Very little to report for the June/July period
The webmaster attended the 2005 Model Railway Show with the PTCo display boards and for the first time this year a video display on PTCo's Steam Locomotive Driving Courses. The DVD for this was supplied by a previous driving course participant - Mr Warren Peck of Victoria. Thank you to Warren and his wife for this well produced interpretation of our course. Many visitors to the show were noticed to watch the display and take a brochure. It was certainly good to catch up with everybody whilst there.
We have had a not so good supply of coal here at PTCo in the last 2 months. All of our fireman have been honing their skills at firing V1213 with what could only be described as appalling coal, made up of mostly fines and dust with the odd nugget scattered through here and there. It helps that V1213 seems to be able to make steam on just about anything if fired correctly. A more recent delivery of mostly nugget type coal has alleviated the situation and all has returned to normal as far as firing is concerned. All firemen made a great job of a bad situation. Well Done.
All Train and Tram services have operated as scheduled with passengers numbers seemingly increasing on the train and steady on the trams.
May has been more of an interesting month for weather, than anything else. With most of the state receiving high rainfall the rivers in the Pemberton area all started flowing well early this year. Unseen in recent years was the Eastbrook (which dries up in the summer months) flowing in early April. As the Eastbrook is a tributary to the Lefroy Brook it naturally also started to flow better early this year making the Cascades start to look attractive once again.
There have also been a few misty mornings around the Pemberton valleys providing for an interesting photographic subject.
Operationally - V1213 is performing well with reasonable passenger numbers being carried on Steam Train services to both Eastbrook & Lyall Sidings.
The Trams to Warren Bridge are also consistently carrying reasonable numbers of passengers. Northcliffe was cancelled this month due to a crew shortage. A new tram driver (Grant) is currently in training on the Warren section which will give a bit more flexibility.
Click here for Further works carried out on the AYF restoration
On the 21st of May whilst the webmaster was operating the AM Warren River Tram it was found that the Warren River was in flood due to recent heavy rains inland.
Already we are at the end of April and a month of Steam train services are under the belt. V1213 has been kept busy with all services operated throughout the April school holiday period being well patronised by holiday makers in the Pemberton area. Tram services have continued to operate as regular as clockwork with many travellers trying both steam train and tram services during the holiday period.
One of the level crossings near the Warren River bridge has had some clearing of vegetation done for sighting requirements in the last days of April revealing another of the very high embankments and concrete culverts built to carry the railway through the area.
V1213 commenced operating for the 2005 Steam Season on Easter Saturday 26th March 2005. With Easter early this year it was an uncertainty as to whether PTCo. would be able to commence steam services on Easter Saturday. Eventually a permit was secured from the shire allowing operation as far as Eastbrook Siding. The Sunday service to Lyall was replaced with an Eastbrook journey.
Although the weather was still a bit warm, many Easter holiday makers to Pemberton took advantage of the only operating steam train in Western Australia at this time of the year. V1213 ran well throughout the weekend resplendent in a new coat of paint. This will be V1213's 13th year in preservation service and also the 50th year since the introduction of the V class to services with the WAGR back in 1955.
Further equipment arrived from Carnarvon Heritage Group during March.
Nothing real interesting. A couple of passenger bogies, some axles and a machine which was called a potato picker which is used for getting down below operating level, unlike a cherry picker which goes up high. This piece of equipment may be useful for maintenance on our bridges.
Recent Closure of the Picton to Lambert railway now sees the Pemberton Tramway Co. isolated at the bottom of the state from the state network. Although it has been considered, currently PTCo has no intentions of extending operations further north of Lyall Siding.
Over recent years PTCo have been in contact with the Carnarvon Heritage group with regard to some items of equipment which they had, which potentially might become available as surplus to their needs. After some toing and froing of emails and telephone calls, the wheels started to turn so to speak.
One of the items available was ex Perth Suburban passenger car - AYF 706.
On Thursday 20th of January 2005, AYF 706 was loaded at Carnarvon onto a truck for shipping to Pemberton where it arrived around 3pm on Saturday 22nd January.
The things you see in the Car Park at the Pemberton Hotel
As the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd of January was set for the Annual Staff get together, the preparation for and unloading of AYF706 became the weekends work project for our volunteers.
It was considered that should 31 need to be moved to a position where full lifting height could be gained then there was a need to shift some other equipment. The main item of concern being SSM 2 which has a wooden floor in place in the cab to prevent persons climbing into the cab, from falling through the floor due to a lack of fall plate. The wooden floor would prevent SSM 2 from moving through curves as it is a good fit. It is for this reason that SSM 2 had not been moved any further than along the goods shed road since its arrival in 2004. On the Saturday SSM 2 had the floor removed and was well lubricated enabling movement around the yard.
After much organising throughout Saturday the Truck and coach were manoeuvred into place on Sunday morning under the Jib of crane 31 and AYF 706 was lifted skyward enabling the truck to drive out from underneath the coach.
AYF 706 was lowered onto Pemberton metals where the Comeng was then coupled up to transfer the coach down to the goods shed for closer inspection. We got the coach off the truck without a scratch.
Then the process of cleaning up and putting equipment back and returning everything to normal was carried out. Thanks to Bob Baker, Simon Mead and Neil Blinco for taking the pictures shown here for January News.
Click on this link to visit AYF 706 webpage for more pictures including loading at Carnarvon.
Another job also carried out during the weekend was to put the J class water tank onto an ex LA chassis. I guess it will become a JLA class tank wagon and is intended to be used for weed spraying.
For those of you who may have wondered how well those cheap pocket or key ring sized Digital cameras work. The pictures above, taken of the tank wagon were captured on one of these mini cameras. I think it cost us about $30 including software. Providing you take close up photos it seems ok. These photos have been resized from the capture size. This brings the pixels together better. It is however very low in resolution at what the makers call HQ resolution. I haven't even tried LQ. Too frightened of what the result may be.
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