Last week, I was returning back to Junee from the coast, and decided that I would break the journey at Cooma, and have a look around the railway station.
|In happier times, the ARHS (ACT Division) ran a train of 3 railmotors to Cooma in 1987. Here they are at the station|
When I lived in the ACT area, I visited Cooma regularly, but normally on my way to somewhere else, and almost always in a hurry. This was my first opportunity with a digital camera, and time to explore.
Cooma station is on the branch line, south of Goulburn. The station was opened in 1889, and as befitting an important station, received a Whitton station building. An extension of the line south of Cooma reached Nimmitabel in 1912, and finally to Bombala in 1921 (the same year as the line reached Tumbarumba). Services south of Cooma ceased in 1986, and the last trains to Cooma finished in 1989 - just in time for the station' Centenary.
The line was built for agriculture - livestock, timber, and wool were the main outgoing commodities, although the Snowy Mountains Scheme used the line in the 1950s-70s for transportation of much material needed for dam construction
The "closure" of the line was blamed on the standard of the bridge at Numeralla, although the railways were looking for an excuse to shutdown unprofitable lines.
The Cooma Monaro Railway group has taken over the Cooma station, and lines north and south. They were running CPH railmotor trains about 10km north to Chakola until a few years ago. More information on the group at the website http://www.cmrailway.org.au/
What has Cooma got to do with Wagga?
As the railway to Cooma closed before any major rationalization of the station, the station and its surrounds are effectively a time capsule. There are many details that would have disappeared from Wagga, that could be seen at Cooma, particularly the signalling. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this excursion further up the mountains
|Station rear - a container and a skip are indications that there is work occuring by the CMR volunteers on refurbishing the station|
|In 1987, the rear of the station looked like this. Note The lineside poles serving the signal box, have gone in the recent picture|
|Signal frame in the Cooma Signal box. Colours are red for signals, blue for locks, and black for points.|
|original type luggage cart|
|The CMR group had installed a number of descriptive plaques around the station, and yard to identify specific items. Whilst slightly water damaged, the plaques had excellent information.|
|Part of the fueling point.|
|Another of my 1987 pictures shows the standard of the fueling point when it WAS in service. Whilst the plaque pictured above mentions the 12000 gallon diesel tank, it isn't there now.|
|Buffer at the dock may be similar to the one that has disappeared from Wagga|
|Engine Shed, signal, water column, water tank and paybus. The coal stage is out of sight at the other end of the engine shed|
|Barracks - or Crew quarters.|
|Another view of the engine shed. I understand that the CMR's CPH railmotors are stored in here|
|Just to the south of the station, the line crosses the Polo Flat road. Polo Flat was once the site of the transshipment for Snowy Mountains Scheme equipment, and supply delivery|
|FP11 Paybus. Looking a lot worse for wear.|
|Water Column. This is the style used on the Tumbaumba branch|
|This signal is similar to the ones removed in 1983 at Wagga|
|Compensation pivots used to even out the effects of temperature changes in point rodding. May only be a small thing in modelling, but their inclusion will do much for making a scene authentic. Note, they are not always painted silver|
|Point throw, and point indicator|
|Much of the signal wires were supported on these posts, and pulleys|
|The 1987 railmotor tour crosses Ingalara Creek on the railway north of Cooma. The bridges over this creek, Bredbo River, and Numeralla River were significant structures.|