Topics

Defence sites study

Stuart Thyer
 

I’m not aware if any fort sites ever had light railways within them for the transport of munitions, but if readers are aware of anything published in this area, it may be of interest to the researchers listed below.

East coast nineteenth century defence sites study
 
The Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) has been commissioned by the Department of Environment with a Protection of National Heritage Places grant to prepare two thematic papers relating to east coast nineteenth century defence sites.
 
The aim of the papers is to provide advice to the Australian Heritage Council. The work of preparing the papers has fallen to Associate Professor Don Garden, President of the FAHS. Don Garden is well known as a historian based in Victoria.
 
One paper is to be a general outline of nineteenth century defence issues in the eastern colonies, to provide context for understanding the extant fortifications.
 
The second paper is to examine the possibility of sites being advanced for the National Heritage List in Sydney and Melbourne.

 
The challenge of the project is gathering together information and reports from around Australia and Don Garden faces not only the tyranny of distance but also the frustration of having much of the literature on the defence sites being in unpublished reports to Government agencies (the so-called grey literature).
 
However, the positive outcome will be for the first time a national understanding of pre-colonial defence sites, their similarities and their differences and this will help determine those sites that meet the high significance thresholds to achieve National heritage listing.

 
Don Garden has written to the Royal Australian Historical Society to see if any affiliated societies may have useful information and whether there are any individuals who may be able to help. Please email Don Garden if you are able to assist.

Peter Anderson
 

Good afternoon all,

 

I am a new member to the LRRSA and this is my first response to the groups.io, so please accept my apologies in advance for any misunderstandings.

 

I’m not sure of how broad the term “fort” wants to be interpreted, but I am aware of a couple of Australian Defence sites that incorporated light (2’ gauge) railways for the movement of munitions:

Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot (RANAD) – Newington, this site was operated by the Dept of Defence until 1999, and then handed over to the NSW Government for the 2000 Sydney Olympic games and the site became known as the Newington Armory and the rail system became known as the Millennium Parklands Railway (MPR).   All the military infrastructure is intact including the rail system which incorporates approximately 8 km of track, 70 odd turnouts, 6 battery electric locomotives, 40 flat top wagons (4 of which pre-date WW1) and 4 articulated passenger carriages designed (2003) to carry up to 50 people.  Attached are photos of the restored wagons, locomotives and passenger carriages, and below is an extract from a recent internal report that may provide some useful background information.  

 

The MPR is an ex Department of Defence 24 inch (610 mm) gauge railway that was designed for the movement of munitions within the site known as Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot (RANAD) – Newington.  The original rail system was constructed in 1909 servicing the wharf, munitions magazines, storage and laboratory facilities, being expanded during World War 2 and remaining in operational use until 1999 when it was handed over to the Olympic Co-ordination Authority (OCA).  The Armory Precinct has significant natural and historical value, with the sentry post, magazines, residences and other buildings still used today by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) be it for other purposes, along with the wetlands bushland being the last remnant of the Blaxland coastal forest on the Sydney harbour foreshore. 

 

The Newington Armory illustrates the sequence of design philosophies for explosives handling through the 19th and 20th century’s, of which the railway played an integral part as the only form of transport throughout the facilities that links all munitions handling and storage facilities.

 

The railway had been maintained by the Royal Australian Navy up until the site was handed over to the OCA in 1999, the OCA subsequently became the SOPA in 2001.

 

The Millennium Parklands Railway was granted limited accreditation on the 24 October 2002 for the purpose of conserving, restoring, and maintaining the rail infrastructure and the development of passenger rollingstock and associated operational and safety systems for the purpose of conveying persons within the Armory Precinct.  Full accreditation was granted on the 8th December 2003.

 

Generally, the restoration, construction and maintenance principals with respect to infrastructure and display vehicles are based on the Department of Defence – Engineer in Chief’s Technical Instruction No. 50 Railway, 24 Inch Gauge – 22 May 1944, being deemed satisfactory for the very low speed (max 10kph) operations of the MPR. 

 

The passenger rollingstock design was limited by loading gauge and required the development of a unique “fail safe” braking system incorporating a number of safety interlocks.  Standard components to the 24 inch (610 mm) rail industry were used in bogie and coupling design and construction.

 

Woomera – South Australia. The defence facility Woomera used a 2’ gauge railway for the movement of the “Ikara” missile from the workshops to its launch and testing bed.  In 2002 we arranged a visit to Woomera and recovered the 2’ gauge rail infrastructure and arranged shipment to Sydney to assist in maintaining the MPR rail infrastructure.

 

Trust this is of some help.

 

Regards,

Peter

 

Peter Anderson

0418 624 507

Email  peter.anderson@...

 

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From: LRRSA@groups.io <LRRSA@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stuart Thyer
Sent: Friday, 7 September 2018 3:14 PM
To: LRRSA@groups.io
Subject: [LRRSA] Defence sites study

 

I’m not aware if any fort sites ever had light railways within them for the transport of munitions, but if readers are aware of anything published in this area, it may be of interest to the researchers listed below.

 

East coast nineteenth century defence sites study
 
The Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) has been commissioned by the Department of Environment with a Protection of National Heritage Places grant to prepare two thematic papers relating to east coast nineteenth century defence sites.
 
The aim of the papers is to provide advice to the Australian Heritage Council. The work of preparing the papers has fallen to Associate Professor Don Garden, President of the FAHS. Don Garden is well known as a historian based in Victoria.
 
One paper is to be a general outline of nineteenth century defence issues in the eastern colonies, to provide context for understanding the extant fortifications.
 
The second paper is to examine the possibility of sites being advanced for the National Heritage List in Sydney and Melbourne.
 
The challenge of the project is gathering together information and reports from around Australia and Don Garden faces not only the tyranny of distance but also the frustration of having much of the literature on the defence sites being in unpublished reports to Government agencies (the so-called grey literature).
 
However, the positive outcome will be for the first time a national understanding of pre-colonial defence sites, their similarities and their differences and this will help determine those sites that meet the high significance thresholds to achieve National heritage listing.

 
Don Garden has written to the Royal Australian Historical Society to see if any affiliated societies may have useful information and whether there are any individuals who may be able to help. Please email Don Garden if you are able to assist.

Petan
 

Hi Folks,

 

Did someone say munitions tramways for a fort????   Well, Fort Lytton at the mouth of the Brisbane River has appeared in the LRRSA yahoogroups at various times and Samboo The Bear, our house companion, wishes to submit the following Facebook picture of himself on a munitions trolley at Fort Lytton. Samboo also thinks his picture on this trolley has appeared in the LRRSA yahoogroup before in message 8994 on 12 October 2016.  Google will probably give details of the other tramways there including a horse line. One display had mines on a tramway wagon.

https://www.facebook.com/samboothebear/photos/a.1090333487740576/1091945537579371/?type=3&theater

 

Cheers

Peter Cokley

 

From: LRRSA@groups.io <LRRSA@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stuart Thyer
Sent: Friday, 7 September 2018 3:14 PM
To: LRRSA@groups.io
Subject: [LRRSA] Defence sites study

 

I’m not aware if any fort sites ever had light railways within them for the transport of munitions, but if readers are aware of anything published in this area, it may be of interest to the researchers listed below.

 

_._,_._,_

John Browning
 
Edited

Other coastal military sites that spring to mind include the naval establishments HMAS Penguin at Pittwater and Swan Island in Port Philip Bay.
They both used battery electric units for haulage on narrow gauge track. 
I should add that these were 20th century sites.
John

Colin Harvey
 

The Swan Island fort tramway (from Queenscliff) was installed in 1883.
Other Port Phillip sites that definitely had tramways are Point Nepean and the South Channel fort.
If other defence sites that are not strictly 'forts' are included we might include the Williamstown torpedo store (by 1886) and perhaps military magazines.
Colin

Terry
 

There is a railway on Rottnest Island 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rottnest_Island
An entry states in part
"A light railway was built from the jetty at Kingstown Barracks on Thomson Bay, to transport materiel and munitions to the guns. Captain (later Brigadier) Frank Bertram Hussey (1908–1985) was seconded from the Australian Staff Corps[36] to oversee the construction of this.[37] The military fixtures including the barracks and railway became known as the "Rottnest Island Fortress".
"After World War II the guns and infrastructure were decommissioned and parts of the railway removed. The 9.2-inch battery, however, was saved from disposal because the high cost of removing and shipping the guns to the mainland exceeded their value as scrap metal.

In the 1990s the gun emplacements and railway were extensively reconstructed, and since then a popular tourist activity has included a tour of the guns and the tunnels, with the journey to the battery being made on a purpose-built train from Kingstown Barracks. In November 2003 a new railcar was put into service for this route, called the Captain Hussey (named after Brigadier Hussey; see above). The railcar was built with volunteer assistance, and cost $171,500."

Terry Boardman

John Cleverdon <johnc@...>
 

Hello all,
I would have mentioned this in the past, but some photos of tramway remains at South Channel Fort from a 2014 tour can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/john_cleverdon/36057922695/in/album-72157683887262443/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/john_cleverdon/36057921125/in/album-72157683887262443/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/john_cleverdon/36057919365/in/album-72157683887262443/

Regards,
John
--
John Cleverdon
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
John's web page: https://johncleverdon.neocities.org/
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/john-cleverdon/a/a81/2b




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