Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moving Clarabelle

Many people have asked how easy it is to move a carriage like Clarabelle around the country so I thought I’d put together this photomontage of the last time we moved her from Western Sydney to Wellington back in 2005.

In short, it’s a relatively simple operation because Clarabelle (1072) is a Queensland carriage and they have a smaller loading gauge than NSW or Victorian Railways. That means that for Vic Rail or NSWGR carriages, they have to be taken off their bogies before being put on a truck and remain within the loading parameters for road haulage. So we’re talking two trucks (one for the carriage, one for the bogies) and two cranes at either end of the journey. But, as you can see, Clarabelle can fit onto a truck with her bogies on and remain within road haulage loading limits, so it’s one truck and no cranes ... and just a little bit more than a little elbow grease! It does require a specially adapted truck and we used the ever-helpful Mario from Australian Train Movers.

Clarabelle sitting in Mario's Yard in Western Sydney

Mario backs up his specially designed low-loader

The whole trailer tilts up and the tailgate folds out to form a gentle ramp

... and Clarabelle is simply winched on board

Crossing the Blue Mountains, coming down Victoria Pass

Nearly there!

Mario backs up the truck and lines up the trailer with
the 16 meters of track that my dad and I laid previously ...

... and with a little help from a local tractor ...

... and some of my muscle and bulk!

There she is, safe in her new home.