What happened to the legendary Vulcan Vale Railway?

 
  409 Minister for Railways

We have read about it through many issues of AMRM from its miraculous rebirth to how it operated to the last train to run on the line. What has happened to the Vulcan Vale since that last train ran? Its fate has been puzzleing me. Has the line been dismantled (I hope not), has it been ;eft to gather dust or has it been given another rebirth by a new owner (I hope so Razz ). Can anyone 'fill the gaps'?

Sponsored advertisement

  Brassy Chief Commissioner

Location: Gippsland
If he doesn't actually reply to this thread, you might PM Duttonbay, as he is the acknowledged expert on the fate of Vulcan Vale.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The Vulcan Vale is essentially no more.  The structures, locomotives and rolling stock have been saved by Rick's family, but the track, scenery, electrics, etc, remain in the shed, sold with the house.  Perhaps the purchaser might be (or might become) a modeller - or then again, perhaps they might like the whole of the backyard and demolish the lot...
  tainted Missing Link

Location: Shepparton, Vic
The property sold at action for somewhere around $660k, including the track layout, and most of its rolling stock, some was kept by the family as momentoes, there has been word via the selling party that the track is going to be rebuilt, new controls, some new rolling stock and other new features and eventurally be brought back to life, but like most good things this may take a while.

To these people I say good luck, and mya the rolling god of railways smile down on you.
  409 Minister for Railways

I wonder how the purchaser would react when he/she was told how old the layout is. Good to hear that the Vulcan Vale might be rebuilt but it will however, not be the same.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

A Vulcan Vale locomotive made the last ever trip over the line yesterday.  On what would have been Rick's 85 birthday, a train ran from Pseudo to Charade for the very last time.  All of the rolling stock has now been packed away in boxes, and all of the structures are in storage.

Although the new owner says he is keen, my view is that either he will lose interest in a few weeks, or something will go wrong (maybe in the electrics) and he will have absolutely no idea how to fix it.   As far as the Vulcan Vale is concerned, is all over.  Permanently.   If anything else does run over the line, it's certainly not going to be the Vulcan Vale with the green locomotives, the purple trinkle, and the beautiful buildings...  All that's left is the track, the grey scenery, and the three bridges.  Maybe it's time to move the Vulcan Vale to the Archeology forum Smile
  E1109 Minister for Railways

Location: Bright sunny Darwin
Are there any photos available of this in action?
  Brassy Chief Commissioner

Location: Gippsland
A Vulcan Vale locomotive made the last ever trip over the line yesterday.  On what would have been Rick's 85 birthday, a train ran from Pseudo to Charade for the very last time.  All of the rolling stock has now been packed away in boxes, and all of the structures are in storage.

Although the new owner says he is keen, my view is that either he will lose interest in a few weeks, or something will go wrong (maybe in the electrics) and he will have absolutely no idea how to fix it.   As far as the Vulcan Vale is concerned, is all over.  Permanently.   If anything else does run over the line, it's certainly not going to be the Vulcan Vale with the green locomotives, the purple trinkle, and the beautiful buildings...  All that's left is the track, the grey scenery, and the three bridges.  Maybe it's time to move the Vulcan Vale to the Archeology forum Smile
"duttonbay"


Agreed, and then in a month or so, we can start a Preservation Group. Get a newspaper behind us, the army to move the shed.......


.
  R700 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Is there any info for me to read about this layout, I don't think I have seen any photos before.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The most recent articles on the Vulcan Vale were in the October and December 2003 issues of AMRM.  I have some photos on my Australian Narrow Gauge Web Exhibition site - here:
http://members.optushome.com.au/jdennis/vulcan/frameset.html

As for the last ever train - the only witnesses were Rick's two sons, busily removing structures and packing away the rolling stock.  I know that Grant took a photo or two, but they are (a) his, and (b) no different to any of the thousands that have been taken of the layout over the years...
  R700 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
WOW!! that is an amazing layout, it looks so real.  Shocked
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
The Historic Commercial Vehicle CLub I belong were invited to visit this layout in early August.  Some people with no interest in models came along to speak to people for 1/2 an hour.  3 hours later they were still finding details on the layout to amuse themselves.  There were about 40 people there.

Rick's sons and friends ran the trains and talking to them was interesting espeecially to hear how everything was made etc.
  409 Minister for Railways

I read somwhere that the the blocks are supposed to be the backing for scenery, but he never finished so it remained like that, in the form we know so well.
  scottmac99 Beginner

A fair chunk of Vulcan Vale is on display in a shop window in the main street of Avoca,   Victoria Australia.
  lustychant Chief Commissioner

Now I'm going to jump in before some winge about digging up old threads. The 'younger folk' here could do none better than not only dig up the old AMRM's of the day that featured this great layout, they should take the time to read the articles. Great prose and a great storyteller. He sincerely ifluenced me as a 'just into my teens' kid back in the day. You don't read that sort of style in mags these days, and you certainly won't find it on the internet forums (well, rarely) Laughing.

Rick Richardson, you were and still are a legend, thank you 8)
  ozmoe Station Master

Location: Talbot, Central Victoria
A fair chunk of Vulcan Vale is on display in a shop window in the main street of Avoca, Victoria Australia.
"scottmac99"


Which shop? I'm not far from Avoca and I'd be happy to take some pix, if allowed, and post them here.
  Ron McF Beginner

My apologies for resurrecting such a very, very old thread, but I want to include the previous discussion as part of my post.

A couple of days ago (April 2019) I was travelling through Avoca (Vic) and chanced upon a window display of an old model railroad in a book-shop. Or, I should say, parts from an old model railroad - the Vulcan Vale Narrow Gauge Railway.  I had never heard of it before, but I took a bunch of photos on my phone (which were affected somewhat by reflection from the glass), and then came searching for more more information when I got home.  That search led me to this discussion.

So, I can confirm that as of April 2019 a fair chunk of Vulcan Vale is still on display in a shop window in the main street of Avoca. The pieces appear to be in very good condition, especially considering their age.  I asked two gents about the models at an Op Shop two-doors down. One of them told me that every now-and-then a man comes to open the shop, but not very often. The other gent told me that he has never seen the book-shop open. I couldn't see any contact details on the display.

I was hoping to be able to upload my photos here, but it seems that they have to be posted somewhere online first and then linked to. I haven't done that and I'm not likely to.  So if anyone is interested in seeing the photos, feel free to email me at gulflines[at]yahoo.com.au

More to the point though, if anyone is interested in saving this model railroad while it is still in good condition then this might be a good time to track down the current owner.

Best regards,
Ron McF
Berwick
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

More to the point though, if anyone is interested in saving this model railroad while it is still in good condition then this might be a good time to track down the current owner.
Ron McF
The owner of the store is one of Rick's sons. I have no idea what his long term plans are. I guess I could contact him...
  Ron McF Beginner

More to the point though, if anyone is interested in saving this model railroad while it is still in good condition then this might be a good time to track down the current owner.
The owner of the store is one of Rick's sons. I have no idea what his long term plans are. I guess I could contact him...
duttonbay
Thanks duttonbay.

In that case, it is probably in safe hands. My concern was that it might simply be forgotten about, which would be a tragedy as the modelling appears to be quite exquisite.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
All of the surviving structures of the Vulcan Vale Railway are kindly displayed by one of Rick's sons, Grant.  He kindly displays them in the window of the shop front he owns in Avoca.  We were lucky enough to be able to borrow these beautiful models for the 2017 Australian Narrow Gauge Convention.  I had all the displayed models at my place for about 6 months to do some gentle restoration work on them and assemble the display bases they now sit on in the shop window (prior to that they were just stacked up on books and bricks).  

It was certainly a privilege and an honor to have these models in my care during this period, and be able to study and admire Rick's fine craftsmanship up so close.  There is some incredibly clever engineering in many of these structures that people would only appreciate if able to see the back of them or turn them upside down.  I never got the chance to see the layout in operation, so to spend this time with these models was the next best thing.

As for their future, I hate to think what they would be worth...they are museum grade models.  Rick's son, Grant, is quite a capable modeller himself, but doesn't have much time to commit to the hobby.  As far as I'm aware, the models are just planned for private display, with no intention to see them built within a working layout again (I don't think any new layout would do them justice).

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  Ron McF Beginner

As far as I'm aware, the models are just planned for private display, with no intention to see them built within a working layout again (I don't think any new layout would do them justice).

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
danpickard
Thanks Dan.

I'm pleased to hear that these models are in good hands, and I think you've done an admirable job with the display stands.

As much as I'd like to see the models used in a new layout, I too doubt that a new layout would do them justice.

Regards,
Ron
  Hafenbahn Locomotive Fireman

Wow!

(Pretty much sums it up)
  duttonbay Minister for Railways
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

Now that is modelling !!!!

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: E1109, ozmoe, Pressman, Ron McF

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.