Sometimes our field trips take us to places you wouldn’t otherwise visit such as the Australian Railway Historical Society museum in Newport (ARHS). We discovered that you don’t have to be a train buff to enjoy the display as it is a fascinating look at Victoria’s locomotive history starting with an array of steam engines dating from the 1800’s along with early diesel and electric models.
Amazingly, some of those on display were manufactured just metres away at the Newport Railway Workshop whilst others were built by Massey Ferguson in Sunshine and the Phoenix Foundry in Ballarat. There is only one of each engine type on display and we are lucky to see these as it was more cost effective for the Victorian Railways Commission at the time to palm these off as scrap metal than preserve them. It was the efforts of the Australian Railway Historical Society and a number of employees at Vic Rail that resulted in their preservation.
A number of Caulfield Photographic Society members enjoyed a trip to the museum and undertook at a tour with an enthusiastic volunteer guide who enlightened us with interesting facts. Our questions kept him well beyond the time that was allocated which took us from F 176, a steam engine built in the 1880s at the Phoenix Foundry in Ballarat to a steam engine nick named Heavy Harry along with many others such as steam cranes, a maintenance car equipped with a Model T Ford Engine and a fabulous dining car which has great photographic appeal. A model replica of a diesel engine originally display at Spencer Street Station could be also viewed, ironically outside the boundaries of the museum. It was fantastic to see even if it was through a fence!
Field trips are a great part of club life. Apart from the photo opportunities they are great provide a great social outing and provide the chance to seek advice from other club members. I’m certain we will see some photos from this day entered into future competitions.