Friday, 25 August 2017

Up the branch to Tumbarumba

The line from Ladysmith, to Tumbarumba saw its last train in 1974.  The stations at Tamboola, and Coreinbob won't be modelled on my Wagga layout,, but the next station, Borambola will be.

Borambola had a loop for the G2 goods shed, and a small waiting shelter. This shelter replaced a more substantial building, that one relocated to Uranquinty in 1935.  Another loop further on was for the stockyards, which were in fairly good condition.   I am also planning on my layout to re-instate the water tank which was removed in 1971.

This section of line also contained many small bridges, and I hope to include a few on my layout

After Borambola, the line passes the unofficial halt of Edwards Crossing, before reaching Tarcutta.  The section of line over Tarcutta creek was washed away in the flooding of October 1974, and never restored.  By the time I had a camera, and car in the early 1980s, the Tarcutta station, and area was being used as an RTA road manitanence depot.  Unfortunately, bushfires have now further destroyed the scene.  Whilst I am not able to include Tarcutta, many of the features are similar to Ladysmith.  The signal box (a plan appears in Dec 1986 AMRM), was identical to Ladysmith - although Ladysmith's box was removed, along with the extended platform in 1969

Humula is reached after passing the small station of Umbango Creek.  The station building had been removed shortly after the line fell into disuse, but the signal box remained, along with a water column. Of note is the point levers outside the box - I understand that the signal box had the staff instruments, and operated the signals only.

Humula also had an operating sawmill adjacent to the rail yards, and stockyards

                     Diagram from the ARHS CD of NSW station diagrams

Humula also had a triangle for locomotive turning, with a small coal stage on the point of the wye. This triangle was installed because Humula was  the terminus from 1917 through 1921.  The tracks were still connected as late as an ARHS tour in the 1960s and far too tempting to not have for my 1970 period.

Rosewood opened in 1921.  Between Humula, and Rosewood, the line passes through  forests, sweeping curves, and a 1 in 40 grade.  Rosewood station is a typical NSW ferro-concrete prefabricated structure.  Due to space constraints, I will be unable to model this , or any others until I reach Tumbarumba

        60' Turntable and water tower

     Looking at the yard towards Wagga. Note the potato grading shed on the LHS

    Station building in Dec 1980. Note the platform scales have not been stolen

   Goods shed and 5 ton yard crane.

I am hoping to model most of Tumbarumba on the upper deck of the layout (above Bomen)   Fortunately, there are some excellent photos in the Train Hobby "NSW Branchlines - Riverina District" book, as well as the booklet put out by Tumba Rail and Wagga Wagga Rail Heritage groups "The Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba Railway - 'Why was it Built'"  to fill in the substantial gaps in my own collection of slides.

And a final note. the pictures here are all taken by me on slides, and my elcheapo, but quick slide scanner does not do a very good job. I have enhanced most of them with Adobe Photo Elements software, but the few where the colours were too far gone, have been converted to B/W.  The slides themselves though are a mixture of Kodachrome, and Agfa Colour - the agra colour tints have started to drift, but not as badly as my scanner results show.

Happy modelling


  1. Some great photos showing plenty of history there. Shame you can't fit Tarcutta into the layout - love the name!

    1. Sorry Brad. Tarcutta would have been interesting, particularly with the long bridge over Tarcutta Creek, and the Hume Hwy level crossing. The stations I have chosen to model on the branch, all have a slightly different station designs, and I hope varied goods train consists.

    2. G'Day Rob! Do you happen to have any other photos of the yard at Tumbarumba? In particular the Down Home signal. Can't wait to see the progress on the layout, and some fantastic shots here! Cheers.

    3. Hello Sam, no unfortunately, being a poor student at the time, I had limited funds to take more pictures. At the time I didn't think I would be modelling this area. The only signal picture is the one in the blog post - way off in the distance. But my research has found that all the signals of the branch were replaced in early 1970 with tubular post versions. Some other pictures of the Tumba yard are in the Tumba rail booklets, but also in the Train Hobby book - Riverina branchlines.

    4. Thanks for the reply Rob! Ahhh bugger, that's no worries mate. The reason I ask is that I currently have the original lattice semaphore signal post you see pictured in your blog at my home in Wagga. It's slowly being restored to it's original condition, but with scare pictures, it's hard to tell what parts are meant to be fitted to it. Three semaphores on the branch were replaced with tubular steel posts, two of those being at Ladysmith, and one other being the Up Home at Tarcutta. Tumbarumba, and Humula had lattice posts right up until the closure of the line, and the Down Home at Tarcutta was a square wooden post semaphore, which was destroyed in the 2001 bushfire. I'll have to see if I can find a copy of "Riverina Branchlines", as I already have a copy of each of the Tumba Rail booklets. :) Will see what can be found!

    5. I stand corrected. I had made the assumption that after Ladysmith's signals were replaced in Jan 1970, they would have continued the replacement further up the branch. I do have a number of HO square post signals that I had hoped to use. Prototype wise, there is (or was) a lattice post signal on the Cooma line at Queanbayan, and I have pictures of that one.