Orbost to Nowa Nowa by Rail - 1989/1990 - part 3 (final)


Stills from the RT3 video
An hour or so later, a hastily improvised soldering iron got the electronics repaired (we'd forgotten to bring the iron with us, so Rex had to improvise one out of a screwdriver and some iron wire).
Then, after finally forcing our way through the rest of the undergrowth, we suddenly found ourselves running across this impressive tressle bridge.
Then we were on our way again. A few sections of track were "built up", of course, and you'd find yourself looking down on the countryside. Then you'd find yourself running through the odd cutting, such as this one.
Then we came across a real tressle bridge - the Stoney Creek bridge.

In fact, this shot was taken about halfway across, so it doesn't really do it justice (I'll try and find a better one at some stage).

Looking over the side may give some idea of the length and height of the structure. Certainly shows what was possible when old growth hardwood forests were still readily available for structural timber at a reasonable cost. That river's a long way down, and the other end of the bridge is out of sight around the corner.
A shot of the other end, taken from the picnic ground.
As with much of the film work on this trip, it was spoilt by the lack of sunlight - most of the time it was overcast and grey. This causes low colour saturation, poor depth of field, and bad silhouette effects like this.

Here's the train coming off the other side (nearest to Nowa Nowa). By this time, a couple of groups who'd stopped off for some lunch down in the roadside picnic ground were heading up to see what the heck was going on.
Here's some of them (well- this is their kids, actually).

Their first question was "what is it?". Their second question was "Are you really allowed to do this?" I shan't repeat Rex's answer to that one.

Once these formalities were out of the way, we finally unpacked the "Primus" (TM) and made our own way down to the roadside picnic ground for spot of lunch. That Anna (my wife) on the left, Rex's girlfriend (Loraine) in the centre, and Rex on the right.
And of course, once the word spread around in the picnic ground that no real trains had run on the track for over 4 years, a few of the more adventurous types clambered up to the track and indulged in a spectacular walk of their own across the bridge.
This sign on the edge of the picnic ground gives a brief history of the bridge. It talks about it being "one of the longest and highest in use by the Victorian Railways", and also that "a bad derailment in 1962 resulted in a number of trucks falling over the side". It also mentions that the bridge is constructed out of local timber (which is reasonably obvious if you stop to think about it).
Anyway, we finished lunch, packed away the "Primus" stove, and gave the train a drink in readiness for running down the last section into Nowa Nowa.
Then we were off again. The offspring had been bundled into the car at this stage, as this last section into Nowa Nowa was a complete unknown, and in any case, the regular sections like this where the forest was reclaiming its own were creating a lot of flying debris in the air as we hit them, and both kids were now complaining of sore eyes.
The one nice thing about trains is not having to steer, or worry too much about where you're going. We also tended to spend a lot of time watching armature current, field voltages, and sweeping the leaves and debris off the floor. Rex was also a little concerned about the $2 engine (the small one), which was showing a tendency to "coke up".
A couple of hours later (about 4:30), we finally made it into Nowa Nowa. The yard turned out to be completely overgrown with low-lying surface weed, and to get through, Rex gave the loco a fixed torque setting so we could jump out and push. (Yes - the track is under there) The wheels were spinning quite happily, but there was insufficient traction with the track being so greasy with the mashed-up weeds.
After finally mashing our way through the yards and running under a relatively new road bridge, we approached another bridge over a small river. By now we could see the Nowa Nowa caravan park on the opposite side.
This bridge was a bit of a hybrid, with timber supports at each end, but steel and concrete in the middle. I'd previously assumed that this was as a result of bushfire damage and a re-build, but apparently not - see comments by "B67" in this April 2005 Railpage discussion.
This angle gives a slightly better idea of the hybrid nature of the bridge. The rocky river (apparently called Boggy River) is just out of sight at the very bottom.
Anyway, that was about it for the day, really. We'd made it into Nowa Nowa, so our goal was achieved. This shot just shows the caravan park over there to the left, by the way.

We did chat to a few interested locals later on (which I won't attempt to show here, although I may include an MPEG later).

Then we turned around and headed off home.
Rex had brought his little Sony 8mm CamCorder as well, and Loraine (his English girlfriend) took a few shots of me on the way back as well. Here, she'd just been sprung in the act. So ...
... at that point, I swapped places with them, climbing into the loco whilst they clambered back into the little boxcar. The train wasn't stopped for any of this of course - we had a schedule to run to ... and dinners to cook, once we got back to Orbost.
And that's we leave this little sojourn (I think that will be quite enough for now).

MPEG movie extracts ...


Some Tech Notes

These shots are just some "grabs" of approximately 12 hours total of 8mm video tape that I shot around this time on various trips out into "the sticks" with Rex, his Dad, Loraine (Rex's girlfriend at this time, and now his wife), Anna (my wife) and our two kids, and even Rex's Mum on one occasion.

The camera used was an early (1984/85) Sony CCD - the old Video 8AF. At this time (1985) when I was looking around for something to replace my Bolex 16mm movie camera, Rex assured me that CCD and 8mm was the only way to go. (This was at a time when everyone else was still buying their JVC VHS tube vomit camera's).

I remain forever in his debt for this expert advice. Rex and I are both quite heavily "into" electronics, but whereas my area of interest was audio, Ham Radio (VK3AML) and circuit theory in general, Rex was very much into television and power control systems. So I knew his advice would be worth following.

The actual "grabs" you see here have only been done using the "video in" socket of the Asus V3400 TNT video card on my Windoze PC (which is networked via a LAN into one "side" of my (unix) web server). This display card has one variant that comes with a basic "video in" capability. I'm not even sure if it's picking up complete frames - they may be just single fields, ie: 311 lines instead of 623. (If I ever get rich, I'll buy a real grabber such as a DC30, DC10 or DC1000 or whatever.)


<- Clickety-Click here to go back to part 2 ... or go to the Kilcunda run (from one year earlier)


Related Sites

Loraine breeds beautiful Birman cats, and she's got a site here.

Railpage has lots of railway-related links

R. C. Wright and Associates Railway system monitoring (check out their image gallery)


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Last update to this page: Apr 10th, 2005 (correct refs re Boggy River bridge)