Orbost to Nowa Nowa by Rail - 1989/1990 - part 2



Stills from the RT3 video
Well, Rex pulled the string for the small motor, and off it went with no problems at all. (That's Rex's Dad standing at the back - and my 2 offspring sitting in the caboose - probably wondering what the heck was going on)
Rex then started the larger petrol engine using the main generator as a motor (via an old 12 volt battery). Some of the electronics is just visible on the right if you look closely (and use a lot of imagination :-)
Then it was "all aboard" and off we went - Rex driving (in the loco), my two kids in the carriage, and myself ... well, I hopped back and forth as I needed to since I was doing most of the filming.
The track was looking a little overgrown at this stage (probably not surprising after 4 years of neglect), but it was certainly still quite passable.
On the downhill sections, as you might be able to judge from this frame, we could get up to quite a good rate of knots.
Crossing roads was often a bit problematical - the tracks were usually buried under a good layer of dirt and gravel, but we took it slowly and "ground" our way across with no mishaps or derailments.
When this shot was taken, we'd already been across this one a number of times, so it was getting back to "normal" now.

A little further along, Rex suddenly slowed down to a stop and yelled "Have a look at this!".
The reptile was obviously enjoying the warmth of the track on what was a fairly mild sort of a day. But now what do we do?
"Well, I know what I'm doing", said Rex - and he promptly hopped across to the other side! (His 10k drive control pot was on a nice long lead, so this was no problem.) The snake finally became annoyed by the racket and slithered off behind us.
Further down the line adjacent to a timber mill, we came across another problem - a large pile of clay had been dumped across the right-hand rail from a new trench. Rex promptly whipped across to the mill and borrowed a couple of shovels. The whole mess took us about 45 minutes to clear.
Just past here (and still outside the mill) was a set of points for an old siding leading into the mill. Now, the train had never seen points before so this looked like fun. So across we went ...
And then suddenly the newly built carriage started making odd scraping noises, so we pulled up quickly and Rex jumped out to have a look.
This was the problem - a 3/8" bolt had sheared its thread as the carriage had "bottomed" going through the crossover (the X-shaped intersection). This was partly my fault, because I'd been standing in the corner of the carriage as we went through. Ah well ...
Anyway, Rex made some hasty repairs using some thick iron wire to replace the bolt while the rest of us took the opportunity to grab a sandwich and some coffee.
Then it was off again. Some bits of the track were still remarkably clear and gave us extended, high speed runs.
But of course, there were occasionally trees that had collapsed across the track. The smaller ones caused little delay, but when they were large, we had to stop, saw them into pieces and drag them out the way.
Then, close to the half-way point between Orbost and Nowa Nowa, we suddenly came across one section where it looked really grim. The underbrush seemed to have just taken over the track.
In the process of trying to force our way through this, we also managed to rip out a couple of wires in the unprotected "electronics", so we ended up with another unscheduled stop.

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Last update to this page: May 18th, 2002