News 2002   

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Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year to All

22nd December 2002

Its been pretty quiet since the end of the steam season here in Pemberton.

Tram services to the Warren Bridge have seen reasonable passenger numbers with Trams #1 & #4 doing most of the work load occasionally supplemented by #2.

#3 disgraced itself returning from Northcliffe in November by busting a big end and so has been out of service since. A new engine has been fitted and #3 awaits some fine tuning before returning to service.

#4 also had a bit of a turn in mid December when the drive coupling to the Hydraulic Pump system stripped. Of Course this occurred at the Warren Bridge, so requiring #1 to be dispatched to retrieve the passengers and then Plymouth DM 0-4-0 Rusty was sent out to bring home the failed tram. #4 re-entered service 2 days later after the suitable repairs had been made.

#4 has been the lead service tram for over a month now and is generally performing well despite having a couple of days off.

The Wildflower season has come and gone with some good displays of the common easy to see wildflowers as well as some very nice patches of Sun Orchids and Spider Orchids during the November period.

9th &10th October 2002

Following the events of the 6th which also happened to be the weekend that some of our volunteers all come together for the annual project weekend, Simon and Scott stayed for the week to help out with anything that could be done around the place.

Much work was carried out on V1213 to prepare it for the summer maintenance period, following the decision to cancel the steam train services.

Also with the assistance of Rudi, V1213 had all of the coal shoveled out of the tender, water drained from both the tender and the boiler, some washout plugs removed, a good washout of the boiler, firebox, ash pan and smoke box was carried out, fire hole door removed for easy access to firebox, all smoke box baffles and spark arrestors were  removed.

The next job for the boys was a bit of shunting to retrieve our 4 loaded and overgrown LA Ballast hoppers from the bottom siding and take them up to the turntable yard and empty them on the short section from the turntable turnout to the next of the newer yard points.

Ex Bunnings Pemberton Mill Comeng built shunter was the choice of motive power for this exercise. Seen here in the bottom siding after pulling out 4 or 5 other wagons our volunteers prepare to haul out the LA's

One by one was deemed to be the best way to empty each wagon and this enabled the guys to have a bit of fun as each wagon was transferred from one end of the yard to the other to be unloaded and then back again. Waiting in the background can be seen the   ballast regulator which would be used to spread the material dumped from each wagon. Y1115 can be seen outside the goods shed and also our 3 passenger cars in the loop with assorted tamping machines in the top left of the picture

Due to the wagons having stood for some 2 or more years holding the gravel materials, a couple of the wagons had developed their own mobile weed collection which had been sprayed a month or so earlier, hence the fuzzy but dead looking load. This also made for a difficult unloading of the wagons and Scotty is seen here getting stuck into loosening up the gravel with a track bar so that it will hopefully fall out the bottom

The LA wagons are now empty which means it is time to start up the ballast regulator, a machine that Simon is familiar with as he spent a lot of time restoring a machine which is almost exactly the same at his local Bennett Brook Railway.  

Thanks to Simon Mead for taking and supplying these great photos

6th October 2002

Sunday 6th of October was not a good day for those of us here at the Tramway.

An overnight break and enter set the mood for the day before a radioed call received from the crew of the recently departed Steam Train to Lyall topped off the morning.

Whilst approaching the top of the grade out of Pemberton the left front cylinder cover of locomotive V1213 cracked open. The quick response of the crew ensured little other damage was caused and the train was brought to a stand in a short distance.

Y1115 was dispatched to retrieve the train and its disappointed passengers, returning to Pemberton a short time later. V1213 remained behind to enable our crew to effect suitable maintenance for a safe journey back to Pemberton. 

V1213 limped home under its own steam.

After some discussion it was decided that a quick repair would not be practical and all further services for 2002 have been cancelled.

17th September 2002

Well we are into the wildflower season now and it appears to be off to an early start with an abundance of colour to be seen along both the Tram and Train sections of our railway.

Currently seen in the forest areas are - Hovea, Clematis, Wisteria, Running Postman, Snail Orchids, Karri flame pea, Buttercups, Yellow Flags, Waterbus, Midge Orchids, Coral Vine and Watsonia's. Already a large array of colours to be seen.

Tram Services/Operations are generally around two and three car sets to the Warren River Bridge at the moment to cope with the tourists coming to see the displays of wildflowers.

V1213 is still performing well and is seeing more use due to Wednesday operations to Eastbrook during September and October as well as the regular weekend services.

19th July 2002

Pemberton Tramway Re-opens for business.

Tram Number 1 was the tram used for the inaugural service back into the forest to the Warren River Bridge.

All those traveling commenting that it was a good thing we had re-opened and what an enjoyable journey it is.

July 2002

At 2.00pm on Friday the 28th June 2002, the 2002 Insurance Premium for the Pemberton Tramway was received,  leaving only a matter of hours before close of trade for the Tramway Management to decide whether they would pay the $81,000 bill (an increase of over $50 000) to enable trade on the 1st July, or close the business.

On the 1st July 2002 the Pemberton Tramway closed its doors and cancelled all services due to the excessive increase in Public Liability Insurance cover.

From the opening of the Pemberton Tramway on 12th September 1987 there have been very few days, other than Christmas day, that a tram service has not operated from Pemberton Station.

The insurance increases would cause many other rail operators around the country to shut down their operations for a period of time before they would be either helped out by their state governments or find better insurance premiums on their own.

On the 17th July the Pemberton Tramways Brokers - Rigden and Douse - managed to secure reasonable insurance cover enabling the Tramway to re-open and commence services on Friday the 19th July 2002.

The Pemberton Tramway was closed for a total of 18 days due to the greed of the insurance industry. How much has this cost our business?

There was a very distinct lack of support from the Western Australian State Government and assorted other bodies, to assist a major tourist attraction in an area of Western Australia that has been hit hard by the governments changes to the timber industry.

The Government has said that areas like Pemberton will survive due to the tourism industry, but those who make these statements do nothing to support the tourism workers, except of course where the tourism venture is government owned, advertised and operated, funded by Tax Payers money.

June 19th 2002

Northcliffe section re-opened for traffic.

Repairs to Fallen Karri Tree site (shown here below) and Datchet Road Crossing completed.

24th May 2002

Whilst carrying out a line clear inspection using our

Hi-Rail, on the section from Northcliffe to Warren River Bridge prior to the 3rd Saturday of each month Northcliffe Tram, it was discovered that a sizeable Karri Tree had fallen across the line just North of the Twin Karri's Halt. The Tree estimated to have been about 60 - 70 meters in height fell during the recent storms we had about a week earlier. It fell across the top of a cutting where the top section of the tree broke away rolling down into the cutting. This caught one of the rails bending it severely and pulling it out of gauge and also blocking the line.

Unfortunately the Northcliffe Tram has had to be cancelled until repairs can be made, much to the disappointment of some of our intending passengers.

And as if Nature wasn't enough

The local shire whilst grading Datchet Road (further south), decided that they too would have a go and managed to bend a rail using the blade of a grader that wasn't lifted clear of the rail. This managed to damage sleepers either side of the crossing meaning that there will need to be a rebuild of the crossing before anything can go to Northcliffe.

April 1st 2002

V1213 to run as a 0-8-2

During the lead up to steam season, it has been decided by the Pemberton Tramway Company management, that ex WAGR steam locomotive V1213 will run as a 0-8-2 instead of as a 2-8-2 as it was designed to be.

V 1213 is seen here awaiting the start of steam season 2002 with only a few parts left to be put back onto it after the summer maintenance 

This decision has been taken as a cost cutting measure to cut down on the wear and tear of the pony truck wheel sets. With only one wheel set in use this will double the running life of the locomotive enabling the rear truck to be replaced when it has worn to its limit, with the spare axle from the front.

Looking rather like a large American shunting loco,

this photo gives a better view of how V1213 now looks, this steam season

 

Whilst the front pony truck was out from under the locomotive (as seen in the article below), it was found that the amount of work effort that was being contributed to the smooth operation of the engine, was limited, causing unnecessary wear on the wheels and so the wheel set has not been replaced.

 

Due to limited spare parts being available the preservation movement will soon be required to make more decisions like this one to keep their equipment operating.

 

V1213 was successfully steamed on Friday 29th and ran smoothly on its Easter Weekend services.

March 26th

Steam Locomotive V1213 will commence operating from Easter Saturday 30th March 2002

March 12th 2002

V 1213 lifted by Crane 31

As with every summer season, the job of regular maintenance and boiler wash outs and inspections of Steam Locomotives is carried out to ensure that these machines continue to operate for many years to come.

Part of this years maintenance on V 1213 required the front pony truck to be removed for inspection of its side movement and guidance performance (for those who don't know, steam locomotives are built with front and rear leading or trailing wheels to help the guidance of the driving wheels into curves). It had been noticed during the year that the engine had not been leading into right hand curves quite as smoothly as it should and it was decided that  removal of the front pony truck was required to enable the problem to be rectified.

This required the locomotive to be lifted to enable removal of the wheel set. Fortunately PTCo has Cowan Sheldon 60T crane #31 which makes a lifting job like this easily possible.

To enable this to occur all of the cover plates, springing and retaining pins etc need to be removed as well as the cowcatcher.

This involves lots of preparation work before we can lift the locomotive. 

 

Seen here #31 has lifted V 1213 using the Big Hook, and the pony truck has been drawn out from under the loco by Plymouth DM 0-4-0 "Rusty".

Here you can see that we just have all driving wheels off the ground and the removed pony truck.

Remedial repairs have commenced.

 With steam season only 1 month away, this job will keep Sam busy for a while.

 

The Great Pemberton Bike and Train Race

             February 23rd  2002          

Saturday 23rd February was the day of the Pemberton Cyclist versus the Train Race.

The day was fine and quite hot, but that didn't seem to deter many of our competitors who would be pushing the pedals from the Pemberton Community Centre to Lyall and back again. Any body who has been to Pemberton will know that the land around here is not exactly flat. Indeed most of the roads have some very steep hills. This would mean heavy going for the cyclists, mind you, the railway has its fair share of steep grades which will slow the train considerably.

The distance for the cyclists would be 60km in total, with train traveling 42km.

Volunteers - Simon and Gary came down from Perth for the weekend to help out Neil and Rudi with the running of this train.

Y1115 and train await departure at the Mill Hall The consist is AYB 458, AYE 708, AYB 459 and Z 538. Very rarely do we operate this sort of train with a diesel. The Z van is to carry competitors bikes going 1 way by train to Lyall and riding back to Pemby

The train departed from and returned to the Pemberton Mill Hall where the rail access into the sawmill crosses the main road, the closest we could get to the race starting point.

This required one of the train crew to cycle from the start point, to the train and then on return, once again cycle down to the finishing line. This was fulfilled by Neil.

Traveling through the forest

A reasonable crowd of passengers arrived to travel on the train and had a good time. The cyclist's were of course required to stop for the train at all level crossings along the course of the race, giving those traveling on the train, the chance to cheer the cyclists on.

Neil climbs aboard his bike to ride to the finishing line

Start time for the race was 11.15 am with novice riders and the train starting first followed by professionals about half an hour later. The train departed at 11.20 am upon arrival of our driver from the start line and returned at 1.28 pm.

Race Train Crew after the race

From left : Simon, Garry, Neil and Rudi

We managed to get 8th place, being beaten by some of the professional cyclists

A great day was had by all.

February 19th, 20th, 21st 2002

Leaving the Shed at around 4:00 pm on Tuesday 19th, Ian and Sam commenced working Ballast Regulator - TMB 12 north from Pemberton towards Lyall, ploughing and Brooming  the line. Eastbrook was reached around 7.30 pm and here the machine was shutdown for the night. An Early Start was had at around 5.30 am on the 20th with the machine being worked through to Lyall arriving at 10.45 am.

The return towards Pemberton had more emphasis on brooming of the line.

Nightfall found TMB 12 at the 166km peg just north of Browns Rd crossing # 1. With only a short distance to Pemberton remaining, Ian and Sam returned to the yard for the Night .

At 8.45 am TMB 12, again set out to the 166 km to finish the job, returning at 11:00 am.

It is amazing how good the line looks after a good brooming.

 

Ian and Sam didn't look so good though. Covered in dust from head to toe.

When the machine is working, the amount of dust that is thrown up is unbelievable.

All you can see coming towards you is a big cloud of brown dust with no sign of the machine hiding in the middle.

A strong breeze was one of the few times you could see the machine.

 

I have some photos of the machine working which I will put here

but you will have to wait for processing.

Unfortunately these photos  won't be available as I have lost my camera.

26th January - Australia Day

PTCo webmaster and volunteer Rudi made the trek up to Bunbury to travel from Picton Intermodal Yard up to Perth on the HVTR "Sky show Train".

Sky show was a good reason to go and it is not very often you can travel on a real train (C class & 10 coaches makes a good looking train) from Bunbury to Perth and back.

Stops were made at Brunswick, Harvey, Waroona & Pinjarra with the train running on time, without any layovers in crossing loops along the way.

A great time was had by all on board.

No traffic jams to worry about and a relaxing way to enjoy Sky show.

Those of you who live along the Southwest Mainline should make the effort and travel on this train next year.

14th January 2002.

 Just completed, and uploaded, new website

- Looks great, Neil did a good job!


Tel: +61 8 97761322

Email: pemtram@wn.com.au