As I mentioned in an earlier post, we went to visit the Wee Georgie Wood Railway at Tullah recently. The railway is operated by volunteers and during the summer months they operate on selected weekends. Everything about the railway is tiny. The gauge of the track, the length of the journey, the locomotive and the carriage. Yes, I said, carriage, there is one. However, it is a great little railway and we both enjoyed riding on it.
The Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway Inc commenced operations in 1987 utilising some 1.8 kilometres of 2-foot (610mm) gauge track and the restored 1924 Wee Georgie Wood steam locomotive as well as rolling stock of that era from other West Coast tramways.
It is based on part of the former North Mount Farrell Mine Tramway and operates as a heritage tourist attraction for the people of Tullah and surrounding areas and visitors to the West Coast.
The original tramway was the only means of transport for the mine and its people from 1902 until roads were built to the Tullah area in 1961.http://www.weegeorgiewood.com.au/history.html
The original name varied between being known as the North Mount Farrell Tramway, Farrell Tramway  or Tullah Tram. Today’s 1.9 km (1.2 mi) long tourist railway is named after its narrow-gauge steam engine, which was due to its small size named the British actor and comedian Wee Georgie Wood, who was only 4 ft 9 in (1.45 m) when fully grown.
When we arrived, the loco was still being prepared in the shed but a friendly volunteer popped out to ask us if we wanted a ride. We said yes, we did, and he said they would be about half an hour which was what we had expected. The fare was just $12 but as Seniors we got a small discount. I thought that was quite reasonable for the 20-minute return journey.
As you can see in the picture below and others in this post the recent bushfire came very close to the railway and Wee Georgie had a narrow escape. The trees in the background here are beside the track.
While we waited, we wandered around the yard and went across the road to look at some of the mining relics as well.
It was some time after ten by the time the train made an appearance. The volunteers checked first with the TFS crew to make sure that there were no hotspots still burning near the line. They received the all clear and then ran the train into the platform.
Here is our carriage. When we set off at about 10:15 or so we were the only passengers. I doubt that our fare even covered the cost of the wood the engine was burning. I asked the friendly volunteer, now acting as guard whether they had been able to run on Saturday and he said that they had and had carried 40 passengers during the day.
The short journey was a very pretty ride through the Tullah town site. We caught a glimpse of Lake Rosebery nearby and were pleased to see that outside of the yard there didn’t seem to be any fire damage. At the terminus there was a small platform so we were able to hop off the train and have a look round before we went back to the station.
There were a few houses and I couldn’t help thinking what an isolated place it would be to live. We got an unexpected passenger, or I should say passengers for the return journey. A local man out walking his dogs asked if he could come with us back to the station. The guard checked with us about whether we were allergic to dogs. Of course, we were delighted to have a couple of doggy companions for the trip. One poor little girl didn’t like the noise though and spent the trip hiding under the seat.
Our visit to the Wee Georgie Wood Railway was a short one but I feel sure it won’t be the last time we visit.