PBR's Andrew Wheatland had been negotiating with Vic Track since earlier this year to allow access to the closed Wodonga yard site and removal of S&T equipment needed by PBR for many projects including the central control of Belgrave Yard from a signal box. Access was finally granted earlier this month. A team of volunteers (Andrew Wheatland, Ian Newman, Graeme Hayward, Steve Malpas, Chris Daniels, Damian McCrohan) headed up to Wodonga to retrieve the equipment. A semi load and several smaller truck loads of point and signal rodding, frame and interlocking components, blocks, discs, semaphore arms, lamps, block shelves, a CTC panel and other bits and pieces were transported to Victoria for use on PBR projects.
Mick Black's Mack arrives at Emerald with the load of signalling equipment on the PBR float.
A selection of the goodies brought back for the railway. The wheels in frames on concrete blocks are for point rodding. The long white rods are for signalling and carry the lever motion up the post to the actuator at the top. The black rodding with square(ish) protrusions is part of the signal lever frame interlocking. These rods stop the signalman from creating opposing moves or moves that might violate rules (eg. signalling a train over points not set for their road). Also in this load is a set of walkways that sit over the top of the point rodding which will provide safe passage alongside Belgrave yard and stop tools from walking on the rodding! The material may appear to be rusty old junk in some cases, but this junk would cost a fortune to have made and is some of the last of its type available.
Mick completing his three point turn in the narrow confines of Emerald yard. It is simply obvious that the man knows his machine inside and out and has been practicing the art of driving for many years.
Mick cranks down the trailer legs so he can remove his Mack and head for home. Mick donated both his time and the use of his truck to the cause.
The bulk of the load was transferred onto one of PBR's works trucks with the truck mounted crane operated by Andrew. You'll note Andrew's why are you taking pictures and not working face aimed at me? It's what I do mate :). I firmly believe that while it is great to take photos of trains and buildings - taking photos of the every day works is important too - after all, it's all history that will be important one day.
Andrew Wheatland, Ian Newman, Kevin May and myself (Paul Pavlinovich) spent most of the day unloading the gear and storing it appropriately.