Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Operations Part 1

The following is in response to a request from John.

Nowa Nowa is located in the steep forested hills of East Gippsland on the Orbost line.
(Image from Google Maps)

Operationally Nowa Nowa existed due to two main products, sawn timber and limestone. These two commodities lasted until the line was closed, but other items were shipped as well. From Harry Grosvenor via Peter Hair we have the following in 1977:

A.P.M (Australian Paper Mills) Pty Ltd (Rocky Camp via Buchan) - Limestone
Buchan Marble Quarry - Dressed marble
Murray E.F. Pty Ltd - Stone crushing
Nowa Nowa Bee Farm - Honey and beeswax out, boxes in.
Rocky Camp Quarry - Limestone
Sawn Timber (from at least two mills in the area).

The rock was shipped out in "O" wagons an G/GY type wagons:
(Note I think the Limestone went in the O wagons and the crushed rock in the G/GY types, but I don't know for sure)

Here is a scratchbuilt version of an O that I have done

From two loading points, this being one :

Photo around 2008-09

Photo from Tony Lamplough late 1970's

Photo from Harry Grosvenor in the 50's

I'm still trying to sort out the second loading point. Any help appreciated!


  1. I just came across this tonight.

    From the Notes of the Wagon Construction Committee Meeting held on Friday 20/5/77 (1).

    "An average of 20 '0' and 'ON' hopper wagons are employed in the two-way movement of approximately 7,000 tonnes of briquettes from Morwell to Maffra and approximately (unreadable (2)) tonnes of limestone from Nowa Nowa to Maryvale."

    (1) VPRS 421/P10 22 74/2668 Freight Vehicle Construction - Project
    (2) Sorry, the edge of the page has been torn here and this number cannot be made out

  2. In 1931 a high loading platform was built on the up end yard neck by Cameron and Ramsay (the western one as shown on your diagram), it was then removed in 1934. In 1936 Tuck and Ramsay erected a platform on the same site. In 1943 a second platform was erected by the White Rock Lime Coy. Pty. Ltd., later Industrial Lime Pty. Ltd. on the up side of the existing one. In September 1953 this platform was taken over by APM.(1)

    Due to congestion in the yard due to large increases in timber and sleeper traffic the back road to the rear of the goods shed was built and this required the cutting back of the existing two platforms in order to maintain clearance. A new high loading ramp was proposed at this time but it was resolved to trial operations with the new siding only at first.(2)

    The trial proved unsuccessful as far as APM was concerned. Therefore a new high loading platform was built towards the down end of the new back road siding for the use of APM and they surrendered their interest in the platform at the neck of the yard. The new platform was completed in1958. The former APM ramp was then available for use by all consignors.(3)

    Due to high ongoing traffic and the decay of the wooden ramps at the neck of the yard a second high loading platform and accompanying siding was built branching off the back track in an up direction in 1971.(4)

    (1) VPRS 421/P0 1128 Messrs. McRae Brothers – Representations to the Commissioners on tour at Nowa Nowa relative to the re-location of two high loading ramps
    (2) Ibid.
    (3) Ibid. The plan for this ramp 488/57 is also available in VPRS 4986/R1 2 302A
    (4) VPRS 421/P8 3 71/1296 Nowa Nowa - The Chief Traffic Manager recommends the provision of a high loading platform at an estimated cost of $8,400.00.

  3. Thanks! Great information, much appreciated

    Any idea on how I could get the plan?


  4. All those files are available for viewing and copying at the Public Records Office of Victoria reading room in North Melbourne. The VPRS references above should be enough to retrieve them. If you need any assistance or it is hard for you to get there it may be best to contact me via email, I will send you one directly as I don't know if you can see my address.