VIC: Bogong Creek Tramway

Steamfreak <steamfreak@...>

Hi all,

I took a pleasant stroll along the Bogong Creek Tramway yesterday. I began
at the Clover Arboretum (near Clover Power Station on the Falls Creek Rd)
and headed down the Little Arthur Fire Trail down to the East Kiewa River
and up to the start (end?) of the aqueduct. At the rail depot/shed there
were a variety of rail vehicles, including a shed on rails, a locomotive of
some sort, a flat car sitting on two hinged underframes, and a passenger
trolley on the shed. Most of the wagons seemed to be built on the same type
of Robert Hudson underframes.

The aqueduct itself is currently out of order due to a number of recent
landslips blocking it, but the tramway is intact and has seen recent use. I
wandered along the line, looks like all wooden sleepers have been replaced
with steel ones, except for under some sets of points. The steel sleepers
are stamped Trak-Lok 25-03-03 and are punched for presumably 2' track as
well as 3'.

It was a most pleasant walk, with a couple of sidings along the way, one
featuring a couple of side-tip cocopans (is that the right term for these?)
and a couple of tankers. The cocopans had Robert Hudson builders plates
too. One corner featured a rather large black snake warming itself
partially under the end of one of the steel sleepers.

About 6km along the aqueduct I reached the Big River Fire Trail and stopped
for lunch. In the siding sat a rustin' Ruston locomotive and a wide flat
car loaded with sleepers. The Ruston appeared to be in working order. At
that point, the aqueduct was closed off by a big gate and fence with sign
saying "Danger - Death or Worse" or words to that effect. This was
disappointing as I had wanted to go right up to Bogong Creek. The "Keep
Out" signs seem to be honoured more in the breach than in the observance,
judging by the well worn foot track through the barbed wire fence.

I had met a walking party earlier who had walked down from the High Plains
and come right along the aqueduct, and they said there were major landslides
along the section to Bogong Creek that had brought down trees and at one
point destroyed a tramway bridge. This landslide is visible on Google Earth
so it is not new, but they said there were a number of recent large
landslides too.

Anyway, not to be deterred, I detoured up the Big River Fire Trail for
another 6km or so to reach the East Kiewa Fire Trail, and headed down there
to Bogong Creek. An impromptu spa bath under a waterfall was most pleasant
after the hot walk. The East Kiewa Fire Trail is impassable at that point,
being gouged out to a depth of 1-2m for a width of 20m or so due to the
torrent that had recently come down the mountain. Any intake infrastructure
that existed there on the aqueduct is now no longer either, just a wide
expanse of washed up river rocks. There is still a concrete intake gate and
hut, but it is high and dry and half full of rocks. The aqueduct is in a
pipe there and the tramway doesn't appear to extend that far along. Return
to Clover Power Station was via Big River Fire Trail and a short walk back
along the Falls Creek Rd. Total distance around 20km.

A most interesting walk in any case, the scenery along that tramway is
spectacular to say the least, and would be more so in winter. My original
reason for heading up there was to scope out some possible routes up Mt.
Bogong for a ski trip this winter, so I will be back there in the colder
months to view the scenery again!

Photos here:


Trevor Staats.

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