Wee Georgie Wood Railway


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

Name

The original name varied between being known as the North Mount Farrell Tramway,[1] Farrell Tramway [2] 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.

Wee Georgie Wood Station

While we waited, we wandered around the yard and went across the road to look at some of the mining relics as well.

Rusty locomotive
Krauss 5988 of 1908

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.

Wee Georgie Wood locomotive
The train

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.

At the terminus

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.

Further Reading:

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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