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Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc.
Meetings: 7.30 pm on the FIRST Wednesday of the month in the Function Room at the RSL Club
Contact the Secretary for meeting location (6336 1211)
On the 7th of February 2005 the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway association held its first meeting and elected office bearers.
On the 4th of March 2005 the association was Incorporated. Membership now exceeds 200. See: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
OTHR has established a "Roll of Honour" to thank those businesses and organisations which have helped our project. Please give them and our Special Sponsors your support.
A display board of donors has also been erected on the railway line near Albion Street.
Looking for a challenge?      Do you have strong business management skills?
Do you want to participate in Oberon's biggest tourism project?
       CLICK HERE  if you do!
"On Track"
Extract from the June 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to the June newsletter. Keep watching the local papers for reports of OTHR events as we plan to continue with our policy of featuring OTHR as much as possible in the local media. We have several exciting events to report in this issue – see our website for more details and photos. 

NEW Members
We extend our warm welcome to many new members this month. We welcome Malcolm Currey from Springwood, George Clark of Rockley, David Mason from Inverell, Alan Ward of Queanbeyan, Wayne Dempsey of Chatswood, Ken Downey of Sydney Sth, David Farr of Caringbah, John Driver of Smithfield, Peter Goodman of Chipping Norton, Alan Whitmore of Valley Heights, and Christopher Smart of Werris Creek.

NB: Unfortunately, for those members who are still unfinancial at this time, this will be your last newsletter. We don't like to lose valuable members, just because they've forgotten to renew their subs, so please check your membership status and renew if you are in arrears.

June Working Bee: 12th to 19th

Working Bee Dates for 2010

  • June: 12th – 19th
  • July: 10th – 17 th
  • August: 7 th - 14 th
  • September: 18 th – 25 th
  • October: 16 th – 23 rd
  • November: 13 th – 20 th
  • December: TBA

At the June working bee we will be concentrating on re-sleepering at Hazelgrove. Alternatively, if the sheds from Burraga are ready to erect at the station then this will become a priority to enable our two carriages to be placed under cover out of the weather.

If you can help please contact Track Manager Peter Culley on 0427 042 448 by Thursday, 10 th June. Free accommodation is still being generously donated by the Big Trout Motel and the Titania Motel. Please let Peter know as soon as possible if you require accommodation

Workbee Catering

Any OTHR member who can donate food items for the hungry fettlers of the working bee crew is asked to contact Lynette Ireland on 0428 490 809, prior to the working bee. Any donations will be greatly appreciated and will help OTHR conserve some precious funds.

Diesel Locos Acquired!!
OTHR is now the proud owner of not one, but TWO, 73 class diesel locomotives – recently purchased from Patrick Corp. (see photo above). These two diesel locos (7307 and 7321) are in very good condition, requiring only a few minor repairs to put them in running order. They have been moved from Port Botany to the Eveleigh workshops of 3801 Ltd for inspection and maintenance prior to their journey to Tarana station by mainline rail. From there they will be trucked to Oberon station to be made ready for running on the Oberon-Hazelgrove line as soon as appropriate training and certification can be arranged.

OTHR has received generous assistance from a number of heritage related organisations in this regard. Our thanks go to Lachlan Valley Railway , Goodwin Alco , 3801 Ltd , and Patrick Corp for their time and effort in providing personnel and equipment.

These two locos are 485KW (650 bhp), diesel-hydraulic units of Bo-Bo configuration (ie two twin-axle bogies) and were built by Walkers Ltd in the 1970s. Fifty units were built (nos. 7301 – 7350) and each weighs approx 50 tonnes. Further technical details and a history of these locos will appear in future issues of the Newsletter. Watch this space!

Open Day Success.

OTHR held an open day for the public and Oberon community on Sat May 15 th to inspect the two historic passenger carriages and the Oberon station precinct. A steady stream of interested visitors made the most of a fine autumn day to see the progress of this community heritage project, and many favourable comments were received. The TV station WIN was in attendance to record the event and an item subsequently went to air on the following Tuesday night.

CPH13 for OTHR
Recent developments have culminated in OTHR and Goodwin Alco finalising a lease agreement for the “tin

hare” rail motor CPH13. Built in 1925, this railmotor was used on the Illawarra Line during its final years of operation, before being withdrawn from service in 1984. It will be restored by Goodwin Alco and leased to OTHR for a nominal sum, for which OTHR is extremely grateful. This will enable smaller groups to be catered for on the Oberon Hazelgrove run. CPH13 comes from the fleet of the ACT Branch of the ARHS (see photo below) and will require significant restoration work.

Station Access
Members and fettlers are reminded that, other than special events such as Open Days, our regular access to the Oberon Station is now via a dirt track off Albion St. On-site parking is just west of the line near the northern boundary fence. This means workers and visitors don't have to cross the line to access the station.

Burraga Sheds
These large sheds have now been dismantled and are ready for re-erecting at Oberon station when permission is granted. These will enable us to protect the two historic carriages from the inclement Oberon winter. To Harry Cole and his crew we say a big Thanks!

Wood Raffle Winner
The lucky wood raffle winner was John Crichton of Oberon – congratulations, John. Once again thanks to all our volunteers.

OTHR's website
The website now carries photo updates on the moving of our locos from Port Botany to Eveleigh workshops and also photos of CPH13 – soon to be part of OTHR fleet.

More Carriage History (part 1)

More details of our historic carriages and their history have been contributed by OTHR member Russell Merriman – thanks Russell. The first instalment appears below, and others will follow as space permits.

Recently OTHR became home to two former NSWGR passenger carriages, LCA 850 & HLF 854. These two cars were part of the fleet known officially as “American Cars” and derogatorily as “Cowboy Cars”. This name was bestowed on the cars by Central Coast commuters in the 1960s. [Well what would you prefer; an electric, stainless steel, heated interurban car or a draughty wooden open ender?]

History of the American Cars (ancestors of our cars).

Sleeping cars #1 & 2

The story of the American cars commenced in October 1877 when car #29 was delivered from “Jackson and Sharp” of Wilmington Delaware USA. It was quickly renumbered to Sleeping car #1 and commenced service (three per week) between Sydney and Harden on the South Mail. It was later used on other mail trains throughout the state. It had a varied career as sleeping car, ministerial car, ambulance car (during WW1) then as an estate agents (?) car. It was condemned in 1931 but survived as an “Off rail” band practice room at Clyde till the 1970s It had a tare weight of 18.9 tonnes and a passenger capacity of between 12 & 36 depending on its configuration and whether it was being used as a sleeper or as a 1 st class sitter.

A similar sleeping car was imported from “The Gilbert Bush and Company” in April 1880. It was numbered sleeping car #2 with a capacity of 20 berths. In 1905 it became an eyesight testing car (but available as a sleeping car if needed). It was condemned in 1946 but became a works wagon in 1947. This car is preserved at Thirlmere. Both these cars had clerestory roofs, open platform end and four wheel bogies.

Sitting cars

With the sleeping car from Jackson and Sharp came two sitting cars, numbered 28 & 94 (also with clerestory roofs, open platform end and four wheel bogies).

  • Car 28 was delivered as a 1 st class sitter, while #94 as a 2 nd class sitter. Car 28 had a varied life as a first class car, then converted to a composite car in 1897 and finally was condemned in September 1937.
  • Car 94 remained as second class car all its life till condemned in May 1929.
  • As with the sleeping car from Jackson & Sharp two sitting cars arrived with the sleeping car from Gilbert Bush & Co.
  • Car 49 entered service as first class car in April 1890, renumbered to BB 238 and then was reclassified to second class in 1897 as FA 238. It was condemned July 1939.
  • Car 2 entered service April 1890 and saw a varied service life becoming a composite car (first/second) in April 1881, a first class car BB488 in July 1897 and reverted to second class FA classification in September 1930. It was condemned in October 1951. It then became a works van and survived till October 1982 (102 years old).

All 4 cars were used throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area as well as short country trips to places like Wollongong Blue Mountains and the Central Coast.

NB: Please send suggestions and material to incorporate in the Newsletter to Col at...
Please put OTHR Newsletter in the subject line – so your e-mail will not be deleted!

Working Bee Dates

  • As listed in the Newsletter above.
  • Phone our Track Manager, Peter Culley on 0427 042 448 if you need further information.Contact Peter if you would like us to organise accommodation for you
  • To help with the catering please phone co-ordinator Lynette Ireland on 0428 490 809

Meeting Dates

Monthly meetings take place at the Oberon RSL Club on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30 p.m. You are invited to join us.

See the report on the restoration of the Wickham Section Car by Ross Allen and his team.
(updated 21st May 08)
A milestone was reached by the fettlers on Sat 5th July ... the end of the section and the highest point on the line was reached - see Report
Aerial photo by member
Chris Stott
View Full Size
View the
Restoration MAP
Work is proceeding
to "fill the gaps".

See the new crossing locations.
(Aug 2008)
View a 360° Panorama from the footbridge courtesy of Smooth Images of Bathurst