Monday, June 28, 2010

Tramway at Sunny Corner

Some of you may know that over the last two years I have been doing some work on the former Sunny Corner mining site. Last week I was on site doing some archaeological recording prior to remediation works. While recording the lower edge of the earthworks forming the Open Roasting Pit (where the ore was roasted to make it more suitable for smelting) I came across these remains.

Sc Tramway 1 (yes that is the correct slope!)

Care full examination revealed these to be two timbers held apart by metal rod on top of a metal frame with a bit of rail that again keeps the rails apart at a set gauge.

Sc Tramway 2

Here is a detail of the metal frame with the rail “in situ”.

Not much is known about how the open roasting pits worked but from the remains it seems that a small tramway network was used to move the ore and presumably firewood around.

Not much has survived since c1889 when the Mine closed. Presumably all the good bits were salvaged for reuse elsewhere while these pieces were thrown over the edge to rust.

Because I had a sub-metre GPS with me, I can tell you that the remains are located at

Northing    6303672.578
Easting    769197.279

GPS_Height    1095.101

I imagine that this form of tramway construction would have allowed the easy realignment of the tramway during the process of roasting the ore.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gems from the Epping Model Railway Exhibition (12th June 2010)

SDS Models released a 3 pack of MC Cattle wagons at the Epping exhibition. These were introduced from 1974 when the Victorian Railways trialled several WAGR 20' cattle containers. This trial was successful and the Railways placed an order for 50 MC Cattle containers with Loadmaster at Woodend. The versatility of this design meant the cattle containers could be loaded individually onto four wheeled flat wagons like KQ and KMQ or loaded in threes on longer FQF bogie flat wagons. From my perspective this versatility is what attracted me to the models as they could mix in with my SEM “M” wagons on a branch line.

Photos of the newly released Mc Cattle container by SDS

Side view (above), corner and roof (below().

Photos of the newly released Mc Cattle container by SDSPhotos of the newly released Mc Cattle container by SDS

They are quite light at 6g. You can slip a modellers knife in the slides and remove the bottom to add weight/cattle. A bit of weathering and they are good to go.

Team Alistair pounds the pavement!

MS Walk a serious dog

Yes, we did the MS –Walk on the 6th. Fortunately the threatened rain only emerged in the afternoon well after we had go home. Team Alistair consisted on myself, Jane, cousin Nic and his wife Jude and sister in law Margaret and her daughter Lou and of course our very own Alistair.

Ms Walk Iain and Al Here is Alistair encouraging the team to get a move on!

MS Walk Nic and Al Nic and Alistair celebrating the end of the Walk.

My GPS said we’d done just over11 km, not bad for a 9km walk! More importantly MS-Australia got over $3000 from Team Alistair.

The services that MS-Australia supply, such as lots of advice, for  the newly diagnosed, for families and on on-going research (every few months a “cure” is reported and these are often explained in realistic terms by MS Australia’s doctors) are really important to MS sufferers.

I remember being told that when Dad was diagnosed there really wasn't any support and he was left to stoically suffer as befitted someone with an “incurable” disease. Nowadays there is so much more in the way of support and guidance from initial diagnosis to support for various therapies and  living with MS.

So to all who supported Team Alistair – a big thank you, it’s a great cause you have supported!