuff like the Baldwin tender and J.A.Brown's No5  in that condition but I do understand that the rail museums cant afford to save and preserve everything.

Two BBW wagons loaded with ballast. 

RVX-2 track recording car.

         Special service van no2 L1064 (formally SHO 636) has definitely seen better days.

A CV and a HG brake van with a modified roof for the electrification project. 
                           J.A.Brown's No5 (The Major) built in 1885 in England by Beyer
                             Peacock and withdrawn from service in 1942.

A Baldwin tender last used on  loco 1957. The letters OTHR
I think stands for Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway.

Two S-trucks with LCL containers

A bit further down towards Couridjah there is a tender from loco 1709. 
 We managed to snap these shots while riding past on the 2705. Unless you're actually looking for it from the road, it is pretty hard to spot, as it is sitting alone beside the track.

Till next time
 Mathew Hughes

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trip to Newnes part 3

Our trip to Newnes ended with the Ruins walk through the former Shale Oil Works. Once we walked through the main gate, we started spotting old bits and pieces laying around on the ground. As we got further along the track we could see the ruins getting larger and larger and more and more interesting. The walk took about two and a half hours (including lunch stop and taking plenty of photos) and was physically easy.. The track was very well marked out with signposts the whole way, which was very helpful! It was amazing to see the deteriorated buildings and what is left of a once vast industry.

Map of the area including the walking track.

Two shots of what remains of the Coke Ovens.

Two shots of what remains of  the Paraffin Sheds

The Big Wall
A Lace Monitor in the rear of the Naptha Plant
A Brushtail Possum watching us as we walk by. 
Oil Washers

Stock Tanks

The Naptha Plant
Shale Retorts

This my favourite picture of the walk. The stairs which look to be in the
 middle of nowhere just look really interesting

The final shot was our last look back at the at the Wolgan Valley
Going to the Wolgan Valley was definitely a highlight. It was a strange but excellent adventure to go searching through the bush to find railway relics... Seeing the history of the area was a great experience and to actually find the Dreadnought was an extra bonus! Newnes itself is now a quiet little town with a very small population these days, although there is a popular camp ground which apparently gets quite busy at times. There are different species of wildlife roaming around and the clear, flowing river is a great little touch to the town. For anyone who is keen to visit to the area, I would highly recommend it.. From the drive along side the huge cliff faces, down into valley, to the secluded quiet little town- It is truly worth the trip!!

Till next time
 Mathew Hughes