CHACA RUN, TRACK TO TRACKS, SUNDAY OCTOBER 16TH
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
So all was planned out; an F1 start from Albert Park, albeit with a bit less horse-power and deci-bells; short drive across the West Gate; enjoy a guided tour amongst some ancient giants of the railways; big lunch for those with an appetite.
The Dennis left a voicemail for me the week before: “You might want to check out access to Albert Park, as the marathon is on this Sunday”.... Alas, the F1 start had to be scratched last minute.
Apologies to those who did not get the message from us in time. I know a few got stuck in traffic trying to make their way to Williamstown that day.
John and his team of volunteers had set us up with two guides to make it through the maze of old trains; steam, diesel, even some electric. A fascinating and even intimidating site! Most were not that small, and some were still in working order. Most of the running steam trains are kept next door for regular runs across the Melbourne rail network. They still have some of the earliest wooden carriages from Melbourne standing there.
Unfortunately, most are not under cover, so they are left to the Melbourne elements until they get restored.
A few unexpected standouts, in my opinion: A 1960s dining car, complete with fully equipped kitchen and long diner bar! Still for rent, for those wanting have a function! And, the miniature tracks inside appeared to be your standard O type train set. No, far from it. ALL hand-built models, from brass and other metals, hand wound motors, and all hand built controls! Quite spectacular detail as well. OK, Thomas wasn’t completely hand-built.... They had to squeeze in a small electric motor as it was a pull-back toy! J
Lunch was at the Altona Sports Club. The mixed grill got the presidential approval!
And some of us managed to get the little ones on the little trains after, at the Altona Miniature railway track.
Fun day, thank you to all who participated!
Note: To enlarge the pictures just click on them