Glenreagh's 103-year-old rail relic 'trashed' leaving community outraged

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 18 Jul 2019 20:29
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why could this tower not have been preserved where it stood rather than having to move the water tower? Doing this would have allowed the tower to continued to be enjoyed in the place it was used but also the residents of the town would have been happy too.

Glenreagh's 103-year-old rail relic 'trashed' leaving community outraged

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Why could this tower not have been preserved where it stood rather than having to move the water tower? Doing this would have allowed the tower to continued to be enjoyed in the place it was used but also the residents of the town would have been happy too.

Glenreagh's 103-year-old rail relic 'trashed' leaving community outraged
bevans
What astounds me is that the tank and main framework for the stand is all steel, I took some photo's of it a few years back & it looked in good order, also its accessible to road vehicles and I am pretty sure there would be some heavy lifting equipment available in the area, also how much the locals were for keeping the facility as its seen as an integral part of the local community and tourist area.
  Matthew Train Controller

Why could this tower not have been preserved where it stood rather than having to move the water tower? Doing this would have allowed the tower to continued to be enjoyed in the place it was used but also the residents of the town would have been happy too.
bevans

You can blame the 'compensation culture' and the resulting paranoia about being sued. And not just ARTC or the local council. If structure remained and then something happened, the engineer who signed off on it as safe would get sued too.

As a result of everyone rushing to cover themselves, options for preserving these things get thrown to the wayside.

Even if ARTC did want to preserve it, they would have had to get an engineer to sign off on its structural integrity or on a safe method of removal for preservation elsewhere and no engineer was probably willing to sign their name to it.

I've heard of other cases where things were demolished and rebuilt instead of being reused because they couldn't get engineering signoff on reuse!.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I guess that is the real problem now in Australia.  But what was the trigger for the need to act about it in any case?

Could the same be said about overpasses for people and also older bridges across lines ARTC maintain which also need to be maintained?

I think you could be right but why not protect something that is respected and loved by the community in which is resides?  Maybe some better consultation in the future?
  a6et Minister for Railways

I guess that is the real problem now in Australia.  But what was the trigger for the need to act about it in any case?

Could the same be said about overpasses for people and also older bridges across lines ARTC maintain which also need to be maintained?

I think you could be right but why not protect something that is respected and loved by the community in which is resides?  Maybe some better consultation in the future?
bevans
When one looks at this as an overall rather than a single item, much of what is left in the remains of Glenreagh yard could make for a fairly good recreation/park area for both the locals and Tourists, after all that's what's happened in many other areas around the state.  Surely there could have been consultations with the local community in that regard, of course a problem could be that the NCL is a very busy line and would need to have access to the area restricted to a part of the area for such purpose.

Other aspect is that the station building would be as susceptible to be deemed a hazard as well, I doubt there would be much if any white ant damage owing to the track vibrations of passing trains though.  Glenreagh has some history and would easily be part of a tourist area as part of the Coffs Coast/hinterland which would help in getting tourists there and money into the town.

As for the tank itself, the before and after photo's in the link show how little thought was put into the demolition, it looks as if a long chain was used to attach to two heavy vehicles and simply pulled the structure beams down and the lot fell leaving a great pile of scrap metal. If it was seen as being unsafe as the ARTC have implied, again I go back to what I previously said about the actual condition of the whole structure and was anyone locally consulted that could have heavy lift vehicles that could have moved it?

The heaviest and hardest part of the structure to move would be the tank itself, depending on how its attached the frame, with that off, all the remaining supports could be lifted off their concrete bases that are either bolted on with plates or in the cement itself.

It would not have been an easy or quick job to complete but could have been done, the other aspect in this that begs a question is whether there is anything in a heritage registry for it? Or did ARTC simply take things into their own hands?
  303gunner Beginner

But what was the trigger for the need to act about it in any case?
bevans
Probably reviewed following the collapse of Grenfell Station's tank. But that was a 115 year old timber structure that hadn't seen any maintenance for the last 35 years.

https://www.grenfellrecord.com.au/story/5226003/the-end-of-an-era/?cs=5836

Despite being closed for many years, ARTC and/or John Holland are still the custodians/managers of many rural heritage items, and are responsible for the safety and liability of such items.
  a6et Minister for Railways

But what was the trigger for the need to act about it in any case?
Probably reviewed following the collapse of Grenfell Station's tank. But that was a 115 year old timber structure that hadn't seen any maintenance for the last 35 years.

https://www.grenfellrecord.com.au/story/5226003/the-end-of-an-era/?cs=5836

Despite being closed for many years, ARTC and/or John Holland are still the custodians/managers of many rural heritage items, and are responsible for the safety and liability of such items.
303gunner
Looking at the photo and the top of the first post to come away, tells me its caused by white ant damage, as the tank itself would have no water in it, and seen by the cracks in it and not a contributing fact to the crash overall.

The most likely area where the damage was started would have been at the base of the posts, and would have been going on for years, no vibrations in the ground nearby from trains or heavy vehicles around the area are always on the cards, a reason for the term white anting of lines, as they move in on hardwood sleepers around 6 or so months when no trains run, not easy to tell from looking at the timber as the ants eat out the insides with little or no outside visual damage to be seen.

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