Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Monday Morning photo. 9/03/09. More from Cliff.

Hi All,

Herewith some photos of Peterborough loco and its contents, to add to Peter's evocative photos taken from the coal gantry. Three were taken on Easter Sunday in 1965 when we drove to the Peterborough hospital to see my sister and brother who had been involved in a head on road collision near Yunta. They suffered facial cuts but were, and still are O.K. I also visited the loco depot. The roundhouse was in decay as can be seen.

401 was stabled outside the roundhouse on what looks like the departure road run around.

404 and its mate are on one of the storage sidings with the steam grab used for removal of ashes from the pond is stabled behind it. The pond may have been filled in by then. Behind is the boiler house with its tall chimney (locos had funnels according to my loco instructor Bill Girdler, buildings had chimneys).

The next photo shows T 251, Garratt 407 and other stored T class locos. These were stored on the roads between the oil store and Yongala Road. Also evident are X type trucks which came in a variety of options. The one with the white diagonal stripe has no doors and was used for ore transport exclusively. Others had one door per side, others two. They were known colloquially to railwaymen as "large". The reason proffered to me was that they were larger than their predecessors, the C type, and a C can be seen between the X's. C's still existed in the 60's but were only for departmental use (ash transport etc.). Between T 251 and the X's seems to be a small steel sided 4 wheeler, can't remember their classification and they also were not in regular service.

The fourth photo was taken with a very cheap 35 mm camera that I used when I had B & W film in the Pentax. I think that the camera was free if you bought 6 rolls of slide film, and that was well before "made in China" was heard of! It was 1969, the W was in exchange for T 181 and had come down from Broken Hill on the "Farewell to Narrow Gauge" ARHS trip and I think was cut up at Terowie. The T is 257 and its tender is fitted with an auto coupler which was not common. No T class loco front ends were fitted with auto couplers, only about 4 tenders were, which of course could be swapped from loco to loco. The reason was that all bogie ore trucks and many others had been fitted with auto couplers by 1969 and there was a 600 ton limit behind a hook/auto adaptor coupler which robbed the T's of their full potential if fitted with a hook coupler. Also evident in the photo is the coal gantry and the Port Pirie lower quadrant home signal and note that the ash pond that should have been in the foreground, has been filled in.

Back to Peter's photos, in addition to my previously forwarded comments, I was lying in bed a couple of nights later and recalled the row of old toilets at the loco depot. I checked the western photo and sure enough, there they are between the ablution/locker/crib room building and the accident train crane, just this side of the time office. At a guess they would have been built in the 1920's when the roundhouse was built and were certainly operational in my days there. They were demolished many years ago now.

Another point of clarification, the S.A.R. did have coal stages and that is exactly what they were - elevated horizontal platforms on which coal was stored, then shoveled into loco tenders by some unfortunate soul. They were situated at stations with minor loco facilities or were anachronisms of the pre gantry days (Minnipa and Cummins still had them after the gantries were erected, but they were not used) and were for emergency use only. The regular coaling locations had gantries of one sort or another, the concrete version held 200 tons I think and were at the major depots whereas smaller steel (e.g. Naracoorte, Bordertown, Mt. Gambier, Cockburn) or timber gantries (e.g. Cummins, Minnipa) sufficed for smaller depots.

Cliff Olds

Lionel Noble has also forwarded comment on the photos:-

Been looking at those two shots that you sent. Like going home to see them, beautiful. Just a couple of things that maybe of interest. The Carp's shunting engine is facing the correct way. It was easy for both the shunter and the Engineman for hand signals. I think safety had something to do with it. Many years ago Gordon Stewart was under a truck there servicing a triple valve when a shunt movement caused his leg to be damaged. I know that from that day he had an unusual walk and used a stick. I knew the family.. I don't know the year it happened, before my time. He was the air brake fitter at the Carp's. From memory the switches to that road had a lock, Not sure if that was before, or after it happened. You have heard about the horse that got away haven't you?

The engine standing on the far right on it's own is the pilot engine. That was known as the pilot road. The 'Rat' (V class) was left on the pilot road too at times. The one on the right of that adjacent to the shed was the run -around road and used when there were other engines standing on the out-going road preparing to enter traffic..The Pilot crew were responsible to look after both engines. Often the Running shift Foreman, Jimmy Crawford, would poke his head in the door of the Pilot room and ask "How's the Rat"? He was assured that the Rat was ok. After he left then one of the pilot firemen would dash off and have a look!
You can see the slabs of cement for the toilet soakage pit adjacent to the bike shed.

Finally, I was led to believe that the two incoming and out going pits, in line with the oil store, were in the old sheds before the round house. I think if you look at the old pictures of those sheds you can get the idea. The old oil store on the far right of the picture was part of the original sheds prior to the round house being built. You may know that anyway. It was in the same position as in the early days.

This is pretty rough Cliff, but I think you will understand it having been in that Depot.
They were wonderful days for me. I married the love of my life there 62 years ago in May. Not at the loco depot, but in the Methodist church!

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