As covered in Progress Report No. 37 of 14/11/2017, construction works commenced on Thursday 9th November, with a hired-in bob-cat excavating for the concrete floor base of the waiting shed. At that time, it was anticipated that the waiting room would be completed in time for an official opening in conjunction with the 2018 Rhythm n Rail Festival, however this proved to be a little optimistic!
Image 2017.4961: The works commence with the bob-cat breaking up part of the platform for the base of the waiting shed. Thursday, 9th November 2017.
Once the formwork and a weldmesh base had been laid, it was time for the first of three building inspections by Council. Once received, it was time for the concrete to be poured and allowed to harden over several weeks. The subsequent progress is best covered with illustrations.
Image 2018.0058: With the concrete floor laid, Josh compacts the surrounding road-base. Monday, 5th February 2018.
Image 2018.0063: Later the same day, the building materials are delivered.
Image 2018.0172: The formwork for the western wall has been completed and will be bolted into position. Thursday, 22nd February 2018.
Image 2018.0256: With the formwork for all four sides in place, the foundations have been dug for the water tank which will take the draining from the shed roof. Tuesday, 27th February 2018.
Image 2018.0264: Later the same day, even I got dragged in to assist Josh as he measures for the correct levels for the bricks at the base of the proposed water tank.
Image 2018.0271: A hired-in Dingo for the weekend makes the boring of holes for the platform fencing a somewhat easier job! Saturday 3rd March 2018.
Image 2018.0292: Some weeks later than anticipated, our galvanised iron water tank is delivered from Melbourne… note that all other tanks are plastic! Heritage must be followed! The first uprights for the platform fencing are now in place. Tuesday, 6th March 2018.
Image 2018.0311: Considerable timber had to be cut to size using a drop-saw set up on the platform. Good weather conditions allowed this work to proceed uninterrupted, except for the times when Josh had paid work elsewhere to undertake. Wednesday, 7th March 2018.
Image 2018.540: Interior view of the commercially hand-crafted window. Thursday, 5th April 2018.
Image 2018.0541: Each of the side timbers had to be cut so as to overlap. Thursday, 5th April 2018.
Image 2018.0545: The structure now looks like a waiting shed, but there is still much to be done. Monday, 9th April 2018.
Image 2018.0547: The wall panels had to be carefully cut around the supports for the awning. Observe how the awing supports have been dressed so as to smooth the otherwise sharp edges – replicating the originals. Monday, 9th April 2018.
Image 2018.0550: Placing the side timber panels for the awning. Note the string line to ensure the bottoms of the timbers are all in line! Thursday, 19th April 2018.
Image 2018.0784: Construction proceeded at a steady pace, although because of the fineries of some of the timberwork, progress was not obvious. Tuesday 8th May saw Josh giving the timber a spray covering of white undercoat.
Image 2018-0790: Then it was time to mix/stir the “light coffee” paint for the external walls. Only the best paint – Dulux Weathershield Low Sheen. Wednesday, 9th May 2018.
Image 2018.0792: Josh admires his ghostly undercoat before applying the first of the final coats.
Image 2018.0803: That’s me, “supervising” the spraying-painting of the initial coat of “coffee”. Wednesday, 9th May 2018.
Image 2018-0989: Time for Josh to turn his attention to the brickwork for the base for the water tank. Saturday, 2nd June 2018.
Image 2018.0995: Followed by the actual timber base for the tank. Ant caps included! Monday, 4th June 2018.
Image 2018.0999: The water tank is now in place and the roof gutter installed. Note the temporary downpipe, just in case it did rain before the piping to the tank was completed! Internal painting and fitting out of the shed was still to be undertaken. Monday, 4th June 2018.
Image 2018.1402: Installing the bench seat and supports. Friday, 22nd June 2018. Only a week to the official opening!
Image 2018.1405: I just had to test the seating, even prior to final painting. Friday, 22nd June 2018.
Image 2018.1551: We made it, just in time! The Hunslet passing the completed structure. Note the “Stopping of Trains” signage and green banner (both genuine!) for intending passengers to indicate to the driver that they wish to board. The cameraman from the local WIN television station is getting the coverage from aboard the Hunslet. Official opening day, Saturday 30th June 2018.
The official date of completion of the structure could be said to be Tuesday 10th July when Council’s Building Inspectors undertook the final Inspection and issued me with an Occupation Certificate for a “replica heritage railway platform & waiting room”. While practically completed, as is usual there are a number of minor items to be completed and/or installed, both to the waiting shed and the platform precinct. As these are undertaken, they will be covered in future Progress Reports.
It gives me considerable pleasure to congratulate Josh on the standard of the works undertaken – despite his young age, he is certainly a “master heritage craftsman”. Pete’s Hobby Railway now boasts a replica 1914 waiting shed, but still complying with the higher building standards of a century later. It certainly makes to the platform precinct look more complete and a pleasing sight to the passing public “train-spotters” as well as the volunteers and my friends who are now able to make use of this latest amenity.
I am also very, very grateful for the time that he has put into the project voluntarily. His endeavours have been recorded by the placing of a plaque within the building, unveiled by Steph Cooke MP, the Member for Cootamundra, on Saturday, 30th June – being covered in detail in the next Progress Report, No. 44.
This article forms part of a series about the building of the Unattended Waiting Shed on Loftus Platform at Pete’s Hobby Railway.
The rest of the series can be found at;
Progress Report 37:
Platform Waiting Room Construction Works Commence (Plus Updates)
Progress Report 42:
Waiting Shed for Loftus — What type of Building?
Progress Report 43:
Waiting Shed for Loftus — the Construction [This article]
Progress Report 44:
Waiting Shed for Loftus — Official Opening