It was during our Rhythm n Rail operating weekend earlier this year that Scott Kirkwood, a friend of one of our regular volunteers, offered to take an aerial photograph of Pete’s Hobby Railway using his drone. The end result was most impressive and will certainly explain better than my waffling-on, the construction stage that had been reached at that time with Pete’s Hobby Railway. My sincere thanks to Scott for taking the photo and sharing it with us. It forms the only image* attached to this Report – for which Nicholas, PHR’s Events Co-ordinator and Webmaster, will doubtless be most grateful*.
The Gods were kind to us on this day, allowing Scott to take the photo under perfect sunny weather conditions.
For those not familiar with the layout of Pete’s Hobby Railway, the street frontage is at the top of the image, as is the north-point. To the right is east, the bottom is south and the left hand side is west. Immediately beyond the east-west row of trees to the south marks my rear boundary with my adjacent neighbour in the next street.
In the mid-point of the street alignment and casting a shadow over the rail track are two large Kurrajong trees, on either side of the driveway leading to my humble abode. Immediately to the left of the Kurrajong trees is Loftus platform on which is the waiting shed, then under construction.
In the upper centre, to the west (left in the photo) of the driveway and on an isolated section of track, in order, are the Perry locomotive, the tender from the Fowler locomotive, the Fowler itself and finally a small four-wheel side-tipping wagon.
Just down from the bottom right hand corner is our fuel shed containing our small supply of coal and timber, while adjacent is the Hunslet steam locomotive. A few metres further on, the three passenger carriages and the Ruston diesel can be made out before the rail track disappears under the trees into what we have called, the Avenue of Honour. At the time this photo was taken, the track ended about two train lengths further on, adjacent to the small square building to the left of a larger double garage currently used for storage purposes.
Returning to Loftus platform, if one follows the rail track in the westerly direction, turning south on a low embankment adjacent to the side boundary fence before swinging east, then north-east to cross my driveway for a second time… in doing so, passing under two clumps of tress which provide excellent framed photo locations. This curve, leading from the western fence line, is currently the sharpest radius on PHR at 17 metres. There are proposals for this curve to be eased back to 20 metres, but as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. In the meantime, the Hunslet can negotiate this curve without too much objection.
Immediately after passing through what I call the front “house lawn”, there is another pinch of a sharp curve –- for which there are easing plans… again, at some time in the future. As the line swings in a gradual semi-circle, it briefly parallels the eastern portion of itself at the same height and provides a future possibility for points to allow trains to reverse direction. The little red blob at the then-current end of the track is “Torpedo 2”, the hand-operated fettler’s trike.
Beyond this point, between the rear of my house and the back garage is “no man’s land”… the Council approved site for my locomotive and rolling stock storage shed. This will be the next major project for PHR and hopefully will be completed within the next twelve months. As I write this Report, preliminary site works have already commenced.
The latest map of Pete’s Hobby Railways current layout can always be found on our About Page.
[* A note from Nicholas: I was grateful, until _I_ decided to crop Scott’s photo in order to cut the neighbours properties out; Then I ROTATED the image so it had the same orientation to our map of the property – Both now have the FRONT boundary of the property, which is the northern boundary, at the TOP of the images. I then had to carefully edit Peter’s hard work to change the descriptions of where items where. _I_ also added the current map to the article, to help give a clearer perspective.]