Westby Branchline

 
  Westby3026 Locomotive Driver

Does anyone have any photos of when the line was in operation? Or own any of the old railway infrastructure, signage, etc. I also understand the Westby goods shed was moved to Tullibigeal in 1952 following Truncation of the line at Mangoplah following the large bushfire that passed through the area. Are there any photographs of that? And was it relocated following its time at Tullibigeal or demolished? Many thanks.

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  redroh Station Staff

The only Westby line image I've located was in this newspaper article which shows Westby signal box and nameboard in 1953.

The owner of the station site recalled that everything that could be reused elsewhere, including the platform slabs and coping, was reclaimed by the railways.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/117390487
  Westby3026 Locomotive Driver

Well there you go, the bloke that called for that meeting was my great uncle.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I love this bit from the newspaper article. Even back then the govt was focused on running the lines at a profit and given a reasonable excuse would close a money pit line in a heart beat. How often do you read in this website say "back in the days of govt railways, the railways were service orientated, not profit orientated." or words to similar effect.

[color=#000000][size=1][font=arial, sans-serif][font=georgia, serif]Whilst appreciating the[/font][font=georgia, serif]national importance of these[/font][/font][/size][/color]
[color=#000000][size=1][font=arial, sans-serif][font=georgia, serif]lines, we must also regard them[/font][font=georgia, serif]as a business proposition. The[/font][font=georgia, serif]railways have never failed' to[/font][font=georgia, serif]meet expenditure with revenue [/font][font=georgia, serif]collected, but the general sink[/font][font=georgia, serif]Ing fund, exchange and other [/font][font=georgia, serif]factors causes them to show an [/font][font=georgia, serif]overall deficit,' he continued.[/font][font=georgia, serif]'The Commissioner has not [/font][font=georgia, serif]suggested or decreed that the [/font][font=georgia, serif]Mangoplah-The Rock section oi[/font][font=georgia, serif]the line should be closed, but we [/font][color=#666600][font=georgia, serif]cannot run a train out to pick[/font][/color][/font][/size][/color]
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  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

Does anyone have any photos of when the line was in operation?
Westby3026

There is a 1930's photo of a train at Pulletop on NSWrail.net. I think I've seen it published elsewhere.
  redroh Station Staff

How good is that! Also came across this article which paints the picture for and against reopening. There are also a number of newspaper reports online about how the fire started, its extent and the failure of the railways to adequately compensate landowners by claiming limited liability. From memory, it spread into Victoria and went for 18 days.

Fingers crossed someone comes up with some pics.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117388561
  redroh Station Staff

An 1980's? booklet 'The Rock to Pullitop (Westby) Railway' by John Reid has a 1950s photo of Birdlip with a Pc1 precast building.
  Westby3026 Locomotive Driver

Thanks for all the neat links redroh! Our neighbour which previously owned the land where the birdlip siding was has a large photo on her wall of the train sitting at the siding, but I doubt she would part with it. You were right about the railways reclaiming everything they could. We have a few old stockstops and all that's left is the concrete footings and the odd concrete box culvert.You still find the odd piece of coal or bolt laying around as well. Most people have gotten rid of everything on their farms. I'd rather plough around the history then distroy it.
  redroh Station Staff

Any chance of posting a photo of your neighbour's Birdlip photo? AFAIK It would be the first photo of a train on the line to have surfaced. I'm particularly interested in the precast building. Might be worth trying local history societies (eg Wagga) and local residents at various locations.

Incidentally, Birdlip and Mangoplah platforms were built of mass concrete while Burrandana and Westby have precast components. Cannot see any reason for Birdlip being made of mass concrete. Mangoplah is probably due to it being on a slight curve. (Pulletop was provided with a 100' sleeper platform a year after opening).

Re the links - for further history of the line, you could search Trove which is the National Library's digitised newspaper collection trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper
Searching can be fiddly but some brilliant material sometimes turns up. Pre-electronc media, local newspapers gave quite detailed accounts of news in their communities.
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

Any chance of posting a photo of your neighbour's Birdlip photo? AFAIK It would be the first photo of a train on the line to have surfaced. I'm particularly interested in the precast building. Might be worth trying local history societies (eg Wagga) and local residents at various locations.

Incidentally, Birdlip and Mangoplah platforms were built of mass concrete while Burrandana and Westby have precast components. Cannot see any reason for Birdlip being made of mass concrete. Mangoplah is probably due to it being on a slight curve. (Pulletop was provided with a 100' sleeper platform a year after opening).
redroh

The Birdlip photo that I’ve seen does not include any train, and was taken late 1950’s after closure. Re-read my above post about a 1934 photo of a train at Pulletop.

I don’t think the choice of mass concrete for some platforms has anything to do with curvature, there were many curved pre-cast platforms, and straight mass concrete ones. Other lines in the concrete era have a mix of pre-cast, mass concrete and timber platforms. For example the Taralga branch: Willigam (mass concrete), Mount Rae (timber), Strathaird (precast), Taralga (mass concrete).
  redroh Station Staff

As per Westby:

Our neighbour which previously owned the land where the birdlip siding was has a large photo on her wall of the train sitting at the siding.
  redroh Station Staff

My previous post went out incomplete.

NSWRcars...I'll wear that. You are correct about the Pulletop train pic.

As per Westby: Our neighbour which previously owned the land where the birdlip siding was has a large photo on her wall of the train sitting at the siding.
Westby, any chance of a look at your neighbour's photo please?
  Campaspe 2 Junior Train Controller

There are two interesting articles on the Westby line that are worth having a look at. The first was an article on the construction and closure of the line by Ross Willson in the 1980 volume of the ARHS 'Bulletin' (the article starts on page 152).

The second article was a review of the line as it stood in (I think) 1994 that appeared on page 38 of the January 1995 issue of 'Railway Digest'.

I think that the ARHS Railway Resource Centre could send through copies of both articles for a small charge.

Unfortunately, neither article has any photos of trains running out along the Westby line.

Regards

Campaspe
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
I had a good photo that I took years ago of Mangoplah station. Had Ford parked on platform. Not sure if the building was used as a residence or workshop.

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