As my post about Steamfest was quite long I saved the photos that I took of the steam railway for later. Today, I’m going to talk about the Sheffield Steam and Heritage Centre which is home to not only the Redwater Creek Steam Railway but the Redwater Creek Model Railway Club, a miniature railway and a machinery museum. Since our visit to Steamfest I’ve had a look at their website to learn a little bit more about who they are and what they do apart from putting on Steamfest every year.
I learned that the Steam and Heritage Centre was open to the public for several weekends over the summer running the steam train, and usually the miniature railway. There are no dates published on the website for future running days, we are going into autumn now so it may be that they only run in summer although elsewhere on the website it says that they are open on the first weekend of every month. I will have to look into this a bit further as I’d like to visit the railway at a quieter time.
The aim of the Centre is to provide a home for the railway and various collections of machinery to preserve it in Tasmania for future generations to enjoy. Sheffield is an ideal location because it is already a popular tourist town due to its murals and picturesque location near Mt Roland. There is a very good explanation on the history page of the website so I will link to that at the end of this post for those of you who would like to know more. While we were on the site I also noticed signs pointing to the local Men’s Shed, Recycling Hub and a Blacksmith.
Now for some pictures of trains.
This is their newest acquisition, a Ruston diesel engine donated by the Don River Railway. It will be used for shunting and to haul passenger trains on fire ban days.
The locomotive that was running at Steamfest was a Krauss 0-4-0 tank engine built in 1906 in Munich, Germany. It runs on the 2 ft gauge and weighs 7 tonne. It was rebuilt in 1971 using the frame and wheels from two other Krauss locomotives. These little engines seem to have been used mostly as industrial locomotives in Tasmania hauling wagons for mining operations. I know that many railfans love to read all the technical stuff so I’ve included a link here.
There is another locomotive, a Hunslet which is currently being restored and we didn’t see it. It is probably in pieces in the loco shed.
There are two stations on the line. One I believe is the old Sheffield station. It was moved to the site from its original location. The other is another building transported from elsewhere known as Dulverton Station. We were both interested to know the origin of that name because of course there is a Lake Dulverton at Oatlands and we wondered if there was a connection. However, there doesn’t seem to be. The Dulverton siding was located on the old railway line between Sheffield and nearby Railton.
We did not get a chance to see if the model railway was running. The website shows construction of a large layout but I did not see where it was kept. We did see some of the old machinery stored in one of the sheds. Of course most of the traction engines, tractors and steamrollers kept on site were out on display or running there were others like this old Letterpress machine that stayed in the shed.
The miniature railway was giving rides on a purpose built track that circled the site. There were a couple of different vehicles in use during the day. The most unusual one was this miniature tram. I must say it looks a little uncomfortable to ride in.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about this interesting place as much as Naomi and I enjoyed visiting it. I certainly hope we will visit again in the future.
Here is a short YouTube film which is a preview for a longer documentary which I want to find and watch. I hope you enjoy it.