As previously mentioned, time for part 2 of this little trip down to Tasmania. This will mainly be a lot of photos from the couple of preservation railway sites I visited on the Monday while waiting for my evening ferry return trip to the mainland.
I was staying in Sheffield on my last night in Tassie, so it was a good chance to drop in to the Redwater Creek Steam & Heritage Society, home of the Steamfest. It has been a few years since I visited here, so was interested to see what was new around the sheds. Volunteers on the day may have been working up the end of the line as the sheds were open, but no obvious sign of members around. I had a quick wander in the storage shed and a short stroll along some of the line. They house a good collection of steam traction engines and run a 2' gauge short line. Just a handful of pics around the site.
Following the wander around Sheffield, it was a short drive up to Devonport, grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to The Don River Railway. This is a sizeable operation with a great collection and fairly decent work shop facility. Unfortunately no trains were running on the day of my visit (trains run Wednesday to Sunday for anyone else planning a visit), but the sun was out and it was a good afternoon to walk around the yards while the place was quiet. It is fairly open access to much of the site, with some good viewing platforms inside the work shop. Since it was a quiet day (I think I was the only visitor around that afternoon), when I met one of the volunteers in the work shop, he was quite happy to show me around. Spent a good few hours getting a guided tour around the various projects. It was only after this couple of hours of chatting about the work being done here at Don Valley did it clue on to me that my guide, Colin Jolley, was actually one of the modellers at the Launceston Model Railway Exhibition with me over the same weekend! A couple of photos of his layout he displayed (Urmston Road, British OO) are on my previous blog posting. Despite exhibiting in the same hall together, we didn't cross paths until this day after. Anyway, time for some photos...
One of the special little items that they hold in their collection at the Don River Railway, is a Riley Railcar. Being a lover of small and quirky railway equipment, this one caught my eye immediately. It has some beautiful lines and high degree of character. It may even find itself as an interesting little project on my modelling bench at some point in the future.
All up it was a really enjoyable day visiting these two preservation societies. Plenty of railway history getting some well deserved care and restoration. It was a tiring day with all that walking and talking, which was good as it helped ensure a better nights sleep on the ferry ride home on the Spirit of Tasmania.
So bye for now Tasmania. Had a thoroughly enjoyed weekend of big and little railway activities. Will look forward to possibly doing it again next year. The organisers for the Launceston Model Railway Show have already announced their dates for next year, October 14th-15th 2017, so mark it in your calendars as a good one to attend.