Don River Tramway


ian_mcnl <imcneil@...>
 

A few notes made during a one day visit to the Don River Tramway in
September 2006.
1. The Tasmania 1:25000 Topographic Map No. 4818 Leprena (Edition 1,
1985) shows the full route of the tramway in good detail, from the
Old Quarry all the way to Deep Hole Wharf. There also appear to be
traces of abandoned timber tramways although these are not
specifically identifed as such.
2. The last 1.5km of the Quarry line, between Old (Blayneys) Quarry
and the New Quarry has been converted into a Rail Trail. Apart from
being a bit muddy and with a washed-out creek crossing to traverse,
it makes a very interesting walk. Access: turn right 200 metres
south of Tourist Railway Depot into South Lune Road, drive about
5kms, then turn left uphill up Limestone Quarry Road for about
0.75km. A small shelter hut marks the beginning of the Rail Trail.
3. Old or Blayneys Quarry certainly worth a visit. Track layout
still clearly visible with much rail still in situ, much as Wayne
Chynoweth reported in 1971.
4. In marked contrast, very little to see in the New or Big Quarry.
There is a truly massive gate across Limestone Quarry Road just past
the shelter shed (note tramway formation on RHS of road here)but the
associated fence only extends 2 panels to the right allowing
unhindered pedestrian access. Once past the gate roadworks have
covered the sidings reported in 1971, though the main line to Ida
Bay appears to run in a small cutting along the LHS of road.
5. The first 1 - 2kms of the Quarry line west of Ida Bay runs
through generally open scubby country, much of it on a low
embankment formed from limestone rubble. Quite walkable all the way
to the level crossing on South Lune Road. This section of line
appears better engineered than the wharf line, with an even gradient
and shallow curves. Cannot comment on rest of line up to the New
Quarry. Although it generally parallels South Lune Road it traverses
thicker forest country.
6. The tourist railway itself seems to have been re-invigorated by
the current operator, a very energetic lady, Meg Thornton. Very
tidy; locos and passenger rolling stock spic and span; significant
resleepering done / under way; wharf line in good condition. Two
Malcolm Moore locos operational (sorry - did not get their numbers -
mea culpa). The "Silver Streak" Rail Motor was sunning itself in
front of the Loco Shed but its operational state was not
ascertained. There appear to be plans to run a steam loco this
summer - ??from the Redwater Creek Tramway, Sheffield??
7. The Rip Track - an incredible collection of junked tramway
rolling stock on the truncated remnant of the Quarry Line is well
worth an hour or two's inspection. Also the literally dozens of 4-
wheel limestone truck chassis alongside the first 200 metres of
quarry line formation west of the Depot. Seems they were all stored
here when rail ops finished c1975, then when the quarry line was
lifted c1981 they were simply tipped off the line. If anyone is
short of 2ft gauge wheelsets this might the place to source them.
Trust the above might be of interest to some.
Ian McNeil


Ron & Hilary Martin <ronhil@...>
 

I think you mean the 'Lune River' rather than the 'Don River'.

Ron M.

-------Original Message-------

From: ian_mcnl
Date: 28/10/2006 5:16:32 PM
To: LRRSA@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: [LRRSA] Don River Tramway

A few notes made during a one day visit to the Don River Tramway in
September 2006.
1. The Tasmania 1:25000 Topographic Map No. 4818 Leprena (Edition 1,
1985) shows the full route of the tramway in good detail, from the
Old Quarry all the way to Deep Hole Wharf. There also appear to be
traces of abandoned timber tramways although these are not
specifically identifed as such.
2. The last 1.5km of the Quarry line, between Old (Blayneys) Quarry
and the New Quarry has been converted into a Rail Trail. Apart from
being a bit muddy and with a washed-out creek crossing to traverse,
it makes a very interesting walk. Access: turn right 200 metres
south of Tourist Railway Depot into South Lune Road, drive about
5kms, then turn left uphill up Limestone Quarry Road for about
0.75km. A small shelter hut marks the beginning of the Rail Trail.
3. Old or Blayneys Quarry certainly worth a visit. Track layout
still clearly visible with much rail still in situ, much as Wayne
Chynoweth reported in 1971.
4. In marked contrast, very little to see in the New or Big Quarry.
There is a truly massive gate across Limestone Quarry Road just past
the shelter shed (note tramway formation on RHS of road here)but the
associated fence only extends 2 panels to the right allowing
unhindered pedestrian access. Once past the gate roadworks have
covered the sidings reported in 1971, though the main line to Ida
Bay appears to run in a small cutting along the LHS of road.
5. The first 1 - 2kms of the Quarry line west of Ida Bay runs
through generally open scubby country, much of it on a low
embankment formed from limestone rubble. Quite walkable all the way
to the level crossing on South Lune Road. This section of line
appears better engineered than the wharf line, with an even gradient
and shallow curves. Cannot comment on rest of line up to the New
Quarry. Although it generally parallels South Lune Road it traverses
thicker forest country.
6. The tourist railway itself seems to have been re-invigorated by
the current operator, a very energetic lady, Meg Thornton. Very
tidy; locos and passenger rolling stock spic and span; significant
resleepering done / under way; wharf line in good condition. Two
Malcolm Moore locos operational (sorry - did not get their numbers -
mea culpa). The "Silver Streak" Rail Motor was sunning itself in
front of the Loco Shed but its operational state was not
ascertained. There appear to be plans to run a steam loco this
summer - ??from the Redwater Creek Tramway, Sheffield??
7. The Rip Track - an incredible collection of junked tramway
rolling stock on the truncated remnant of the Quarry Line is well
worth an hour or two's inspection. Also the literally dozens of 4-
wheel limestone truck chassis alongside the first 200 metres of
quarry line formation west of the Depot. Seems they were all stored
here when rail ops finished c1975, then when the quarry line was
lifted c1981 they were simply tipped off the line. If anyone is
short of 2ft gauge wheelsets this might the place to source them.
Trust the above might be of interest to some.
Ian McNeil




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