08 September 2012

In a ditch

Yes it has been a pretty long time between posts, but it hasn't all been idle time.  As other things in life have taken precedence (at least for a while), my opportunities to discover the precise dates of the erection of Eumungerie's silos have been limited.  

In the few opportunities that have presented, I have searched vainly to discover the smoking gun.  There seems to be none.  The Commissioners' annual reports for the relevant period in the 1930s disclose no evidence for either a 1932 construction, or a slightly later date.  

So, as I find myself in a right hole in relation to grain transport at the moment, I think its time to take a quick peak at a culvert.

Culverts are pretty essential on the Coonamble line, which sees its fair proportion of floods.  Most of these occur north of Gilgandra, where the Castlereagh parallels the railway. Eumungerie too is relatively flood-prone, for a central-western NSW location, as the Drilliwarrina Creek has shallow banks which are less than a kilometre to the west of the railway yard.

At the north end of the yard there is a culvert which stands to this day.  In 1977 the railway bridged the gap in a pretty standard way - large timber beams building up from a concrete and stone base.

Even well constructed culverts need renewal at times, and so it was in the late 1980s.  The newly reinstalled culvert took a different approach - 'sledding' a timber sleeper longitudinally to bridge the gap as a support to the railway sleepers.

Must get out there soon to see how the gap is bridged in the 21st century!


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