Sunday, 6 July 2008

.Monday Morning Photo. 10/2/08.

'Morning all, Thursday 11th of January 1963 and the fortnightly Mount Hope goods clatters into Yeelanna, the junction station, it's train no. 115 and the engine is T class no. 180. It was pure luck that we were on the Peninsula on the right Thursday. This train was listed in the S.A.R. Country Timetable but who knows how long it had been since a member of the public had ridden it, it was going nowhere and not too often at that.

There were no silos on this line, most of the traffic was wheat and it came in hessian bags, this whole rake of wooden bogie wagons was left out at Mount Hope to come back a fortnight later loaded with bagged wheat.

The branch made a trailing junction with the main line so the engine and the gin ran the van around and took a trip around the triangle before heading off through the scrub and the saltpans.

Some parts of the line had a 5mph limit so it wasn't a quick trip and the line was closed beyond Kapinnie in 1965.

I had to be pretty sparing with film back then, I would have taken maybe 60 photos in all the time I was on the Port Lincoln Division, five rolls of 12 frames each. At the time I was a bit disappointed with the photos I took, technically they were none too flash but today I am just grateful that I was there with a halfway decent camera and very forgiving film.

The Eyre Peninsula is a very interesting part of Australia and Peter Knife's book "Peninsula Pioneer" is a treasure house of information about the railway and the white settlement which mostly followed it.


Over the next few weeks I'll stay with the Mount Hope line and I'll ask my travelling companion Graeme Westwood if I can post some of his colour shots too.

Best regards to all,

Peter Bruce.



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