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The Depot Diary
No 115 — January 2017
 

Guess what’s under wraps…looks like a 100 year old veteran! (Photo: Eileen Ward)
Guess what’s under wraps…looks like a 100 year old veteran! (Photo: Eileen Ward)

 

In this edition


1. Our chairman's report
2. Our operations and safety
3. Our history
4. Our activities and events
5. Our big trains
6. Our little trains
7. Our shop
8. Our retirees group
9. Our memorabilia
10. Our infrastructure
11. Our secret men's business
12. Our members
13. Our promotions
14. Our coming events
 
 
Welcome to 2017

Our first edition for 2017 has finally landed in your mailbox! Thanks for your patience, and we are confident that you will enjoy catching up with all the recent goings on and exciting future events at “The Valley”. 2016 has been a busy year on the local scene, with steam shuttles on the main line as well as great progress on many projects. Most of the latter are covered in the latest report from our chairman, Bruce Coxon – a thrilling read!

However, my starting point is the sad events that befell our close knit community in the last half of 2016, with the loss of two highly respected comrades in John Stanley and Ross Allen. Both men made extraordinary contributions, in their own distinctive ways, to the railway movement and will be missed by all who knew or worked with them. Most of you will have read the notices and eulogies that were widely circulated at the time, but simple words cannot emphasise enough the void that has been left by the sudden loss of these fine men, and some of them bear revisiting. Longer items about both appear elsewhere in this edition.

John was a gentleman of the “old school”. His entire working life had been spent with the Signals Branch of NSW Railways, and he was still active as a contractor for them. Introduced to VHLDHM by close friend and RFS colleague, Terry Matchett, John got stuck into repairing exhibits, before becoming Per Way Manager in 2008. John Stanley will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of his comradeship.

Ross fell in with the Valley Heights mob after a long association with the Rail Transport Museum at Enfield and then Thirlmere. His passion for railways coupled with his natural curiosity in matters mechanical, made him a reliable and knowledgeable man for all situations, lending an always-willing hand to any task that was set him. Ross Allen’s many colleagues from the railway heritage fraternity miss him as a friend and workmate.

2017 again sees mainline steam planned for the Blue Mountains. Saturday 22 July marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the line from Penrith to Wentworth Falls (then delightfully named “Weatherboard”). We are negotiating possible events with several outside organisations including THNSW. Lots of news and confirmation of these events will be advised over the coming months, and we are on the lookout for enthusiastic helpers to share in the running of some of those. Let me add your name to the list!

Plans are afoot for some “value added” attractions on our Open Days and a brand new event is under discussion for the end of the year. Watch this space!


Keith Ward, Publicity Manager VHLDHM

 
1. Our chairman's report

Happy New Year to you all and I hope we are all healthy in 2017!

Our People

CEO Meeting: In a very productive meeting with Andrew Moritz on 24 August, which went a long way to improving communications with Head Office, it was agreed that the CEO and members of his team would visit the museum on the 3rd Wednesday of every second month to meet with volunteers and discuss any projects. As the CEO is very busy we appreciate the effort he has made in making this commitment. The first scheduled meeting was held Wednesday 19 October when Andrew presented the THNSW Business Plan and Budget to members. A further scheduled CEO visit occurred on 21 December, when after a site tour to view current and outstanding projects, Andrew was again available for an informal chat. All members are reminded that these are open sessions and are cordially invited to the next meeting on Wednesday 15 February from 09:00 to 11:00.

September saw the election of Chris Troy as our Per Way Manager. Chris has a long history of volunteering and as we all know is a great addition to our team. No one could have as much knowledge and experience in Per Way as John Stanley had. However Chris was part of the team that worked with him, learning all the time and he now continues to rise to the challenges ahead.

After our November AGM, Henk Luf offered to take on the role of Large Exhibits Manager with Serge Sequen as his team member. Henk attended our December committee meeting and introduced himself to those he hadn’t met on Open Days, when running our model layout. He outlined his qualifications, achievements and extensive experience in the rail transport field, particularly tram design and was subsequently elected.

As is customary, the same meeting was the occasion of the appointment of vice chairmen and Ted Dickson and Jeff Russell were duly re-elected.

Everyone please welcome Chris & Henk on board and help them settle in.

Thanks to all who attended one of the THNSW sponsored training sessions. Along with most others, I found the Initial Response First Aid training session particularly useful. Other training already or soon to be undertaken includes: Per Way, Tour Guiding, Safety and Customer Service and many of our volunteer team are involved. It’s not too late to be part of this rewarding activity. Please contact Jeff Russell for more information.

Our Projects

As you may be aware, we were successful in obtaining the full grant to air-condition the shop and model railway room this year. Three split systems will be installed along with the upgrade of the electrical mains, making the shop staff and the model train operators extremely happy! The formalities of the paperwork are in progress but I hope we can have this done by March.

The boundary fence contract has been awarded to Northern Fencing, Sydney Trains' preferred Western Region contractor. A start date in early February looks likely with the area near the Signal Box to be done first. There is still a fair bit of work to do in clearing the site for the contractor. I am still in discussion with Sydney Trains for the replacement of the rail corridor fence. They have now asked for a formal quote that will be supplied in due course.

Sydney Trains is finalising the legal requirements to hand over the Civil Depot to us. Jeff Russell has kindly agreed to project manage the process to ensure we have orderly movement into this new space and that all departments are included. This is a tough ask, as we have more equipment to house than space available. We are investigating a possible source of shipping containers for external storage in the yard which will further enable our Roundhouse to be de-cluttered.

The August CEO meeting determined that our Diesel Shunter X206 will be offered on a long-term loan agreement to STARPS so the loco can run under their accreditation. This is what was originally proposed but times changed so we had to start again. With Terry Matchett working hard on repairing the controls of the loco, things look hopeful.

The investigation work into Road 4 of the roundhouse forecourt was completed and revealed that the turntable pit wall and stop block mounting is in excellent shape and will not have to be removed. This means that the funding request will only require the rails in the forecourt to be lifted, concrete sleepers installed with new rails and the surface concreted. Expensive but not so bad as we thought. The next step was for our heritage consultant to prepare the Heritage Impact Statement for the full restoration of all 12 roads and submit to the Heritage Council for approval.

The application has been signed off by the landowner, Sydney Trains, allowing me to prepare the funding application to THNSW by March 2017.

The quotation process has commenced and if the funding is granted, the monies will be available in September 2017, allowing us to start work soon after. As this is likely to be very expensive, I have also asked for quotes to do roads 1 to 5, not only to reduce the price but to at least restore our operational roads.

The depot clean-up day is imminent, date to be advised. Get your gloves and boots ready! The focus will be on moving out the BL carriage in road 10 to allow this area to be cleaned and sorted.

It’s going to be another big year with many events and projects. So please pace yourselves and don’t overdo it. If anyone needs help, please ask for it, we are never too busy to assist our mates!

Bruce Coxon, Chairman

 
 
2. Our operations and safety

The Museum’s Joint Operating & Safety Committee has reconvened to address the relevant issues that the Museum and STARPS encounter.

Matters recently dealt with or on the agenda include:

  • Fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and first aid kits have had their annual inspection. The latter have been replaced and/or replenished.
  • The turntable “bullring” in front of the Roundhouse is very uneven and needs repairs or resurfacing to make the area safer. This matter has been raised with Head Office. As an interim measure to make visitors aware of the uneven surfaces, “Safety First” signs are displayed on the turntable and in hazardous areas on Open Days. A trial repair was undertaken in Road 1, however as we need a more permanent solution to address safety, no further work has been carried out. Funding was approved by THNSW for a test dig to assess conditions beneath the existing asphalt surface. This has been completed and the outcome will determine future action.
  • A review of the Hazardous Materials Register (HMR) has been undertaken by THNSW. This involved a contractor reviewing the items previously listed on the HMR and visiting the site to evaluate their status.
  • STARPS have reviewed the turntable operating procedures with updates embedded to address issues raised in three non-conformances identified in the last ONSRR Safety Audit. As a result of these changes a separate turntable operating procedure has been developed for Valley Heights/THNSW. There are minimal differences between the two documents, the major one being the inclusion of a procedure for when maintenance under THNSW direction is being carried out.
  • Emergency Evacuation Plans are now displayed in all buildings. Please familiarize yourselves with the plans if you are onsite at any time.
  • Testing and tagging of our electrical cords, tools and appliances will commence shortly.

The regular Open Day of 24 July was just that, but the lower than average turnout enabled us to trial a few new ideas including barricades for the turntable. Extra weights and a coat of paint have since been added and they will be used on future running days to complement the signage installed by the Safety Committee.

 

Trial repair to road 1
Trial repair to road 1

Hazard signage & turntable barrier in place
Hazard signage & turntable barrier in place
(Photos: Keith Ward)

 

Training

THNSW has commenced a series of courses to enhance members’ skills for the roles they currently or may perform. Courses in Responding to Workplace Emergencies (Fire Training) and Initial Response First Aid were completed in late 2016. The latter will be repeated soon and other courses will continue in 2017: Work Health & Safety, Customer Service, Per Way and Tour Guiding. The First Aid course was very beneficial and was held by two suitably qualified trainers from Risk Response & Rescue. We encourage additional members to participate in any of these courses if the opportunity arises. Contact Jeff Russell for details.

First aid training
First Aid training (Photo: Andrew Tester)

House Keeping

We all enjoy the work we do and the companionship that we share through our Museum activities. We all leave home healthy at the start of the day and the expectation is that we can all return home safely in the same healthy state. Hazards are encountered as part and parcel of our environment. We define hazards as anything that has the potential to cause harm.

One matter that we must be conscious of is our workplace housekeeping. The Museum has some hazards that we can’t do much about but others we can control. We must address those to make sure our work area is safe for not only you but also your fellow workers and visitors to the site.

There have been some issues identified recently in some areas, particularly with the use of extension leads. This is an example of a hazard that we can control. We need to make sure that we address situations like this to minimise the risk of harm. If you see something that needs attention, fix it and/or report it, straight away. Today’s carelessly left crowbar provides tomorrow’s hospital case!

Andrew Tester, Chairman, Joint Operating and Safety Committee

 
3. Our history

Hendrikus Trip memorial

Henrikus Trip Plaque
Hendrikus Trip Plaque, unveiled 12 August 2016 (Photo: Keith Ward)

The unveiling of a plaque commemorating Hendrikus Trip (“Rieks”) was held on Friday 12 August, to complement the story board that has been in the Museum café for a while now. The ceremony was the opportunity for several members of Rieks’ family to complete the emotional journey resulting from their initial contact with Andrew Tester in 2006. They had travelled from both the Netherlands and New Zealand for the occasion and joined other invited guests including: Irene Grootendorst from the Netherlands Consulate General, our new Federal Member, Sue Templeman, on her first official function at the Museum, State MP Trish Doyle, local Councillor Mick Fell, Alan Parkinson, Depot DLE in the final years of operation, representatives of several local organisations and Museum committee members. After some insightful speeches by the dignitaries and our chairman, Bruce Coxon, Rieks’ niece Alie Boxem made a short address before unveiling the plaque with another niece, Rikie Schuurke alongside. A guided tour of the Museum was enjoyed by all and a tasty light lunch went down well. Brenda from the BM Gazette was present and a good article appeared in their online edition soon after with the print version out later. View at bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/4085666/death-on-the-depots-doorway/

Andrew Tester also took some great photos and full credit must go to Sue Fulton who coordinated the day and whose enthusiasm for the project was the driving force behind such a successful occasion. Ms Doyle has subsequently made an enthusiastic and congratulatory statement to the NSW State Parliament that has been recorded in the Legislative Assembly’s Hansard, read it on Ms Doyle's website: trishdoylemp.com.au/valley_heights_locomotive_museum


 

Volunteers Sue Fulton (2nd from right) and Dick Morony (extreme left) with “Rieks” family members
"Rieks” family members pose in front of restored loco 3214
with volunteers Dick Morony and Sue Fulton (Photo: Andrew Tester)

 
4. Our activities and events

Valley Heights Mixed trial relaunch

Our Open Day on Sunday 28 August started brightly with wisps of steam rising from “Stevo” to herald in the day. Unfortunately it was a false dawn, as by 10:00 it was evident that all was not well.

With an ill-fitting plug, pressure was low and a decision was made by the STARPS operating crew to not continue with the planned “re-launch” of the Valley Heights Mixed. Although a rapid but controlled firing of the Steam Tram commenced as soon as practical, it was going to be some time before it was ready for rides, so it was agreed that cab rides, under careful supervision, would be run in Stevo’s cab until the Tram was available. As an additional safety measure, they were carried out with the loco at much reduced boiler pressure. Short 5 minute rides were offered to those who had turned up early, including a very keen railway fan from Japan and a local singer who was taking some “mood” shots to accompany an upcoming video clip. Both visitors made generous donations as appreciation for the Museum’s efforts in looking after them. Stevo was eventually stabled at 12:15 pending further investigation and remedial work and the Tram faithfully completed its duties for the rest of the day. Many of our visitors were thrilled to have the unique cab experience and enjoyed a thoroughly memorable day (for all concerned!). We managed to salvage a satisfactory outcome from what could have been a lot worse. Shop sales were buoyant, so in the final analysis, a good result all round!

Father's Day

Sunday 4 September dawned clear and fresh for our special Father's Day opening. Above average attendance saw Dads admitted for free while other men entered at a discounted rate. Many of our male visitors enjoyed the special treat of riding on the Tram Motor, with some at the front, and a ballot to decide who rode with the fireman. Our yet to be named “Steam Train Barbecue” was again popular and dozens of tasty sausage sandwiches were expertly prepared and sold by Serge Sequen and Adrian Duffy.

Lucky gents enjoy Father’s Day on the front of the (about to be Heritage Listed) Steam Tram 103A
Lucky gents enjoy Father’s Day on the front of the (about to be Heritage Listed) Steam Tram 103A (Photo: Eileen Ward)

Seniors groups

On Friday 16 September we had a visit from a group of seniors from the Hawkesbury region. Despite some mobility limitations, the group, arranged by Peppercorn Transport, had a great time and left with some mementos from the shop to go with the Devonshire tea they had enjoyed earlier, prepared by member, Eileen Ward. In between, a guided tour was conducted by Keith Ward with assistance from Andrew Tester. Although this non-running day provided only a modest income for the Museum, it is another example of our capacity to engage with the less able community.

Valley Heights Mixed

“Stevo” finally made his welcome reappearance after a long spell over the pits on Sunday 25 September. The hard working team from STARPS were able to complete onerous boiler tube replacement in good time so we could offer rides on the “Valley Heights Mixed” on three consecutive Open Days! An exciting surfeit of steam! Under an initially heavy sky, the 117 year old played a starring role in providing a unique experience for the above average number of visitors on the day. Many family groups took advantage of the improving weather to enjoy a 20 minute ride.

Probus visit

Members of the North Sydney Probus Club arrived at the Museum on Tuesday 27 September. The group of 18 were on site for about 2 hours, with morning tea and guided tours included. Thanks to Jeff Russell, Grant Robinson and Eileen Ward for helping out on the day and again over the October long weekend.

Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail

Saturday 1 October was the last formal Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations (BMACHO) sponsored Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail day (see report elsewhere). “Stevo” returned to the tracks to earn its keep on the long weekend of that day and the following Sunday. This bonus weekend proved to be just that and with around 200 visitors plus kiddies, there was a steady stream of custom over both days. Despite other attractions such as heritage electric train rides and of course, the footy finals, the weekend proved that school holiday openings can be beneficial. Andrew Tester did promote it on Facebook as a special holiday event and that plus the assistance of Jeff Russell and Dave Hunt in organising the street signage was a great help.

Birthday party #1

On Sunday 23 October our usual open day was enhanced by a birthday party for the 5 year old member of a family from Mt Riverview. The museum provided BBQ facilities and the jumping castle at a nominal hire charge. The party had over 20 guests attending who stayed for the majority of the day and many of whom expressed appreciation for our efforts in accommodating their needs including this review on Trip Advisor:

“My son is a steam train enthusiast and we naturally went with somewhere where he could ride a train and also have plenty of space to run around and enjoy.

The staff were great in the preplanning, made sure that they accommodated us well and had wet weather contingency plans. It was very easy communicating with all the members there.

On the day, the organisation was great, everything was set up, the kids (both boys and girls) and the parents loved the venue, enjoyed the rides and all the different exhibits there. They staff went out of their way to check on us, make sure we had a great day and shared plenty of their local knowledge.

I would highly recommend you book a party here for train enthusiasts as it is a very good environment and enough to keep you entertained for a few hours”

Annual General Meeting

The Museum’s AGM was held on Saturday 12 November. An attentive group of over 40 members plus invited guests were on hand to hear of progress over the previous 12 months. Ably hosted by MC Jeff Russell, the meeting heard a review of activities and future plans from re-elected Museum Chairman Bruce Coxon. Peter Lowry, THNSW Chair, was on hand to administer the election of office bearers and the incumbents were all returned, with the welcome addition of Per Way Manager, Chris Troy. A tasty sausage barbecue was enjoyed by all, with thanks to Serge Sequen, Adrian Duffy & Peter Butler.

Birthday party #2

Sunday 27 November started with a clearing shower and then calm before the wind picked up! This was the stuff nightmares are made of, as our two birthday celebrants (the 100 year old Standard Goods 5461 and Steam Tram 103A at 125 years of age) had been carefully wrapped in brown paper awaiting the arrival of the public to complete the process with bright green printed birthday wrap.

All wrapped up: Steam tram 103A and loco 5461
All wrapped up: Steam tram 103A and loco 5461 (Photo: Grant Robinson)

Luckily there was plenty of tape on hand to effect running repairs so that the project remained basically intact until the cake cutting at 14:00. All our visitors and members were encouraged to add their piece of creativity to the wrapping and by early afternoon all of the pair’s “important bits” had been colourfully papered.

125 year old steam tram 103A app enjoys its day  
125 year old steam tram 103A enjoys its day (Photo: Grant Robinson)

The pesky wind finally peaked just as our guest of honour, author, master loco restorer and 5461 expert Dick Butcher was about to speak and it was as if the locos were keen to burst forth from their temporary coverings! Dick spoke fondly of his time working on and with the loco before handing over to conductor and long term STARPS volunteer Bruce Irwin who recalled the early days of 103A. Co-conductor and 60 year STARPS member Peter Stock joined the two speakers for a simple cake cutting ceremony before hordes of eager children (and adults!) descended on the offerings! The event ended with a frenzied removal of the paper by those present (mainly children). This process was luckily a lot speedier than the creation of the “artworks” earlier in the week! Preview and follow up articles were included in the local Blue Mountains Gazette.

 

Loco 5461 was pleased to share its cake!  
Loco 5461 was pleased to share its cake! (Photo: Grant Robinson)

 

THNSW Santa Steam Shuttles

Shuttles were run on the weekend of 3rd and 4th December.

Saturday saw several return runs from Hornsby to Gordon following which the train arrived at Valley Heights at 19:45 and was prepared for Sunday operations.

Four return shuttles (Penrith – Valley Heights – Penrith) were fully booked out in short time and again prove the popularity of mainline steam in the Blue Mountains! Each trip carried an enthusiastic team of Museum volunteers (Eileen Ward, Bruce Coxon, Ted Dickson, Serge Sequen, Allan Garbutt and Keith Ward) who promoted our own Santa weekend, the Museum in general, and very importantly, sold 1,000 raffle tickets. A tired but happy group headed home with the satisfaction of a job well done!

Perennial favourite 3642 gazes at the Roundhouse before its Sunday departure
Perennial favourite 3642 gazes at the Roundhouse before its Sunday departure (Photo: Eileen Ward)

Raffle sellers Allan Garbutt, Ted Dickson, Bruce Coxon, Eileen & Keith Ward at the end of a hectic but worthwhile day
Raffle sellers Allan Garbutt, Ted Dickson, Bruce Coxon, Eileen & Keith Ward at the end of a hectic but worthwhile day (Photo: Jenny Griffiths)

Annual Santa Claus visit

Santa Claus made his annual visit to Valley Heights on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December. Arriving at 11:00 and 14:00 on both days, he was welcomed by an excited group of children of all ages.

With elves accompanying, Santa made his way to the Roundhouse with a retinue of children in tow. Once safely seated, he graciously spent time with every child, listening patiently to their tales and wishes, and providing exclusive (and “free”) photo opportunities. Each child’s experience was completed with a gift bag comprising some railway magazines, a gift voucher from McDonalds, a rotating “I think I can” wheel project (thanks to Ann Frederick at Thirlmere), some railway postcards and posters plus a bag of lollies.

Over 500 visitors, including “littlies” took advantage of the hot but not unbearable conditions and were appreciative of the short queues (we heard that some were waiting for 4 hours to see Santa at Penrith!). Our Steam Train Barbecue was rolled into action on the Sunday, and with valuable assistance from Robyn Cooper and Peter Butler, Serge Sequen again showed his skills at the hotplate and all the sausage sandwiches were sold by 12:30.

Santa & helper take a welcome break!
Santa & helper take a welcome break!

The Steam Tram delivers its long distance travellers
The Steam Tram delivers its long distance travellers (Photos: Keith Ward)

 

 

Winmalee RFS Christmas party

In the evening we extended our opening hours to host the Winmalee Rural Fire Service, which held its kids’ Christmas party at Valley Heights for the second consecutive year. Their own Santa, having been collected on the Steam Tram, handed presents to all the children and good use was made of the Museum’s gas barbecue before the group departed, well satisfied, at about 18:30. The Museum continues to lend support in this way to other volunteer organisations that make a valuable contribution to the community.

Keith Ward, Publicity Manager

 
Help support STARPS restoration of loco 1022
Boiler to Boree tour advertisement

More information about Boiler to Boree and booking form
 
 
5. Our big trains

4601 update


Installation of arc chutes in No 2 end H.T. compartment

For some time, three arc chutes have been lying on the floor in the No 2 end H.T. (high tension) room. In order to simply tidy up, it was decided to install them! The arc chutes enclose the high voltage contactors so as to contain the electric arc which occurs during their operation. These are all missing in 4601. As is often the case in this loco, it was found that there is more than one type of contactor, and the chutes internally contain an alloy casting specifically shaped to fit. Thus they will fit some types of contactors but not others.

The three chutes that were at hand have been installed on contactors in the No 2 end H.T. compartment (see picture below), but it should be noted that in order to install them, for the reasons described above, it was necessary to remove the contact points from two of them. These will be safely stored in the No 2 end H.T. compartment.

Arc Chutes Installed in No. 2 End H.T. Room
Arc chutes installed in No 2 end H.T. room (Photo: Steve Corrigan)

Train Simulator


Some further testing of the power control interface was carried out. It has been found that, with a simple modification to the drivers control stand wiring, it is possible to simulate series/parallel transition. This has been tested and works satisfactorily. The wiring change is documented in the diagram below. Note that the changes were effected by unplugging wires to be disconnected and tagging them with coloured tape, while additional wiring was effected using alligator clips. Thus the change is easily reversible.


4601 electrical diagram


The following tasks are planned for the immediate future:

  • Fabricate and test an interface board for brake function (Apply, Release and Lap)
  • Install interface unit and computer in the No 2 end H.T. compartment
  • Manufacture a replica reversing key
  • Documentation (diagrams, functional description)
  • Begin research into additional functions, such as lights, horns etc.

Further work within the locomotive involved investigating power feeding to the auxiliary generator and compressor to ensure that accidental operation of the relevant circuit breakers will not overload or damage the low voltage power supply which will power the trains simulator interface. A couple of terminal blocks were installed in the No 2 end H.T. compartment in readiness for installing the simulator interface.

In regard to the simulator, one task which must be addressed eventually will be documentation. While a number of circuit diagrams have been produced for development work, by way of providing information, the following block diagram is offered, showing how the system is broadly implemented.


4601 Simulator Overview
The following table illustrates the planned development of the system over time. We are currently at Phase 2, with initial testing of the full Phase 2 system to be carried out during January 2017.

Implementation Phases

Phase Description Implementation Functionality
1 Proof of concept Prototype board, Win 98 laptop computer Basic accelerating notching (2 notches), idle reset
2 Basic pre-production Second prototype board plus brake board. Win 98 laptop computer 10 accelerating notches, idle/reset, forward and reverse, transition and brake
3 Basic production As per phase 2, Win XP computer installed in No 2 H.T. compartment As per phase 2
4 Production with auxiliary Phase 2 with additional auxiliary board As per phase 3 with horn, lights
5 Production with instrumentation Interface hardware for volt and amp gauges As per phase 4 with working volt and amp gauges

(Steve Corrigan, 4601 Project Manager)

 

X206 update

Progress is slow but in the right direction on our diesel tractor X206. A new control system has been proposed for this to alleviate problems with the current system while at the same time maintaining operational capability in our confined location. Terry Matchett has been steadily working his way through the issues at hand, slowed down by the sad loss of John Stanley and Ross Allen. An added requirement for the work on this unit will be a “Risk Matrix”. THNSW Operations Manager Ross Jackson will soon visit so progress can be discussed further at that time as well. (Bruce Coxon & Ted Dickson)

HG Brake van

Our HG Brake Van is one of only two in existence, so ours is well worth preserving and the project has been flagged with Head Office. The chassis appears to be reasonably sound while the bodywork needs some major work to bring the unit back to its original condition. Further examination will no doubt reveal what work will be required.

5711 update

One of the questions most often asked by visitors, concerns future plans for our largest exhibit, Clyde Engineering’s 1929 built 4-8-2 steam locomotive 5711. The tender is still being worked on and the locomotive is in the yard on the siding. While operational restoration may not be possible, an eventual paint job will at least bring the unit to a presentable preservation standard.

5711
 Photo: Keith Ward

3214

Sign writer Ray Bannerman completed the line writing (“pin striping”) on our 125 year old steam loco over a 3 day period in mid-October. Transfers of the distinctive NSWGR logo were obtained and added to the sandboxes. That makes it all but complete in regards to painting. Still to be done: top coat on the firebox, patch up overruns & splashes etc. then the wheels and finally a clear coat. (Bruce Coxon & Ted Dickson)

3214 new NSWR logo
Photo: Grant Robinson

Cement Wagon

The task of rust removal and painting of this exhibit is progressing well and a significant improvement in appearance is already evident, thanks to member Michael Jessop who took on this project prior to the appointment of Henk Luf as Large Exhibits Manager. (Ted Dickson)

Cement wagon 
Photo: Keith Ward

Louvre Van

Our good friends at STARPS recently received a NSW Transport Heritage Grant to restore this exhibit’s body which will eventually allow us to run it as a welcome addition to the “Valley Heights Mixed”. A reshuffle of exhibits was arranged so this work could be done in the Roundhouse due to the restricted space in the “Tram Shed”. Visitors can now enjoy seeing a project such as this taking place. The shunt led to the now rare sight of three timber wagons on the forecourt at the same time (Bruce Coxon)

Louvre van and two other timber wagons on the forecourt at Valley Heights
The louvre van and two other timber wagons on the forecourt at Valley Heights
(Photo: Keith Ward)

Steam Tram Heritage Listing

STARPS have been successful in having their Steam Tram Motor and two Steam Tram Trailer Cars listed on the State Heritage Register. The announcement was made official by the minister for NSW Environment and Heritage Minister, Mark Speakman via a Media Release dated 31 October 2016. The story was published in the Blue Mountains Gazette on 2 November 2016 and has subsequently been posted on our website and Facebook pages (Andrew Tester)

Heritage listing: http://bit.ly/2kvEmTW

 

Henk Luf, Large Exhibits Manager

 
6. Our little trains

Model Railway DC Layout

This is the older layout. I would like to thank all those who have run the model railway on open days over the past year, your help has been very much appreciated. This year we have the services of Henk Luf who is able to attend on all open days to run the regular DC layout. Please note that on open days there will be NO "testing" or "ad lib" running available to anyone on open days as we intend to have a regular display for the public who are coming through the museum and Henk will be able to do this each open day. Any testing or ad lib running must be done at other times. I would ask all who do use the layout to do this with the utmost care as the model group find that much of the rolling stock has been damaged over the past years and has had to be repaired on a regular basis.


Model Railway DCC Layout

This layout model of Valley Heights in the 1950s is for DCC locomotives only and, be warned, if you try to run a DC locomotive it may burn out. Only trained persons are permitted to run trains on this layout and a roster of persons will be made available to those who have offered to come in on open days. Only locomotives already on the layout should be run on an open day with the exception of personal DCC locos that have a historic connection to the depot. This layout is designed to show the public what Valley Heights used to look like in the 1950s and has a set routine to demonstrate the daily working that used to take place when the depot was in operation. A continuous loop is currently under construction on this layout which will allow a much more realistic demonstration. There is to be no testing or ad-lib running on this layout unless under the strict supervision of a recognised operator.

The project to create a running loop for the 1950s layout is moving ahead. One of the first steps was to move the entire layout about 600 mm towards the entrance. More progress was made by the Blue Mountains and Nepean Christian Model Railway Fellowship on 28 January.

New baseboard for running loop.
New baseboard for running loop

View of the layout showing running loop along rear wall.
View of the layout in its new position showing running loop along rear wall (Photos: Keith Ward)

 

Ray Beharrell, Model Railway Manager

 

 
7. Our shop

A new DVD, “Sensational Streamliners” from AC Video is now in stock. Inspired by, but not confined to, the Streamliners Event at Goulburn in October. A must for any GM or Alco fan. (Editor’s note: these are diesels!)

Our Santa weekend again made a large financial contribution to the calendar year income. This was boosted by revenue from the popular sausage sizzle on the “Ol’ 44” steam train BBQ. If you haven’t seen this in action yet, make sure to come along to enjoy the ambience (and the reasonably priced snags!) when Serge and Adrian have this unique beast fired up. Some of these funds have been used to buy an extra small fridge for those hot days when we are doing lots of milkshakes!

We now have for sale a number of beautiful models of Australian country station buildings, skilfully made by Mike Jessop, who also supplies our unique “Dog Spike Whistle”. I recommend them, they are beautifully detailed, based on actual buildings in outback Australia.

A new book about the line over the Blue Mountains (“To the Fertile Plains Beyond”) has taken off and extra copies have been ordered. Sales of the two children’s books, “Look Inside Trains” and “See inside Trains” continue to exceed expectations and these are a wonderful addition to any child’s bookshelf. Noel from “Mac’s Daks” menswear store in Springwood has kindly donated a quantity of 5711 caps for sale, the revenue from which he has requested to be assigned to the 5711 fund. So support the cause and keep the hot summer sun off your skull!

Steve Corrigan, Retail Manager

 
8. Our retirees group

Phone box

Phone box - where's superman?

More progress has been made on the phone box, but we will need to locate more materials to complete the project. Does anyone know of a source of items that may be of use? Please contact Dave Grove with ideas. Superman is waiting patiently (undies on the inside for now!) to practise his quick change routine in the box!


Shop

New shop benchtopIn our shop, the lining boards on the counter front were put in place and following manufacture by Warrimoo Kitchens, the laminated bench top was inserted to provide a continuous run.


Railway seats

Railway seats reletteredWork is being done to rejuvenate and repaint our railway seats. Member Frank Coy has been busy with his smart renditions of various historic station names following fine prep work by Jeff Russell.



Photos: Keith Ward

 

The Meal Room Project


Most of you were all too familiar with the outdated appearance of our meal room:

Old kitchen   Old meal room

A project for renovation had been “in the air” for some years and following a detailed submission (skilfully co-ordinated by Mike Pensini) to the Federal Government, we were successful with a Stronger Communities Program Grant for $15,575.


As a result of the detailed planning that had gone into the process, work was able to start promptly. The room was stripped totally, old plumbing removed and new connections prepared for later installation. All electrical items were removed and resulting holes and cracks filled and carefully sanded.

The ceiling was given two coats of ceiling white and four new lights installed.

 Stripping the meal room #2


Once all cupboards were removed, we saw how badly the concrete floor had dropped in many places. In the back corner over 170 mm of filling was required. Using a laser level, all heights for the new floor were set.

Most of the floor needed beams cut on a slope which were secured to the existing floor. Once this grid was completed, 19 mm yellow tongue flooring was secured to the beams. This continued until the flooring was flush with the concrete base level.

Inserting floor beams 

The next stage was to fill the remaining floor with sand and cement mix and BondCrete. The team of four took nearly a day to mix, screed and level.

 Bondcrete the floor #2


A new wall was constructed to fill in the space near the old sink and the walls heritage painted similar to the main shop area.

To finish the floor a skim coat of timber floor leveller was installed, then the skirting boards.

New wall and skim coat of floor leveller #1  


The cupboards were assembled and carefully levelled, then secured to the walls. Once ready, the doors were installed and adjusted.

 New cupboards


The removal of the entrance step was the next major task. As we started removing the timber, we discovered that it would be simpler to dig out the old concrete and build a new ramp, requiring eight bags of concrete mix.

Following advice that they were the most durable, commercial vinyl planks were purchased for the final flooring and laid by professional installers.

The door was extended and kick plates were fitted.

Vinyl planks installed 
 

All new items (television, fridge, stove, filing cabinet and computer desk) were installed.

The computer network was reinstalled from the nearby “Station Master’s Office” where it had been located for the duration of the “Reno Rumble”. The best of the old cupboards was repaired, repainted and refitted with new matching handles. The original table is solid and in good condition and it and the best of the chairs were reinstated.

 
 New meal room #1  New meail room #2

Meal Room photos: Mike Pensini


(Mike Pensini, Project Manager)

 

(Editor’s note: if you haven’t already had a peek, the finished project awaits your inspection (and hopefully approval!) Our sincere thanks go to all those from the Retirees Group and others who contributed to this masterclass of renovation! “Our Kitchen Rules!”)

Dave Grove, Building Restoration Manager

 

 
9. Our memorabilia

Library

Our Library Group has developed into a strong band of volunteers that undertakes a wide range of activities. It has six dedicated members — Sue Fulton, Rudi Glajcar, Richard Nicholson, Ed Manning, Julie Tester & Ellen Anderson. Andrew Tester was appointed Honorary Librarian at our last AGM and his role is to oversee and guide the group in its duties including the sorting and cataloguing of the Library Collection and photographing, documenting and archiving of our Small Exhibits collection.

The Library project has been in progress for a number of years and the vast collection of books and magazines has been sorted and catalogued. However, a shortage of shelf space led to a review of the magazines, revealing many duplicates. Our Library Collection Policy has guidelines designed to help identify if a donated item is suitable, one of which states that a maximum of two copies of all publications be retained. An exception to this is if an item has been donated and a label affixed to the publication identifying the donor. In these instances items will be retained and more than two copies of these publications may be held.

Some publications have been digitised by their publishers and our holding of them will be reduced. Overseas publications are also held and as our policy only allows for overseas publications of a technical nature, non-compliant items are being removed.

Once this audit has been completed additional storage capacity will be available and a sale of these surplus items is likely to be held if no other interested groups make a claim.

Some of the other documents being sorted by the group include drawings, photographs, STNs (Special Train Notices), timetables, videos & DVDs.

Drawings conservation activity

Our extensive collection of plans and drawings contains items pertaining to mechanical, electrical, signalling, Per Way, locomotives and rolling stock. Richard has overseen their sorting for many years and now has 90% of the collection stored in the Library’s drawing cabinets. The remaining 10% is very delicate and fragile. A very simple process of re- humidifying these rolled and brittle drawings has been identified and implemented. Once an item has been processed, Rudi photographs it before Ed encapsulates the treated drawing in a suitable polyethylene envelope. Storage space is the limiting factor for this activity. No repair work or scanning is undertaken until the drawings have been assessed for retention or disposal.
Work on all these activities will continue for the foreseeable future!

Small exhibits

A policy is also documented for the donation of Small Exhibits. While these should be assessed at the time, this has not always been possible. Prior to cataloguing a small exhibit, we need to confirm that the item is suitable. Once this has been determined, it is conserved including cleaning (following careful processes to protect the exhibit), labelling, documentation and photography.

Rudi has been painstakingly photographing items in great detail. The photographs are then uploaded onto our laptop (and backed up), in preparation for inclusion in our database as each item is catalogued.

If the exhibit is not going on public display it is placed into dedicated protective long term storage, utilising archival products and cabinets.

Our textile collection is quite extensive. Ellen, Ed and Julie have been doing the initial assessment, photography and insect treatment of these articles. These have been given temporary identification numbers and are, for now, in the Small Exhibits storeroom. They are catalogued and brought into the collection once they have been cleaned and prepared for storage.

Learning how to look after our collection is important and visits to other Museums are encouraged. Ellen and Ed spent a day at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Windsor with the curator, to study textile conservation, and they will make a similar visit to the Powerhouse Museum where practical instruction in cleaning and repair techniques will be sought. Once Ellen and Ed have completed training, they will concentrate on the textiles until all articles are cleaned, catalogued and prepared for storage. Suitable containers have been purchased from Archival Survival and are ready for use.

The team works very closely with the Museum’s Small Exhibits Curator, Mike Pensini, during these procedures.

(Andrew Tester, Honorary Librarian)

 

Displays

  • One of the fascinating stories told at the Museum is that of the “Call Boy” who carried out his thankless task day in, day out, through heat, rain, cold and worse. The existing display in the old DLE’s office is looking a bit tired and a team is carrying out an upgrade to be finished during 2017.

Donation policy

  • A gentle reminder: If you are considering (or know someone who is) donating items to the Museum’s collection, please note that there is the obligatory paper work to be completed before any item will be accepted. This helps us to ascertain its suitability for inclusion, in terms of relevance, space, display etc.

 

Michael Pensini, Small Exhibits Curator

 
10. Our infrastructure

Our track


Work has been continuing on the first 25 metres of the Coal Stage Road from No. 2 points with both rails fixed in place and final tamping almost completed. Plans have not yet been finalised for the remedial work on the remainder of the Coal Road to the buffer stop, therefore the Coal Stage Road will remain out of use until further notice. In the meantime, visitors on Open Days still have a double return trip to the Signal Box, lasting about 15 minutes, as there are no points to be changed.
As 2017 proceeds, we will move on to the Ash Pit on the Arrival Road that requires timbers to be replaced along the northern side.

Chris Troy, Per Way Manager

Trackwork recently completed
Photo: Keith Ward

 

Buildings


“Vallileaks”? Investigation of an unwanted 25 mm pool of water in No 1 road at the rear of the Roundhouse revealed a cracked gate valve controlling the fire hose. Pipes were undone and a new one installed in quick time before fish moved in, despite the August chill.

Major roundhouse roof repairs have been finished with financial support from THNSW. The completed roofline looks amazing. This essential and long overdue work has been performed by contractors due to the complexity and difficulty of the project.

Our thanks go to Roslyn Reynolds who was frequently on site before 07:00 to admit the contractor. My thanks also to Jeff Russell for being there to support me while I was on duty to liaise with the workers (Bruce Coxon)

Depot roundhouse roof

Completed depot roundhouse roof repairs


Fencing

Work is already under way to clear foliage and other impediments such as sleepers, ballast and heavy metal around the perimeter fence that is being replaced by contractors early in 2017.

Cleaning up  Fence to be repaired 
Photos: Keith Ward

Ted Dickson, Building Services Manager

 
11. Our secret men's business

Storage

The mysterious goings on in the workshop have been enhanced by the availability of extra storage, so that the components of newly acquired machinery could be stored in a more orderly manner. Space then became available to accommodate a donation of tools from the estate of the late Ross Allen, courtesy of his brother Bruce.

 

Tool box

Machinery – static

Our power hacksaw failed during the heavy workload of the building works and repairs required manufacturing a new valve and pushrod, completed thanks to Ted Mullett, who is also working on a tricky job on the mill. (Ted Dickson)

 

Lathe

The repaired magnetic drill used for making holes in our newly laid rails has been re assembled, following work by the late John Stanley.

Machinery – movable

The tractor suffered a short circuit on the reversing switch and Dave Hunt duly completed the repair (Ted Dickson)


“Scoop”, our Front End Loader suffered steering failure. After the removal and dismantling of the steering arm and the power steering pump, to no avail, outside assistance was called in. This revealed that the pump is worn and needs overhaul and is still receiving TLC from yours truly, when not engaged in other duties. The Museum’s road/rail tractor “Mario” had a problematic Lift Pump on its fuel system. Removal and overhaul uncovered a missing rubber seal and a bleed hole was drilled in the body.

Terry Matchett, Workshop Manager

 
12. Our members

Working with Children

At a recent meeting, your committee agreed that “All volunteers who may be required to work with children are requested to have a "Working with Children Clearance". This is not hard to acquire and is easily arranged online, with follow up at your local RMS (RTA) office. If you have difficulty with this process, please contact me.

Thanks

We acknowledge with gratitude the long term support from volunteers Barry and Jean Grundy. Barry is a diesel fitter whose ongoing contributions on X206 and our large compressor are invaluable. Jean regularly supported the shop both with her presence and popular home-made sandwiches on Open Days. We wish them both well for the future.

Membership renewals

The Museum had a good renewal rate in 2016 – a total of 170 members (including Life Members and Honorary Life Members) of whom 31 were newcomers.

Renewals of memberships for 2017 are due. PLEASE RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW.

The 2017 membership form appears on our website.

  • Go to valleyheightsrailmuseum.info and
  • click on ‘About us’,
  • then ‘Membership’ (on right hand side of page).
  • Click on ‘VHLDHM membership form’ and then print it.

If you are unable to print a membership form please email or phone and I’ll post one to you.
We always need additional volunteers at the Depot – phone me if you would like to volunteer.

All the very best for the New Year – my only question is, ‘Where did 2016 go?’

Regards,

Jeff Russell, Membership Officer
Email: jeff.russell@valleyheightsrailmuseum.info
Home phone: (02) 4751 2471


Vale John Stanley

John is most recently remembered and respected at Valley Heights for his invaluable work on our rail infrastructure and his technical knowhow in the refurbishment of our Diesel Shunter X206. As Per Way Manager in recent years, he brought his own special brand of mechanical engineering skills to the finer points of track maintenance. His membership of the Museum dates back to 2002, and he was involved in early restoration of the Shell tanker and other exhibits.

John Stanley
John onboard X206 on its first day at The Valley

Well-connected, both on a professional and personal level, with Ted Dickson, John was involved in many projects and often discussed many subjects with him at length by phone and at the depot. Options for achieving the best outcomes for our aging per way were high on the agenda and the pair reminisced on their last day together, covering many topics including their railway apprenticeships — “The good old days!”

Nothing was too much trouble for John, and he is remembered as a “gentle giant”, quietly spoken, thoughtful and with only a rare crossed word to his colleagues.

John passed away peacefully at the end of August with a funeral in early September that was well attended by his railway colleagues.

 

Vale Ross Allen

In his early teens, Ross became involved with preserving the NSW Rail Transport Museum fleet at Enfield. When the RTM was moved to Thirlmere, he transferred, working on, amongst others: erection of the water tank; 1905; 1301; crane loco 1034; CCA car; restoration to steam of rail coal loader 1064.

Ross Allen with jazz singer
Our local jazz band sings “Happy Birthday” to Ross in February 2015

At Valley Heights he diligently completed the project of illuminating loco exhibits — a regular reminder of his high standards on every Open Day, when the switches are flicked on. He became a valuable assistant to Ted Dickson in plumbing and air reticulation.

Ross collected (hoarded?) all items that took his fancy: signals, lights, internal combustion engines and machinery to name a few!

Ross had suffered from heart problems and as he recovered from the last round he contracted pneumonia, losing weight. In his last few months he regained some of that and things were looking up. Even following our AGM, (just days before his untimely demise) he was virtually the last to leave, having reinstalled an air-line in the Roundhouse with brother and best mate, Bruce.

Ross passed away in mid-November, aged 57 and many of his fellow “trainiacs” were at his funeral later that month.

Vale Harry Cross

Harry was employed at Valley Heights Depot from 1952 until its close in early 1989. Interviewed for the Depot’s Centenary in early 2014, Harry told the Blue Mountains Gazette: “I was a fitter and I did enjoy the work but it was heavy work and we were often flat out fixing trains. The steam engines we had here weren’t actually meant for the steep parts of the line so they would often get damaged.” In an extract from “The 1950s Story” leaflet produced by VHLDHM for the Centenary), Harry added: “It was very satisfying to keep the trains running.”

He had been a fitter at Enfield, prior to his transfer to Valley Heights, working as breakdown fitter and examiner under Acting Manager, Alan Parkinson, for whom he deputised on many occasions. Harry was in fact the last to “turn out the lights” on the Depot’s final day. Now his lights are dimmed and another page in the Depot’s rich history is turned. Harry left for the “Big Roundhouse in the Sky” on 29 August 2016.

 
13. Our promotions
  • An easier way to access our two new video clips is available via YouTube, with thanks to Andrew Tester for arranging this. You may want to try:
  • The colourful Blue Mountains & Central West free monthly magazine iMag ran a short paragraph in their July edition to promote the relaunch of our Valley Heights Mixed.
  • We were approached by Kingswood Public School regarding the donation of a prize for their annual fundraising event, along an Olympic theme, in August. A family pass was delivered along with some promotional material for their newsletter.
  • A spreadsheet listing NSW car clubs has been completed by work experience student and member Bruce Kelt and the project of contacting them regarding potential visits either mid-week or on regular Open Days has commenced. If you are a member of a car club, or know someone who is, why not give our Museum the opportunity of hosting a unique day out?
  • Richard Cartwright, Activities Coordinator, Bunnings Valley Heights has suggested that we run a fund-raising barbecue there one Saturday next year. Do we have any other members with cooking or money handling skills who might like to run or assist with this?
  • Our new 6 page Museum leaflet has been shared with other BMACHO members and supplies have been sent to Loftus Tram Museum and the ARHS bookshop, both courtesy of Peter Stock. They are also on show at the Glenbrook & Katoomba Visitor Centres and other key locations. This new production was achieved with input from Bruce Coxon, Ted Dickson, Andrew Tester and Grant Robinson and their assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks also to David Bennett at Head Office for his support in completing the project.
  • Heritage Trail (GBMHT) – Andrew Tester and I attended a BMACHO meeting at Lawson on Saturday 27 August to discuss the future of this quarterly event. There was a consensus that the common open days that have been held over the last year are not sustainable, for a variety of reasons. It was also suggested that the Trail should continue, but an incentive should be introduced for visitors to attend a large number of the 18 or so venues over a twelve month period. The possibility of a “passport” to be stamped at each destination, along with some quiz questions to be answered onsite, with entry in a draw for a prize at the end of the year was also mooted. The BMACHO committee subsequently confirmed the cessation of the common open days, and the “passport” concept is expected to proceed.
  • Blue Mountains City Council Destination Management Plan – I represented the Museum at a workshop on Wednesday 31 August at Katoomba. The object was to meet with representatives from other attractions across the Mountains, to identify challenges, opportunities, and suggestions for the future of tourism across the region. A large number of stakeholders attended sessions throughout the day, and council’s appointed consultants will publish a draft plan for evaluation.

Raffles

As noted elsewhere, a large bundle of tickets was sold on the shuttles and in the shop over the past few months. The outcome was therefore highly satisfactory and our thanks goes to all those who helped by buying or selling tickets. The ten winners have all been notified and their prizes delivered. Names and details are on our website. infobluemountains.net.au/locodepot/competitions.shtml

Graffiti Alliance

We have been approached by Tom Colless (of Colless Fine Foods) about possible involvement in a project to “permanently” solve the issue of graffiti on Eurama Wall at Faulconbridge. The concept, still in its infancy, is to erect a second wall (in front of the existing stone structure) which would sport a railway themed mural (possibly the “Fish”?)

Keith Ward, Publicity Manager

 
14. Our coming events

“Trains, Trams & Ts” weekend 25 and 26 February

Planning has been in progress since November and most of the key components are in place: on both days – Tram rides, Model T Ford car display, historic classroom re-enactment courtesy of Nepean District Historical Society, Period Dress Competition and the Sydney Morsecodians. We are pleased to have again secured performances by the Kate Woolfe Trio (formerly “The Blue Velvets”) who will play for over two hours on the Sunday. Negotiations are still under way with other attractions and these will be added if and when confirmed. We have approval from the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath to hand out leaflets promoting our event at their annual “Charleston Challenge” on Saturday 25th from 10:00 until 11:00. Does anyone who isn’t involved in other duties on the day feel like a nice early train trip up the mountains?

Monday 6 March

We host a Queensland rail enthusiasts’ tour of about 25 visitors who are doing a weeklong visit to railway sites in NSW and are spending the last day at the Museum (leaving the best until last!) before flying out that night. We are running the Steam Tram and morning tea, guided tours and lunch (provided by the local Ori Café) are also included. Some tour guides and helpers for morning tea will be called up for this day. Please contact Keith Ward if interested in assisting.

Monday 20 March

Our first school visit for the year will see approximately 70 children plus teachers and helpers from the Newcastle area will be on site to enjoy all the museum’s attractions, including rides. This day will require a number of guides and a tram crew. This is a great day to put in some volunteer hours and see many happy faces at the Museum.

 


 
Sat 25 February:  Trains, Trams & Ts (see details above)
Sun 26 February:  Trains, Trams & Ts (see details above)
Mon 6 March: Qld rail enthusiasts visit (see details above)
Sun 12 March: Seniors Festival One for one offer
Thu 16 March:  TOFS (Touring Old Farts Inc)
Mon 20 March: First school tour for 2017
Sun 26 March: Seniors Festival One for one offer
Sun 23 April: Hawkesbury National Trust visit

 

 

Sponsors

We wish to thank our important sponsors:

  • Local Hire Service, Valley Heights
  • Blue Mountains Coffee Roasters, Valley Heights
  • Austrains (austrains.com.au)
  • On Track Models (ontrackmodels.com.au)
  • Bunnings Hardware, Valley Heights
  • Jenolan Caves
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside
  • Richard Butcher, author
  • Blooms the Chemist, Springwood
  • Springwood Historical Society
  • Turning Page Bookshop, Springwood
  • Abcoe, Penrith
  • Macquarie Road Auto Repairs, Springwood
  • Headway Hair, Springwood
  • Scenic World, Katoomba
  • Royal Hotel, Springwood
  • Mac’s Daks Menswear, Springwood
  • Hunter Shoes, Springwood
  • Coles, Winmalee
  • Signwave, Penrith
  • Terrys Truck Hire, Springwood
 

Publicity Manager’s Trivia Quiz Corner

If you know the Australian states that were the second & third to have an operating mechanically powered railway then you’re off to a good start! Now rearrange their usual abbreviations to form one word: a breed of bird (plural). Which other Australian state has this bird as its emblem?

Depot Diary 115 Trivia Quiz answer :
The first railway line in NSW opened on this day. The locomotive was manufactured by Robert Stephenson & Co, of Newcastle-on-Tyne (builder of our “Stevo” No 2 0-6-0 Saddle Tank steam loco)
 

Depot Diary: Print friendly version

Depot Diary: High quality print version

Note:
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  • The high quality print version is 8 MB. Image quality should be clear in a printout, but download will be slower.
 
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