Kilcunda - 1988
Part 3 - We run head-on into the razor gang ...
Some stills from the RT1 video
Click on any thumbnail for a larger version
|And then it happened. As we drove back up the line towards the cutting, we ran into some contract rail wreckers! Rex stopped Dino, jumped out and ran up, asking "You got any more of those great wheels? Been looking for a set of those for months. Any chance of doing a swap?"|
"Aw, I really don't think so."
"Drat ... thought you'd say that. Hey - how much are they getting for this rail when they do sell it?"
"About $2 a foot, so they say. The Japs melt it down and make cars out of it."
|While Rex was distracting them, I took a sneak shot of their handywork ...|
|"The old right-of-way is too far gone now anyway. See how close it is to the beach? Too much erosion ..."|
|Must admit, those trolley wheels were a bit more business-like than poor little Dino's overhead-crane wheels. Still, they'd cost us nothing and they did the job. In any case, with full sized wheels, we probably never would have managed to fit everything into Rex's ambulance.|
|They told us that the real action was going on just over the hill and through the cutting. So off we went to take a squizz (now you're wondering how we got Dino past their oxy-trolley, hmmm?)|
|As we came down the grade on the far side of the cutting, there it was - a scene to break anyone's heart in two. Machines of destruction hard at work. Now here was some real wrecking.|
|This was the main tooth-puller - preparing to take another bite out of our lovely track ...|
|... after which it would swing around and dump its next trophy onto a flat-bed truck. You can just see Dino up the hill watching with total horror ...|
|Then they'd just nudge the rail truck a few metres further up the track and swing back around to start on the next section. Lucky for them that these 80 year-old old lines were always constructed out of such short (10 metre) lengths.|
|There's a 4 1/2 minute mpeg of this activity, BTW. This is how the action looked anyway. The big dinosaur thingee would just rip the next piece of track off its sleepers, and swing it up and around ...|
|... until it was positioned nicely over the flatcar ...|
|... then put it down nicely ...|
|... and then swing back and repeat the whole process for the other half.|
|The guy controlling this beastee really knew his stuff of course ...|
|The rails generally couldn't just be "picked up" - they had to be "worried" and dragged from side to side until the pins into the sleeper finally gave way ...|
|... and only then could they finally lift them. So it was just a slow, steady process.|
|They were rather intrigued by Dino though, and apologised for deleting his little track. Rex was somewhat taken aback by this, and promptly offered them all a joy ride in Dino. Two of them accepted, and went hooning off up the hill ... and over the tressle bridge (much to their horror).|
|Then Rex wanted a "go" at driving the rail-eater. But it was getting dark and I think they wanted to knock off and go home ...|
|... so slowly and sadly, we took our final run back up towards the cutting.|
|Much to our surprise, the oxy-team were still at it. As you see in this shot, they'd reached our sand dune, and now had to dig their way down to reach the fish-plates.|
|We left them hacking their way through plate after plate ...|
... and drove Dino toward the setting sun (sniff), and his last-ever run
across the great tressle bridge of Kilcunda.
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One year later - the Orbost to Nowa Nowa run
Short MPEG movie extracts