To be updated shortly
April – A working bee saw a cleaning up of the grass and weeds out the front of the depot, in the yard and a sweeping of the museum shed floor. Gutters on the shed were cleaned out with leaves and dirt removed. Fettler cottage work saw building repairs and ongoing upgrades carried out.
May – Buildings at Glenreagh West are in urgent need of repairs and maintenance. John has started repairs to the Ganger’s Shed that has been attacked by white ants. There are urgent repairs and re – painting of the Cottage needed with John and Stephen managing that project. Bill Harrison has been trying to sort and clean out the carriage workshop as well as all his other tasks. We are trying to finalise our lease of land within our rail corridor at Glenreagh West to NBN Co.. Costly training has been ongoing which will see some members undertaking working at heights courses in the coming months, so we can clean the gutters on the big shed at Glenreagh West and repair the Cottage.
September – Despite our lack of manpower the jobs that need to be done are being completed. The septic problem at the Glenreagh Cottage has been resolved with a new trench thanks to Burnett Plumbing. The next big project is the gutter and repainting of the cottage. We are in urgent need of $3,000 of funding to do this work and I am calling on members to dig deep. I have arranged some donated materials but without these funds the work will not happen. Please assist us in maintaining this important fettler’s cottage for the future use of all members.
February 2012 – GMR’s headquarters located at the Cottage at Glenreagh West is slowly taking shape. The Office is gradually being sorted and filing systems set up. A refurbished photocopier has been supplied by Geoff Hardacre from Coffs Harbour Office Choice at a very reasonable rental. This has been hooked up to the computer generously supplied by Bill Harrison. The internet has been connected with very good reception from the Optus tower located on GMR property. This allows Board Members located away from the area to attend Board meetings electronically. This hasproven to be very successful. The fence at the front entrance to the Cottage is almost complete thanks to a lot of hard work by Max Lloyd and his team. And whilst the yards have been cleaned up, we now need to establish gardens and keep the lawns mown.
May 2012 – We have to inform members that after a massive flood event we lost the Tallawudjah Creek Bridge with floodwater damaging the surrounding infrastructure. Any replacement will require major earthworks and a completely new bridge.
There has been a focus on Glenreagh West Depot this last couple of months to deal with a backlog of projects and preparing for the rolling stock move. Glenreagh Mountain Railway held its second week – long working bee at Glenreagh West Depot and one of the main tasks was getting the track ready for the moving of the S truck and Trams off our property. This entailed servicing all axle boxes and brakes for all rolling stock to be moved. The B frame points and throw over points had a complete service and some minor repairs, as they had not been fully serviced for some time. Bill, John, Eric and David were well covered with grease and a few grass ticks after the full day process.
It was great to see both sets of points working smoothly. As part of the moving of the rolling stock, Glenreagh West Depot had a huge clean up in the compound and the track was weed sprayed and brush cut. The excavator and slasher were transported down from Lowanna Depot to assist with rolling stock movement and we were busy clearing and tidying up. Before the excavator was sent back to Lowanna Depot the track and fire trails from the tip road to Orara Way were cleared as per the Fire Management Plan.
The cottage had a good clean with some windowsills painted and the front fence to the cottage had a coat of paint thanks to Gale and Olivia. The southern boundary fence is well on its way to being completed thanks to our fencing contractor Brian Little. Once this is completed, GMR will have that section of the property fully fenced. One of the old trams that belonged to Sydney Tramway Museum was removed, as it was right on the boundary fence line.
September 2012 – We have now prepared our application to allow us to re-commence restoration of our CPH railmotor and to begin an investigation into the state of 1919 and to carry out whatever necessary repairs are required. After Board approval, this application was submitted this month. As no rail safety is involved, we are hopeful of an early approval by ITSR.
On 31 August, tram 392, the last of the Sydney Tramway Museum’s trams located at Glenreagh West was successfully removed. This releases valuable covered storage that we need to protect our other major rolling stock assets, including the end platform cars and the MHG van. Unfortunately we are unable to move them until we submit an application to ITSR for an exemption to allow shunting within the Glenreagh West yard and receive their approval. We hope to begin preparation of that application towards the end of this year but realistically are unlikely to receive that approval until the first half of next year.
Negotiations have been ongoing between ourselves, our lawyers, Slater & Gordon and Aurecon (on behalf of NBN Co) to execute a mutually agreeable lease for an area adjacent to the existing Optus tower at Glenreagh West. We have now accepted a very satisfactory annual rental and an allowance for our legal costs that will provide GMR with a basic income to supplement the existing Optus annual rent. The other commercial terms of the lease are still being negotiated and we hope they will soon be finalised
Peter Rheinberger has still been hard at work since our last newsletter and has restored all the CPH’s mechanical seat components we have and is continuing with the identification of other components and investigating the design requirements for the coachwork. Through the efforts of Andrew Simpson, we have received some very useful drawings and diagrams from the Cooma Monaro Railway group which will assist us to identify all the components we have and what might be missing.
On August 29, Peter Rheinberger and Bill Harrison paid a visit to The Rail Motor Society at Paterson on one of their regular volunteer work days and were very warmly welcomed by Arthur Burgess, their president, and other members of their team. In particular, their Rolling Stock manager and their coach building expert provided us with a wealth of information and very useful advice that has given us an insight into the amount of work required and its complexity. They have also offered us other assistance in the future to the extent they are able to help. We are very grateful for the assistance and encouragement provided by both these experienced railmotor operators.
The Timber Festival was held on Saturday 28 July 2012 and our Glenreagh West depot was open for inspection and we also offered food and souvenirs. The Timber Festival was the biggest on record. GMR opened its doors for the two days resulting in a large influx of visitors. A steady stream of people from wide eyed kids to sentimental oldies who grew up with steam visited our displays. The experience was enhanced by steam train images and sounds together with a couple of Braziers giving off the scent of burning coal. It’s great to see that kids of all ages are still fascinated by steam trains. Special thanks should go to Colin Sambrook, Clare and the team for their efforts at these events and others in providing the catering and also to Maureen and Tessa for manning the souvenir stall. They are making a valuable contribution to our income.
The long saga of the tram removal finally came to an end. The use of the trams on the line was an experiment that created major concerns with the Regulator and GMR learnt some important lessons on how to identify safety issues. The last tram with associated equipment was removed from the compound with approval of the Rail Regulator and was done without any issues. GMR has paid the Sydney Tramway Museum the final $4,000 bond and all legal comments have been met. This draws to an end trams operating on the line.
Glenreagh Mountain Railway has a Fire Management Plan and as part of this plan we have undertaken major hazard reduction in and around both our Lowanna and Glenreagh Depots. These have led to fire breaks being slashed along the line keeping the grass mowed around our major assets.