Progress Report 14

Adverse weather conditions continue to preclude any construction work on Pete’s Hobby Railway. There has been continuing rain or steady showers for the past six to eight weeks, with only a couple of days of cool sunshine – not enough to dry out the ground which in many places is either waterlogged or very spongey under-foot. Usually, it has been very cold overnight (around zero centigrade) while being outside during daytime in temperatures of just above 10 degrees is not inviting! The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting wetter than normal conditions will be continuing through July to September, and it certainly looks like it. Once it does stop raining, it will be some time before my ground dries out sufficiently for construction works to be commenced. In the meantime, the overhauled Hunslet steam and Ruston diesel locos remain tarped up against the weather.

Junee’s local “Southern Cross” newspaper did include an illustrated write-up on the Railway, a little different to what appeared earlier in the “Wagga Daily Advertiser”. Attached is the print-version, as it appeared in the issue of Thursday, 14/7/2016.

I was contacted by the local Prime-7 television news on Tuesday 19/7 who wished to interview me and film the railway for the evening local news. Apparently, Prime-7 had only just become aware of Junee Shire Council’s approval on 28/6 of my Development Application for Pete’s Hobby Railway or had seen the write-up in the “Wagga Daily Advertiser”. Because of the continuing adverse weather conditions and the fact that the locos were now wrapped-up, I attempted to put off any news coverage, at least until the weather improved. It must have been a very slow local news day, because next morning I was again contacted and could they come up in an hour or so! There had been a slight break from the showers, so reluctantly I agreed.

An urgent call went out to Ben to be at my place by 1030 hours and in the meantime, I commenced to unwrap the Ruston diesel loco. Undoing the many wet ropes holding the tarpaulin down was not easy and at times I had to make use of a knife.

Prime-7 arrived at around the same time as did Ben – with the further assistance of Nick and Rhys, who completed the unwrapping of the Ruston and then the Hunslet steam loco … the last stage of which were captured by Prime-7 cameraman Chris. I was interviewed by the local reporter Catlin Dugan, sitting in the refurbished passenger brake carriage, and then while driving the Ruston up and down the few metres of available track. Ben then took over the controls of the Ruston while I climbed into the Hunslet, providing further sequences of both locos “in action”. The recording finished with Catlin standing in the Hunslet cab giving her spiel. Unlike my effort which was undertaken in a single shoot. Catlin required several goes before getting a satisfactory result. Prime-7 News expressed a desire to return once the railway was operating.

It must have been a really short local news day and the coverage of Pete’s Hobby Railway was heavily promoted for that evening’s Prime-7 Local News commencing at 1800 hours, both in the Wagga and Albury editions. It was even included as part of the headline news at the start of the Bulletin! The actual coverage went for about 1½ minutes. A link to the main report (but not the promotions, unfortunately) can be found on the Prime 7 website at the following link Local takes love of trains to the next level video.

At the conclusion of the exercise, Ben, Rhys and a later arrival, Dave, assisted in retarping both locos to protect them from the weather. During the following days, I received much favourable comment from Junee locals who had seen the Pete’s Hobby Railway coverage.

I was not able to take any photos of the morning’s activities myself, so I have relied on Ben and Rhys to record what took place. Four images have been attached.

Peter being interviewed by Catlin Dugan. Photo by Rhys Harrison

Peter being interviewed by Catlin Dugan. Photo by Rhys Harrison

1 – RH.1277 I am sitting in the refurbished passenger/guard’s carriage, being interviewed by Catlin Dugan, the Prime-7 News reporter, while Chris, the cameraman, is filming.

Peter in the Ruston, as filming takes place.  Photo by Ben O'Malley

Peter in the Ruston, as filming takes place. Photo by Ben O’Malley

2 – BEOM.8355 This time, I am in the Ruston as filming takes place.

Peter in Hunslet Cab, whilst Ben operates the Rusden. Photo by Rhys Harrison

Peter in Hunslet Cab, whilst Ben operates the Ruston. Photo by Rhys Harrison

3 – RH.1310 With Ben operating the Ruston, I am in the cab of the Hunslet, controlling movements with the hand brake.

Prime-7’s reporter, Catlin Dugan, wraps it up from the cab of the Hunslet. Photo by Ben O'Malley

Prime-7’s reporter, Catlin Dugan, wraps it up from the cab of the Hunslet. Photo by Ben O’Malley

4 – BEOM.8356 Prime-7’s reporter, Catlin Dugan, wraps it up from the cab of the Hunslet.

This Progress Report will shortly be added to the Pete’s Hobby Railway webpage, accessible at: Already, the webpage has had in excess of 3,000 hits – and again, I must thank Nicholas Pyers for setting up and maintaining this page.

That’s all for this Report. To fill in the gaps until construction work is able to commence, future Progress Reports will detail the works undertaken in the overhaul of the steam and diesel locomotives by K & H Ainsworth Engineering at Goulburn.

Pete’s Hobby Railway

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