2012 – Another Season Begins

For the first time in quite a number of years, the Savannahlander managed to start the season (which was 29 February this year) and travel all the way out to Forsayth. During the trip in the second week, 150mm of rain fell across the district on a Wednesday night, causing Junction Creek to flood which meant that the trip ended at Mt Surprise that week. The third week was successful in that the end of the line was again reached, but for week four, the train did not even get out of Cairns. A significant monsoonal weather event brought over 400 mm of rain to the Cairns area, forcing the closure of the Kuranda Range. There was also heavy rain predicted for the areas where the line goes, so it is unlikely that it would have been safe to travel to Forsayth even if the Range was open. So this post is written with the units having a rest in the yard in Cairns, rather than being out earning their keep. Things do look better for next week fortunately.

In the last post, we mentioned that we were installing new retention toilets to the units. Car 2026 was completed and we have posted a few pictures of the final parts of the renovation in the gallery below. As this was being completed, the annual maintenance work had been finalised on the two remaining cars. To test out the work we did on them, they were taken to unfamiliar territory so that the mechanicals could be put through their paces. Innisfail was the destination for the test run, where the track speed is higher, and we can sustain higher speeds for longer periods of time. There are some photos in the gallery of the units being turned on the very grassy Innisfail Angle.

It seems that at the beginning of every year, we are plagued by grassy track. When the grass gets squashed between the wheel and the rail, it oozes an oily sap, causing all sorts of drama with wheelslip. There is a gallery of images from the first run, some of which show the grassy tracks that had to be dealt with. This years first trip started off with a bit of a bang, with 57 students, teachers and parents from Trinity Bay State High School using the train to take them to Almaden, from where they went over to Chillagoe for a year 12 Arts Camp. After that the crew had the train to themselves, which was a great opportunity to commence training our new driver, who will be featured in another post very shortly.

The Innisfail Gallery:

The New Toilet:

The First Trip: