Sunday, 6 July 2008
Monday Morning Photo. 20/1/08.
G'day all, I think the Colac to Beech Forest weekly goods ran on Wednesdays and it left Colac at some forgotten, pre-dawn time. This meant that you had to leave town on the previous night's 5.10 pm Warrnambool train. I missed it. So I had to travel to Geelong on the 6.05 stopper and take my chances from there. I was prepared to hitch hike if I had to but fortunately there was a goods later that night which would get me there in plenty of time. The Stationmaster, Geelong had me sign the required form indemnifying the Commissioners in the event of my being injured whilst on railway property and the next thing I was bouncing around in the darkness of an ancient Z van at the tail end of a lot of coupler slack. I can't remember much of the guard except that he was a nice bloke who directed me to the rest hut on the platform at Colac and worded up someone to wake me in time for the Beech Forest train. These were the last days of regular service on the last of Victoria's four 2'6" gauge branchlines and the goods brought out timber to be pulped and probably delivered beer to the Beech Forest pub and maybe carried some van goods. It was winter so it was dark part of the way there but I took the attached shots on the return trip. Much of the line was in the Otway Ranges which would qualify as temperate rainforest. The second photo shows what it was like, I think the location was Birnam, it was just a watertank. The other shot is at the metropolis of Gellibrand, note the Departmental Residence behind the engine.
For those not in the know the little Garratt has been completely rebuilt by the Puffing Billy Railway at Belgrave and is in regular service again, better than new. Maybe someone could post some photos. There is some nice footage on Youtube too
Thanks to Bob Wilson for the Friday Afternoon Photo, any chance of posting it bigger Bob? I always like to pore over the detail. How about trying to make it regular, Steve Ohlsen is posting his regular Sunday photo to Thingswithwheels too.