Sure, the rails are a little dull and darkened, but that's to be expected with a miniature, lightweight system that only runs a handful of days per month. It's definitely running though....
I rode on it today!
Thanks to this thread, I finally sussed it out after years of living only about one kilometre from it. Bad, bad
In fact, not only did I ride on it, but I derailed the same train twice! Heheheh. My son did a few circuits behind the "diesel" (looked like a model sugar cane loco - I think it's petrol powered), and when the NSWGR 36 class steamed in, I just had to go with my son on the live steam. Plonking my two-metre tall, beer-gutted, 125kg frame down on the back of the train, that 5in track looked worryingly tiny, and sure enough, the train felt uneasy on the curves, and I felt myself leaning slightly into them to compensate. On one curve, I could see a slight kink in the track just on the end of the preceding straight, and at the last minute, I knew we weren't going to make it. Over we went! Me and my son, and another dad and his son smeg over tit in the grass! Nobody was hurt, and the very friendly society chaps assured me it wasn't because of my size. Polite buggers! I helped them rerail the last car, and the rear bogie of the other, leading car, and off we went again, only to have the same thing happen at another part of the line. Once again they assured me it wasn't my fault, but I offered to forego the rest of the trip until the elderly driver grinned at me with, "You're not scared
are ya?" Back on I went for the last little part of the ride.
I had a chat to them later, and inspected the track with them. They are a very friendly bunch down there. They still insisted it was a combination bogie / track problem causing the derailments. They were talking about reconditioning the wheels, which admittedly did look a bit tatty. Anyway it was 35 degrees and they said the track was suffering for it. A miniature railway running under WOLO - hoodathunkit? The rail is welded to metal sleepers, and railspread on curves is common in the heat.
Lots of Costa / CityRail jokes with the blokes there - and comparisons with their trains' reliability versus that of their bigger brothers. They are a good crowd, and I'm thinking of joining their club.
Aside from the 36 Class and the diesel, they had a live steam Thomas the tank engine (whatever UK model it is) minus the happy face - running light engine, and a Sydney toast rack tram. A smaller gauge elevated track also had unmanned trains running on it. All in all, a busy scene.
The trains are open to the public on the second Saturday of each month - which was today, so you've got a month's wait. http://www.steamengine.com.au/cgi-bin/showschema?root=clubs.schema&schema=club.data.schema&data=cl_bankstown_steam_locomotive_society.711§ion=2&item=3
Name : Bankstown steam Locomotive Society
Entry Last Updated : Mon Feb 18 17:36:46 2002
Focus : Vintage Machinary
Restrictions : Anyone Welcome
Location : Australia, New South Wales
City : Bankstown
Address : Ruse Park , Bankstown
Postal Address : P.O Box 81, Canley Heights , NSW , 2166
1st Contact Name : Ian Strawbridge
Additional Information : Running days are the 2nd saturday of the mo[nth , starting about 1pm. Live steam , petrol electric outline locos and more! 2-1/2' and 3-1/2' elevated and 5' ground level of about 800 metres. Visitors welcome!
A good day out, and can I recommend it to anyone.