The Unloading Saga – Part A
A little later than I had anticipated, but now I continue the story of the delivery of my overhauled rollingstock from Goulburn to Junee for Pete’s Hobby Railway.
In the previous Progress Report, I made mention that, because of the rather damp conditions at Junee, it was jointly considered that it would not be possible to place Mario’s loaded semi against the pig-stied unloading ramp. Thus the Ruston diesel could not be used to unload the other items and so alternatives had to be considered. Mario’s suggestion was that we should construct an unloading ramp on a hard surface at his Coolac site where the two locos and carriage would be stored until my grounds dried out and a hired vehicle could bring the three vehicles over to my place. I was not altogether happy with this, so we looked at simply making one move with the loaded semi by backing it in from the street and unloading with the aid of the local 20-ton capacity Coles crane. It was felt that the ground could stand this move. T-Line Steel came to the party and as their crane had no immediate bookings, were happy to bring the crane over on the day before (ie, Thursday morning 30/6) and place it ready for the unloading. The ground leading from the road to the pig-stied track had no difficulty in supporting the crane.
As detailed in Progress Report No. 11, the two locos and carriage were loaded at Goulburn on Thursday afternoon, then shortly after 1700 hours, Mario set off, initially bound for Junee. As the rain set in, he decided to head for an overnight stay at Coolac, then make the final part of the journey the following morning.
The coverage of the unloading, etc., has been broken into two Reports, so as to include a few more photos.
2016-3050A: Arrangements had been made for a morning photo-shoot in the Junee station forecourt – except that there was no sun, only heavy cloud and rather damp conditions! I have had to enhance this record photo accordingly (hence the “A” in my photo catalogue numbering system).
2016-3063: The overnight rains had turned the truck access route into a sponge, meaning that the four driving wheels immediately lost traction as Mario tried to back into the unloading site. Attempts were made to drag the vehicle in using our on-site bulldozer (as in this image), but that was not successful. Our worksite crane (not the hired crane) was brought down, the back end was tied to a suitable tree while the lifting hook was attached to Mario’s vehicle. Between the bulldozer and the crane, we were able to get the truck into a suitable unloading point – luckily!!!
2016-3066: I now advised T-Line that we were ready to unload. Their staff duly arrived, only to find that the crane’s battery had gone flat! Once this problem was resolved, it became possible for the crane to build/place the various support bases and finally, at around 1100 hours, the first lift commenced.
2016-3069: Within a few minutes, the converted passenger carriage was on the rails and we see Ben pushing it down the track towards its three brethren.
2016-3071: Twenty minutes later, it was the turn of the Ruston diesel to be unloaded
2016-3076: The Ruston didn’t roll very far, so after a check of the available fuel supply and a quick overall inspection, Ben placed the reversing lever into neutral and pressed the starter button. While the motor turned over, there was a marked reluctance for the engine to start firing, but eventually it did, and so Ben became the first person to drive a locomotive on Pete’s Hobby Railway.
Progress Report No. 12B will continue the unloading coverage.
Pete’s Hobby Railway