Sunday, 15 March 2009

From Cliff Olds re Monday Morning Photo 9/03/09.

I left Peterborough loco in the spring of 1961 and transferred to Gladstone loco however, little had changed when you took these evocative photos.

From left in the photo looking west:- The Port Pirie main line is just out of shot; then there are the repair roads leading to the workshops. Beyond the workshops were the livestock van washout roads. I note two Ogn bogie grain gondolas "top on" (the Obn's came later) with an assortment of trucks beyond. Ogn's had yellow/orange painted doors and the tare did not include the weight of the tarps or ridge poles whereas the later Obn's had red doors and the tarps and ridging were included in the tare. The Ogn's will require welding if they were in for bodie repairs, they were all steel. The roads nearer the water tower serviced the carpenters shop and were always the scene of much activity on day shift because all ore wagons (bogie On's and four wheel X types) were timber sided and suffered regular substantial damage at the hands of the unloading grabs in Port Pirie, for which B.H.A.S. would not accept any responsibility. Lew Roberts mentions this in his book "Rails to Wealth" about the Silverton Tramway. The lead and zinc ore quickly deteriorated steel bodied wagons, so that was not an economic option. The carpenters shop warranted its own shunter on day shift, rostered as the "carps shunter" and was always referred to as that, although to my memory, the T class is facing the wrong way. My memory might be defective there, after all it was 48 years and many megalitres of beer and port ago.

Behind the water tower is the employees amenities building which housed ablutions, lockers and a crib room. That building still stands to my knowledge, I certainly used it within the last ten years when volunteering at Steamtown Peterborough. Beyond that is the time office where we booked on and off by having our timesheets stamped with the time and date in the appropriate place (a Bundy clock still existed in Gladstone). The time office was razed years ago. Beyond the time office is the roundhouse.

The accident train consist is on the dead end spur leading to the time office, with the steam crane as the last vehicle. Adjacent is a rake of water tanks, necessary for the N-E of S.A. where water can be a scarce commodity. The two opens at the end possibly contain loco ashes (although the contents appear too light in colour), waiting to be used as ballast on the Quorn or Wilmington lines. Real ballast for the main line was usually in hopper trucks.

Then we have the "inward" road, then the "outward" road, both of which passed over the pond where ashes were dropped when cleaning or dropping the fire in coal burning locos and went either side of the coal gantry (NEVER a coal stage in S.A. - sore point with certain publishers). Fuel oil was also dispensed adjacent to the gantry, as all Garratts and many T class used that fuel. The steam powered grab used for emptying the ash pond is on the adjacent short dead enw, complete with an ash truck. I can't remember the name of the road next to the right where the T class is, but the next road is the oil store road where the Y class "rat" shunter often stood when not immediately required. The oil store is the building adjacent where we cleaners went to receive out allocation of cotton waste, solve-F (like kerosene) and tallow if cleaning a hot boiler. Mel Rouse worked in there and it was he who "measured up" newly qualified firemen for their shovel!!!!

Behind the oil store are a number of storage roads where locos and rollingstock out of service (temporarily usually) were stored. Adjacent is the road to Yongala and Port Pirie and across the road was the railway hostel where I lived in 1961.

The boiler house with its tall chimney is obscured by the pall of smoke.

Not a lot to say about the photo looking east, from left is the Quorn main line, loco roads (I note what looks like the Y class "rat" and two trucks of ashes) then the Port Pirie main line with the "home" signal adjacent. Beyond the level crossing (Hurlstone Avenue I think) is the Peterborough station yard and immediately on the right is the old Superintendents house where I used to be instructed by Bill Girdler in the intricisies of steam locos, preparatory to passing my "Cleaners Preliminary Mechanical" examination. Beyond the yard and out over the level crossing (Silver Street?) were the stock yards, Dowds Hill tunnel and the arid pastoral country.

Now, I'm sure that I have probably not got everything correct and have probably missed a couple of points, so I will forward this to Lionel Noble for comment. He was a loco inspector at Peterborough in this era and is the real expert.

Cliff Olds.

No comments: