"Powellite" Bagnall 3ft gauge locomotive at Black Sands, Victoria - 1938. Photograph: P.G. Dow

05 August, 2010

Hamar Railway Museum continued

Now to the rolling stock.

I said they had some gems, and I will concentrate on those of particular interest to me, so here goes, these are all 3ft 6in gauge:

1. Alf a Beyer, Peacock 2-4-0T loco of Isle of Man style, but older and considerably smaller. Alf celebrates his 140th birthday this year, and weighs about 13 tons. He is in lined green livery, and looks as if he is in the same condition as the day he was taken out of service.

2. No.7 a 4-4-0 tender loco built by Thunes of Christiania (now Oslo). This loco is of the type which hauled the overnight sleeping car trains from Hamar to Trondheim, though I don't think this one ever worked on that line. It is of an extremely interesting design, the architecture of the loco showing several influences. It (like Alf) has a huge kerosene headlight, the basic design has English influences, but the cab is very nineteenth century American, being a spacious timber construction in varnished finish. The boiler cladding is grey (probably to represent planished iron), with brass boiler bands, while the four-wheel tender is black lined in red. Altogether a locomotive worthy of preservation.

3. A four-wheel second class coach of early 1870s, which is either of English construction, or based on English practice. It has a varnished timber body, neatly upholstered interior with an interesting central saloon compartment. What struck me about this was that it seemed to be in near original condition and unrestored. I am sure the design is similar to vehicles which operated on Australian railways of the same gauge at that time.

4. A magnificent platform-ended bogie saloon car of the early 1870s built by one of the well-known American coach builders. It was built for the use of the King, though it is difficult to see how such expense could be justified if only used by the King. The whole vehicle looks superb, including the beautifully furnished interior. Again it looks in near original condition and unrestored. [By "unrestored" I am not implying these vehicles are in poor condition, on the contrary, they are in excellent condition, but they have not lost the patina of old age - they do not look "brand new" as most restored vehicles do. To have retained this original quality, I think they must have been very well cared for throughout their life.]

5. An interesting and unusual petrol railcar of 1930, with a varnished timber body.

6. An incredible petrol powered American built inspection car of 1904, of which I took lots of detail photographs because I could not believe it.

There were other locomotives and rolling stock of various gauges, but for me these were the highlights

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