Re: 50 years of LRRSA

Roderick Smith

I am back from a boating week, so the series resumes at the correct progress date.
On Sat.1.3.69, from Cheetham Geelong the group moved to Belmont Common Railway. This was a preservation group based on the surviving equipment from the Fyansford - Batesford 1067 mm gauge line, built to haul limestone for cement making, but by then superseded by a conveyor belt.
Today BCR survives as Bellarine Peninsula Railway, on the regauged Drysdale - Queenscliff former VR line; the Fyansford cement factory has been closed and demolished.

In today's four photos, I can recognise only Ralph Cleary (busy filming on the wagon). I suspect that all of the younger people were either general public, sharing the operating session with our VRLRRs/LRRSA group, or were associates of BCR.

The driver was John Scott. He was pushing the dead Vulcan, using the Hudswell Clark, past a photoline; he misjudged the braking needed.

On a later occasion he gave me my first lesson in handling steam power. The most important lesson to learn is keeping up the water level in the boiler (ahead of proper lubrication, ahead of maintaining sufficient steam for the train to move). I still recall these lessons when aboard paddlesteamers, although these normally use feedwater pumps rather than injectors.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

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