"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Peterborough Railway Museum

The small SA town of Peterborough has a railway history probably unequaled in the world??? In the early days of railroads in Australia we embraced several rail line widths (gauges) the most common of which were defined as; Narrow, Standard, and Broad gauge.
Peterborough was established as the place where the trains using all 3 gauge lines would meet for maintenance, distribution of freight and passengers swapping from one line to another.
Rather than go about this in a slipshod method the railway commissioners of the day employed an American engineer by the name of Webb to design the necessary marshaling yards and workshop facilities, he did an excellent job with a turntable designed to move a locomotive to any of the 10 sheds in a "roundhouse" design on any of the 3 gauges in use.
In these service bays any necessary repairs or maintenance could be done either from pits below the loco or carriage or from raised ramps in other sheds, at the height of its use the Peterborough yards were handling up to 103 trains per week with all and any railway work done on site.

This old aerial view of the workshops and marshaling yard gives some idea of the size and complexity of the area

At the heart of this complex was the turntable which could distribute locos to any of the ten shed via the correct gauge lines that crisscrossed the yards.

This loco sits on a raised track and also has a pit beneath it so that work could be done from above or below it.

Another example of the servicing pit below a loco.

Some of the many display locomotives depicting early railway days.

Including a 1932 Morris sedan modified for rail use, transport for inspectors doing line checks or visiting dignitaries, seen behind is a small rail scooter for maintenance crews to use between jobs.

A fine example of a first class carriage built in 1920, complete with leather chairs and a piano.

With ornate pressed metal ceilings and high set leadlight windows this carriage was from 1907.

I hope you found something of interest here, there is a follow up on the modern "Indian Pacific" to come... stay tuned.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Beautiful banner at your site as well, I am reminded of some wall paintings by the Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, such as this one http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWNY4. You browse more murals of his at wahooart.com.