Railway Preservation News

Another (Australian) Wildfire Damages Another Rail Museum
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Another (Australian) Wildfire Damages Another Rail Museum

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/nsw- ... ail-museum

Schools were evacuated, homes threatened and a historic rail museum left badly damaged by out-of-control bushfires in the NSW Hunter Valley and mid-north coast. . . .

The "Thor" water-bombing aircraft, three helicopters and 90 firefighters fought the blaze but it wasn't enough to prevent the heritage-listed Richmond Vale Railway Museum from suffering about $1 million in damage.
"There's a lot of stuff that was historically significant to this area that is now just gone," museum chairman Peter Meddows said.
"An 1880 restored coal hopper is now just ashes.
"It's a bit heartbreaking."
Mr Meddows said he was cut off from the museum by the fire but reached it later in the afternoon.
"It was total devastation, there was smoke, things smouldering," he said.
"We'll keep going, there's no doubt about that, it's just going to take us time to recover."

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/asbe ... useum-site

The scale of the damage was realised at first light today, when emotional volunteers gathered at the site to survey damage.
Director Graham Smith said there were now asbestos fears, with the substance dropping out of some carriages, prompting Fire and Rescue NSW to declare it a hazardous material site.
"And until they clear the site neither our members nor members of the public will be admitted," he said.
Mr Smith said the damage was worse than first thought and described it as utter devastation.
"We have lost about 80 per cent of our rolling collection, including restored coal hoppers, unrestored freight vehicles," he said.
He said the museum had also lost three stainless steel carriages.
Mr Smith said locomotive coal had also been also destroyed in the blaze.
But amid the devastation there was some optimism, with prized refurbished carriages protected from the blaze.
"Fortunately our restored locomotives are safe and the carriages that we have been using most recently for train services are still in operation," Mr Smith said.
"But we have also lost two and a half kilometres of track and a bridge has been damaged, which means even if the site is cleared to be reopened we won't be able to run trains for some considerable time.


Author:  70000 [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another (Australian) Wildfire Damages Another Rail Museu

That makes pretty grim reading - particularly the shots of the burnt out rake of the 4-wheel wooden bodied coal hopper cars.
Found the museum to be an interesting set up when I visited the place back in 2003, so hopefully they will be able to recover from it all.

Author:  70000 [ Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another (Australian) Wildfire Damages Another Rail Museu

Some more photos of the damage here.....

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/49249 ... /#slide=13

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