08 January 2019

From the 4th estate

I have accidentally just rediscovered a slew of newspaper clippings I have downloaded from Trove over the years. They show that a quiet country town can have its fair share of tragedy, natural disasters and entertaining moments over the years. Lets see if I can cover off a few of the rail-related ones.

The first noteworthy incident occurred prior to the official opening of the railway when, on 11 February 1902, a Mr William Carroll was struck by a train from Eumungerie.  The two reports (from the Sydney Morning Herald and Broken Hill's Barrier Miner respectively) differ in the circumstances of the accident. Unfortunately for Mr Carroll, the outcome was his demise later that day. Apologies for the gruesome reporting - it leaves little to the imagination.

In May of the same year drama occurred closer to Eumungerie when the special train returning patrons from the Dubbo show broke down.  The entire train returned to Dubbo to obtain another locomotive.

In 1915 a rail-related death in most unfortunate circumstances occurred when a telegraph linesman fell to his death after the pole he had climbed snapped. The telegraph line ran adjacent to the railway, and through the railway yard. Mr Prince went out in a seriously unlucky way.

It wasn't all death but gloom was no doubt widespread throughout the village in early June 1931 on the morning after the Eumungerie Hotel was destroyed by fire.

Perhaps gloom returned a couple of years later when the local church was also destroyed by fire.  I do think that perhaps the correspondent was having a lend of us by offering the only 'reasonable explanation' for the fire.  I personally can't think of a less reasonable explanation than the one proffered.

Getting back to the railway stuff, Mother Nature played havoc with the line's operation at times.  On at least five occasions it resulted in the Sydney Morning Herald reporting washaways along the line - in March 1914, December 1920, December 1929, November 1950 and August 1952.  All five reports are reproduced below. I think the people impacted by the 1929 washaway, who were put up overnight in the Eumungerie Hotel, probably got the roughest deal!





And now for the other dramas... it must have been a slow news day on 9 December 1933 as a minor derailment in Eumungerie yard was reported.

A potentially serious situation for the people involved in the following report in July 1935 has a fairly humourous backstory - the shadowy criminals at the centre of the story were most likely looking to tap beer barrels stored in Eumungerie yard.

The 'Mr Jones' in the preceding story is one of my paternal great-grandfathers. The other, 'Mr Hewitt', made the news for another effort in September of the next year.

I'll wrap up this post where it started - Dubbo - this time with a collision in Dubbo yard.  Hopefully the typeface is sufficiently legible to convey the circumstances of the accident, which caused another 'Mr Jones' to suffer a head injury.  Yes, another relative of your blogger, in this instance, a grandfather.

Until next time!


01 January 2019

Time for a change

Happy New Year!

I have only one (printable) New Year's Resolution for 2019 - and that is to take this blog in a marginally different direction. With the consent of my local Council's planning department, I aim to recreate Eumungerie's railway as it was in late 1968 in a yet-to-be-constructed shed on our new property.  And when I say 'recreate', it will be a 1/87th scale recreation.

Presently, the latest iteration of Coalbaggie Creek resides as a working diorama 250kms from home, thanks to the elder Jones. I suspect it may take the greater part of 2019 but perhaps this next shot can be reproduced... might even fix the signals!

I hope 2019 brings you whatever printable and unprintable resolutions you may have!


08 October 2018

50 years ago it did rain

Was just searching through a whole pile of railway photographs and was struck by the number from 1966 to 1975 taken in gloomy, rainy weather. Maybe photographers were tougher then, or the equipment was more susceptible to reflecting the local conditions.  I don't think it was the former because the photographer in this case couldn't be tempted off the front verandah of his grandmother's home.  

I have tried to lighten the photograph a little and clean it up a bit.  But it was a wet and soggy afternoon when this 49 (thought to be 08) trudged through Eumungerie on an up stocky.




22 May 2018

Candy abounds!

It has been several days since the Modelling the Railways of NSW 35th Convention, where I had the opportunity to co-present (read, evangelise) about the Coonamble branch.  If you were at the Convention and attended one of my sessions, thank you for not throwing anything at me, including hard questions. I frankly had a ball; listening to myself speak has always been one of my favourite past-times.  But now life will return to normal, which means blogging!

One of the drawbacks of presenting (perhaps the only drawback) is the reduced opportunity you have to attend other sessions.  I only got to one other session and it was on a subject which perplexes me to this day - signalling.  It was a beaut session and I can now confidently say that the signal in the photo below is a short one.

I think I promised to post a larger version of the photograph above showing the silo complex just too intimidating to climb or model.  And here is a going away shot of the same train...

Its late so I will wrap things here but before I do I will try to redress the dominance of Indian red locos on this blog - a fair comment by a patron last weekend.  Here's two photos, both from around 1985, of candy-liveried locos heading north through Eumungerie. First up, a pretty 4844 on a pretty standard empty wheatie.

I haven't shown enough photos of shy locos on this blog... so here's one of 4874 hiding behind a pole.


20 February 2018

Something to look forward to...

Folks, time for an announcement of sorts.

I haven't been totally lax about things Eumungerie. After taking stock of how this blog is travelling, I decided about 4 months ago additional measures are necessary in order to spread the gospel of the Coonamble line.  So, I did something I rarely do - volunteered for something.

And so it has come to pass that I will be one of the presenters at this year's Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention at Loftus TAFE on 19 May 2018.  The Convention is always a great day out and this year there are some brilliant topics listed (including Coonamble line) and some seriously august and knowledgeable presenters (excluding yours truly). 

As I was worried that I wouldn't have enough information to make a reasonable presentation, I have put together a few slides.  So far it works out to be a 138 slides over a 3 and a half hour presentation - excluding pauses for applause, of course. So I think I will have to cut things down a bit!

Anyway, details about the Convention are starting to be made public at: http://www.mrnsw.org.au/ - I hope that my many readers of this blog (including the Russians and Chinese government officials) will attend the Convention and say g'day to me, even if you choose other sessions. Just come to help me empty my wallet at the trade stands perhaps?  Several readers will have to be there as they seem to be on the speaker list.

I will endeavour to drop a few tasty morsels onto this blog as the Convention draws near.


26 January 2018

The Mail arrives!

Apologies, its been nearly a year without an update.  I do have a sense that this blog will be much more active this year though - probably in a couple of months after several things fall in place.

Your scribe's interest in this location is yet to wane - in fact its getting more intense. The best evidence of this is that there is a fabulously expensive house reno on the cars this year just so I can re-establish a HO layout covering Eumungerie in the garage... that will be more of a 2019 project however the layout is now reassembled and being upgraded.  This means that at some stage I will be posting a few snaps about the recreated Eumungerie, as well as few of bloody fingers from half-blunt Exacto knives etc.

In the meantime, here is a photo of Eumungerie which has only recently surfaced from our family photo collection.  I don't know who took it or when and its a bit over-exposed, but its a rich mine for anyone wishing to model Eumungerie (ie me):
  • The location of the station lamp is shown and its not where I thought it would be (near to the door).  
  • The colour of the weighing scales is not the one I remember or you see typically these days (red, not black).
  • The pub has done good business - the kilns and gas cylinder testify to the thirstiness of the town.
  • The woman on the platform is the local post-mistress (that was their title in those days) waiting to hand the guard some late mail as the train arrives. 
So, enjoy the arrival of the up Far West Express at Eumungerie!


17 April 2017

Moving trains at Eumungerie

It has been a while but my efforts are almost fully diverted to working out fast ways to slice videos into snippets for uploading onto Flickr. Along the way I have discovered two more short videos of workings through Eumungerie.

The first comes from 1990 - 5 October to be precise. It shows a 48 class working the Up Goods to Dubbo.  The wagons are tarped - am guessing that there are bales of wool tucked up safely underneath those tarps.

This next video has 48143 and 4894 pulling out of Eumungerie on a down ballast on 21 January 1992.  As the locos accelerate, keen-eared listeners will hear commentary from Bill MacMillan, one of Eumungerie's stalwarts.  Bill's father was the first manager of the timber mill at Eumungerie - the enterprise which gave the nascent village purpose and permanency in the first years of the 19th century. The other voice you here is the Senior Train Hunter (Bill's nephew) trying to hold old Bill at bay with as few words as possible!

Enjoy! Back to the serious stuff later.