Commencing last year, I arranged a public operating weekend for Pete’s Hobby Railway in conjunction with Junee’s annual Rhythm n Rail Festival, held over the second weekend in March. This operation is promoted as “train spotting at Pete’s Hobby Railway”, since the public can only view from outside the front fence. For the 2018 RnR, this involved an initial light-up on the Thursday, and more preparations on Friday 9th March, with public “train spotting” running on the Saturday and Sunday, 10/11th March.
It had been hoped that this year’s “train spotting” would have seen the completion and official opening of the 1915-era unattended platform waiting shed on my Loftus station, but alas – such was not to be, with completion still some time away.
Advice of the forthcoming Train Spotting was placed on the town’s Notice Board, while other details were also included in the RnR publicity and promotional materials.
As a preliminary, PHR Events Co-ordinator Nick had arranged for some advance publicity through the new “Wagga Weekly” good news newspaper, with the editor at large, Pennie Scott calling in on 2nd February to interview me.
My volunteer friends spent the days beforehand preparing the railway for the weekend’s operations, much of the activity being devoted into preparing my 1915 steam locomotive “Torpedo” for its two days of glory. Again, with Lachlan Valley Railway unable to supply a steam locomotive for main line activities (the “rail” in RnR), [Editor’s Insert: LVR provided Rhythm n Rail with a diesel locomotive hauling heritage carriages] it was left to Pete’s Hobby Railway to provide the “real thing”.
“Torpedo” had been partially stripped for some intended non-essential boiler work which for one reason or another, was not completed, so the loco had to be reassembled and made operational.
I had asked a young friend of mine from Sydney, who is undertaking a photographic course at college, if he would have a go at recording his photographic impressions of Pete’s Hobby Railway. Ultimately, I was provided with over 400 images, of which I have selected a small number for this Progress Report. Many thanks to Tristan; His efforts follow…
From daybreak on the Thursday, it was “all hands to the deck” to get “Torpedo” looking her best for the occasion. Not only did this include a complete wash and polish, all brass work received the appropriate attention with “Brasso” and cleaning cloths.
That’s all for this Progress Report. More shortly.