Track Restoration | Yard Update

The equipment was putting up a fight this week but the first section of track restoration from the loco shed has been completed with the track re-gauged and new sleepers screwed into place.

Work is now progressing south towards the turntable where old sleepers (or the hint of where sleepers might have been) have been removed and a combination of over 60 second-hand sleepers and recycled transoms have been placed on to the track, ready to be installed over the coming weeks.

Having access to machinery has been a huge help in this process as we’re able to quickly move heavy materials around the yard and into place, allowing our volunteers to focus their efforts on getting the track back in place. Thank you to our members who have helped to make this possible.

One thing that is very important to us is ensuring that heritage railway in the Monaro is in great hands now and well into the future, so it’s always great to see our younger members getting hands-on experience in all aspects of railway maintenance and learning new skills, under the expert guidance of our experienced volunteers.


As we complete more and more sleeper restoration around the yard, we are quickly depleting our reserve of new sleepers. If you would like to support our track restoration efforts but can’t help us on the ground, contributing to our sleeper fund is a great way to help ensure that our team have the resources they need to continue this great work.

Contributions can be made online via our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

ANNOUNCEMENT | Restoration of Railway Institute Building and Tennis Courts

This week, we were privileged to host Nichole Overall MP at Cooma Railway Station to help us announce $310,000 in funding for the restoration of the Railway Institute Building and Tennis Courts. We also had the opportunity to show Nichole some of the amazing work that has already been completed.

Built in 1928, the Tennis Courts are an example of the “Ant Hill” surface, built using crushed termite mounds, that was commonly used in regional NSW. These courts will be restored to original condition and will be made available to hire for the community.

The Railway Institute Building, built in 1953, was a place where railway workers could be educated as well as a social hub for railway families to connect with each other. The building will be restored and upgraded including landscaping to the surrounding grounds and will be available to hire by the community for meetings and small functions.

The project also includes the installation of a large retaining wall between the Oil Siding and the Institute Building that will provide the foundation for new visitor walking path, connecting the platform with the northern end of the railway yard.

We can’t wait to see the work completed and bring these facilities back to the community. Stay tuned for progress updates….

The full announcement can be found here:

Preserving Cooma History – Nichole Overall – Member for Monaro

Project Update – Cooma Yard Track Restoration

The next stage of track restoration within Cooma yard has now commenced between the loco shed and the station platform. Sleepers will be replaced on both southern loco shed roads on to the through road and back up the platform road to the platform. That’s almost 1km of track.

This work will allow not only allow the railmotors to leave the loco shed but will also allow them to traverse between the  loco shed and the platform, allowing visitors to explore the beautiful machines whilst visiting the museum.

Degraded sleepers have been marked for the length of the section and will be replaced with a combination of new hardwood sleepers, second hand sleepers recovered from other parts of the precinct and reconditioned timber transoms.

Winter is a great time to work in the outdoors and our volunteers are working at the station every Tuesday and Wednesday 9.00am – 3.00pm and Saturdays 9.00am – 1.00pm. If you would like to volunteer some of your time to help with this project, please reach out on Facebook or send us an email at secretary@cmrailway.org.au.


If you would like to support our sleeper renewal project or just contribute toward the getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

New Arrivals | MB Timber Box Van

Our rolling stock collection continues to grow with the delivery this week of a Steel Framed MB Timber Box Van (MB 22493) from the NSW State Collection. This will be restored for static display and will eventually move into our Rolling Stock Display Shed.

We’re starting to develop quite an interesting heritage goods consist in the yard now. Maybe some time in the future we might be able to see this consist making a photo op trip down the line once more. 📸🤔


If you would like to be part of getting trains running in the Monaro once more, please send us a message on Facebook or via email to secretary@cmrailway.org.au. Any help is greatly appreciated and you don’t need any prior experience.


All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Arson Attack at Cooma Railway

Normally we like to share positive stories about the exciting progress being made by our volunteers but unfortunately today, our update is not a positive one.

Shortly after midday today, volunteers working at Cooma Railway Station noticed smoke coming from the cutting on the northern approach to Cooma yard. Upon closer investigation, an individual was observed in the cutting, attempting to systematically set fire to multiple railway sleepers.

The resulting fire then spread to the grass across the former stock sidings and down the track to the northern gates of the railway precinct before it could be extinguished by the NSW Fire Service.

This was a direct and targeted attack which we can only assume was intended to destroy railway infrastructure in an attempt by the person or persons involved to hinder our ability to return operational services to the line.

Unfortunately for the person involved, we were able to obtain photos of them leaving the scene which have been provided to NSW Police to assist with their investigation.

It’s extremely sad that people feel the need to take actions like this but fortunately in this instance, the damage caused by the fire was minimal. We certainly hope that this is an isolated event.

If anyone has additional information about this event or those involved, please contact Cooma Police.

Project Update | Clearing the mess

It’s not pretty work but it’s important work and another important step toward bringing the precinct back to life.

This week we’ve had two teams working on clean-up projects within the precinct. As we’ve been clearing the yard and railway corridor, we’ve accumulated a large collection of scrap steal and rubbish which we’ve now been able to collate and send out for recycling.

Across on the northern side of the loco shed, another team have been painstakingly removing years worth of rubbish and debris that have been dumped in the ash pit on the second road. The rubbish has now been disposed of and the pit will soon receive some small repairs and fresh new coat of white paint.

Both of these projects were made much easier with the use of machinery which was kindly donated by our members.

If you would like to be part of getting trains running in the Monaro once more, please send us a message on Facebook or via email to secretary@cmrailway.org.au. Any help is greatly appreciated and you don’t need any prior experience.


All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Project Update | There Is Track Out There

How good does that look? Our team of volunteers have continued their hard work clearing the railway corridor with another important section completed. It’s been hidden for a while but the line has now been cleared from the northern end of the yard, through to the Yareen Road crossing where the team have recently cleared a large section north of the road.

It really is getting exciting now as we push further toward Snowy Junction and take another step towards getting trains running on this section in near future.

There is still work to be done though, including:

🔹 Further vegetation control on the Snowy Junction end.
🔹 Replacement of select sleepers.
🔹 Dig out and clear drainage trenches.
🔹 Replace home signal.
🔹 Replace level crossing signage.
🔹 Paint and test level crossing equipment.

If you would like to help with this project, our team will be at the station on:

🔹 Tuesday’s 9.00am – 3.00pm
🔹 Wednesday’s 9.00am – 3.00pm
🔹 Saturday’s 9.00am – 1.00pm

If you would like to be part of getting trains running in the Monaro once more, please send us a message on Facebook or via email to secretary@cmrailway.org.au. Any help is greatly appreciated and you don’t need any prior experience.


All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

The home signal post (above) has failed and will be replaced with an authentic steel signal post, simiar to other signals in the yart.

Project Update | Getting Back on Track

Operating a heritage railway is no simple task and a huge amount of work has been taking place behind the scenes to get trains back on rails in the Monaro but equally as important (and exciting) is the infrastructure that we’ll be running on.

Over the past few weeks, our team of volunteers, assisted by our Work for the Dole participants, have commenced remediation work on the railway corridor between Cooma Station and Snowy Junction to the north. This 4.5km section of track will be the first phase of CMRs return to the rails.

Our team have been steadily working their way north from Yareen Road toward Snowy Junction by:

🔹️Clearing Vegetation
🔹️Removing Stray Trees
🔹️Clearing Rubbish
🔹️Spraying weeds

Once the corridor has been cleared, our track inspection team will be able to complete a full assessment of the infrastructure including:

🔹️Drains and Water Management
🔹️Sleeper Condition
🔹️Rail Condition
🔹️Road Crossings
🔹️Signs and Safety
🔹️Culverts

After so many years, it’s great to see the track emerge from the vegetation and we can’t wait to see our Railmotors trundling up through the cutting once more.

👉 If you would like to assist with the restoration of the railway corridor, drop us a message on Facebook. We have teams on track 3 days a week:

🔹️Tuesday 9.00am – 3.00pm
🔹️Wednesday 9.00am – 3.00pm
🔹️Saturday 9.00am – 1.00pm


If you would like to support any of our projects or just contribute toward the getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Award Winning Roses

🌹 AWARD WINNING ROSES🌹You may have seen the beautiful rose gardens that we’ve been cultivating over the last couple of years across the Cooma Railway precinct. We think they are amazing and this weekend, the judges agreed!

CMR entered some of our roses in the 2022 Cooma Show and we’ve won two second place awards for:

🔹️ 3 Full Bloom Roses
🔹️ 1 Red Bloom

We’re super proud of gardens and can’t wait to bring more entries next year.

Project Update | Signals & Interlocking System

During February, we welcomed back our friends from the CMR Signals Branch who travelled from the far corners of the state to continue the restoration work on the Signals and Interlocking System in the Cooma Station precinct.

The primary focus for this trip was the replacement of a number of structural timbers that support the steel linkage connecting the components of the interlocking system with the Signal Box, many of which have since rotted away or were no longer strong enough to support the load. These are substantial timbers as they need to be able to support the huge amount of force exerted through the linkage and are critical to the smooth operation of the system.

Another important component of the interlocking system are the depression bars. A depression bar is a fixed steel bar that sits along the inside of the rail and when depressed by flanges of the wheel, it prevents the associated points being changed. The depression bar on the through road, north of the platform has now been re-installed on brand new sleepers and re-connected to the system.

In addition to the structural work, some of our signals also received some cosmetic work as the team started repainting the signals in the yard. With the new lenses already installed, these beautiful signals are starting to look as good as the day they went into the ground.

This latest round of work means that we now have one section of the signal and interlocking system that is fully operational from the Signal Box and we are one step closer to restoring the entire system back to an operational state.

💁‍♀️ Did you know – While the Signal and Interlocking system is an important piece of history, it isn’t just for show. When restored, the system will be in full operational use when we re-commence heritage train operations and will continue to control operations in the yard for many years to come.

A huge thank you to John, Wazza, Jerry and Plucker from the CMR Signals Branch team as well as our regular CMR volunteers for all their hard work. A special thank you to all those who have contributed towards this project through supply of goods, services and the kind donations from the public. Without your continued support, work like this would not be possible.

We look forward to welcoming our signalling friends back later in the year to continue bringing this amazing piece of engineering back to life for everyone to enjoy.


If you would like to support any of our projects or just contribute toward getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

New Arrivals | 🚃 S-Trucks 🚃

It’s always exciting when we get new arrivals in the yard and this month we’ve continued to grow our rolling stock collection with the addition of two more S-Trucks.

S-Trucks were a staple on the railway’s of NSW, carrying almost any type of freight. They were also a common site on goods trains in Cooma, transporting wool and grains as well as supplies for the original Snowy Hydro construction.

These wagons are from the NSW State collection and will be restored by our volunteers at Cooma for display in our museum alongside our existing S-Trucks.

If you would like to assist with this or any of our projects, please reach out through Facebook or via email to secretary@cmrailway.org.au. Our team are at the Cooma Railway Precinct every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.


If you would like to support any of our projects or just contribute toward getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Community | Working Together

The events of the last two years have taken a huge toll on our local community, particularly our regional towns and the community organisations that support them. For many organisations, it’s been impossible to operate with any kind of normality in recent times which has set them back many years.

Cooma Monaro Railway is no different. Even after many months of work from all of our volunteers, we’re only now getting back to the position we were in two years ago. Unfortunately, not all organisations have the resources or support to fully recover which leaves many of them in a position where they are unable to continue.

As a small community organisation, the Friends of Bombala Railway have been maintaining the Bombala Railway precinct for over a decade, encouraging visitors from near and far to visit the town and enjoy this beautiful piece of history. The group had also been progressing their plans to develop a Railway Pedal Car attraction on the line north of Bombala Station which would help attract much needed tourism to the town.

With a lack of external support over this period, coupled with the impact of extended restrictions, the group were unable to keep up with the maintenance across the precinct which resulted in the vegetation taking control once more and prevented visitors from accessing a large portion of the site.

When our track inspection team visited the Bombala Railway precinct earlier this year, it reminded us that more than ever before, we need to work together to ensure that all of our community groups not only recover from recent events but have a strong, healthy future.

To ensure that the Friends of Bombala Railway have every opportunity to pursue their future plans, a group of CMR volunteers, along with their families, travelled to Bombala for the weekend, not only to help the local volunteers but to enjoy a weekend away in such a beautiful town.

While the weather did it’s best to halt our progress, we were able to clear a substantial amount of the yard including the station area, turntable, loco shed foundations and the main line from the Monaro Highway into the precinct. As the vegetation cleared, our team were also able to wash and clean the heritage rolling stock in the yard, ready for visitors to enjoy once more.

To assist the local volunteers in keeping the vegetation under control, CMR also donated 20 litres of Glyphosate 540 and 5 litres of Spray Marker Dye to the group to help keep the vegetation under control so that visitors can continue to enjoy the site.

Our volunteers will be back in the near future to continue restoring the yard and help the Friends of Bombala Railway to take another step toward their vision. As a community organisation that has been operating in the Monaro for over 30 years, it’s important to CMR and it’s members that we continue to work together across the community to develop and strengthen our local economy and continue to create opportunities for future generations.

If you share a passion for local history and would like to see it preserved into the future, the Friends of Bombala Railway are looking for volunteers to assist the group. They are a wonderful group of people and would welcome any assistance. If you think you could help, please contact simmo572@hotmail.com or 0407 259 622.

Project Update | 🌳 Landscaping and Gardens

Work on landscaping and gardens across the Cooma Railway Precinct has continued through February as we work toward bringing our museum concept plan to life.

Thanks to the generous support of Transport for NSW and Transport Heritage NSW, we received the first 50 of 100 Ornamental Pear Trees that will be planted around the perimeter of the railway precinct. These are the same trees that currently line Hilton Street in front of Aldi. The trees will continue from the existing line, inside the fence line of the railway precinct across to the Goods Shed entrance, past the tennis courts and along either side of the Bradley Street entry.

As these trees mature, they will not only enhance the exterior of the precinct but also help to create beautiful tree-lined pathways around the precinct and provide screening for ornamental gardens, BBQ and picnic areas that our visitors will be able to enjoy while visiting the museum.

A special thank you to Katrina Healy for the loan of her Kanga to assist with digging the holes for the trees, saving our volunteers many hours (and sore backs).

🌳 Want to get involved? 🌳

You don’t have to be a train fan to get involved with the Cooma Monaro Railway. If you have a green thumb and enjoy working with plants, why not come down and help with the development of our green spaces, ornamental gardens and soon, our fresh produce gardens. Send us a message on Facebook or contact secretary@cmrailway.org.au.


If you would like to support any of our projects or just contribute toward getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Rails and Trails

Over the past few weeks, many of you have been asking what our position is on the proposed development of a Rail Trail through the Queanbeyan to Bombala rail corridor. As a Heritage Railway that has been a part of the Monaro region for over 30 years, we have always worked hard to support the economic development of the local community by promoting tourism in the region and attracting visitors from across the state.

We believe the development of a bike trail through the rail corridor, installed beside the existing track alignment and designed in conjunction with the railway will give the Monaro a one-of-a-kind attraction that will not only enhance the reputation of the Monaro Region as a year-round tourist destination but also provide the catalyst for the economic recovery of our regional towns along the corridor.

As our own plans for heritage train operations progress, we continue to develop our concept plans for the rail corridor which not only include restoration of existing railway infrastructure but development of new infrastructure to integrate and support a trail, including:

🔹Installation of a new platform at Lake Williams, providing walking access to Nimmitabel township and connecting up with proposed trail heads.
🔹Installation of additional new platforms at key trail locations along the corridor to allow for rail transport of riders, walkers and bikes between sections of the trail.
🔹Installation of a new platform and viewing facilities on Mount Cooper, linking up with trail users and providing rail passengers easy access to one of the most scenic sections of the line.
🔹Installation of communication facilities at key points along the corridor to support rail operations and provide trail users with access to emergency communications in areas where mobile phone coverage is not available.

As residents of the Monaro, we feel that it is important that any financial investment from Snowy Monaro Regional Council is spent effectively and in the interests of everyone in the community. After reaching out to our friends at the Monaro Rail Trail group in December 2021 to collaborate on what a shared railway corridor might look like, we’ve since had the opportunity to meet collectively with MRT and a number of stakeholders with an interest in the rail corridor. As a group, we’re committed to finding a solution that works for all involved and more importantly, provides the Monaro with an attraction that will continue to strengthen the local economy for generations to come.

We hope that you share our vision and will continue to support us on our journey to returning trains to the Monaro once more.


If you would like to support any of our projects or just contribute toward the getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro, please visit our online store:
👇👇👇

https://cooma-monaro-railway.square.site/shop/Donations/4

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

A Total Railway Experience

While the pandemic has disrupted the plans of many organisations across the country, including CMR, our dedicated team have continued to work tirelessly on restoration projects and capital works within the railway precinct but equally as important, we’ve also been putting a lot of energy into planning for the future of the museum.

The goal of the Cooma Monaro Railway is to develop a nationally recognised, year-round, destination attraction for the Monaro region, providing visitors with a total heritage railway experience for all ages. We want to ensure that we create an attraction that is both self-sustainable financially and continues to help strengthen the local economy while preserving the heritage of NSW Railways for many years to come.

Across 2020 and 2021, we were able to finalise the Concept Plan for the Cooma Railway Precinct. This is an exciting development because it allows us to share our vision for the precinct with you and highlight some of the exciting things that are in the works, including:

🔹 Two road display shed for restored rolling stock.
🔹 Railway Barracks Accommodation that can be booked by visitors for overnight stays and other railway experiences.
🔹 Picnic and BBQ areas throughout the precinct.
🔹 Restoration and re-installation of coal stage, fuel infrastructure gantry crane, etc.
🔹 Renovation and conversion of the Goods Shed into a function centre.
🔹 New carriage storage shed to house passenger rolling stock.
🔹 New permanent way shed and railway workshops.
🔹 Restoration of the Railway Institute building and tennis courts for public hire.
🔹 Extensive landscaping, tree planting, development of ornamental gardens across the precinct and installation of fresh produce gardens that will supply fresh produce to our café and hampers for railway journeys.

Couple that with heritage train rides and hands-on railway experiences and we believe we’ll be the premier destination for heritage railway in NSW.

Excitingly, it’s not just a plan on paper with capital works already underway and many items either complete or progressing well, including:

🔹 Interior, period correct restoration of the Cooma Station building to house the CMR museum. [Complete]
🔹 Renovation of the District Locomotive Engineers building to act as a headquarters for CMR volunteers including kitchen, meeting rooms, amenities and lockers for our volunteers. [Complete]
🔹 Installation of perimeter security fencing around the entire railway precinct to protect the precinct and rolling stock from vandalism. [Complete]
🔹 Re-connection of power, lights and communications across the precinct. [Complete]
🔹 Installation of a network of security cameras across the precinct [Complete]
🔹 Restoration of the signal and interlocking system. [In Progress]
🔹 Erection of temporary shelter for Steam Locomotive 3203. [Complete]
🔹 Trees and rose gardens [Ongoing]
🔹 Establishment of temporary railway workshops in the Goods Shed. [Complete]
🔹 Two road display shed. [Architectural Planning]

We hope you will like the Cooma Heritage Railway Precinct as much as we do and we look forward to welcoming everyone as we continue to develop the site.

If you would like contribute to the development of the Cooma Railway Precinct, donations can be made on our online store
👇👇👇

https://cooma-monaro-railway.square.site/shop/Donations/4

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

We are also looking for assistance in kind with things like machinery and equipment hire or donation of services.

As always, we’re always happy for people to come down and join our volunteer teams. If you think you might be able to help with these projects, please get in touch through Facebook or via email at secretary@cmrailway.org.au.

Sleepers for a greener future

Restoring and maintaining railway infrastructure is a huge task, especially for an entirely volunteer-based workforce. With an average life-span of 10-15 years, the ongoing maintenance of track infrastructure using timber sleepers becomes even more difficult the further down the line you go. By the time you install new sleepers for a whole section, it’s time to go back to the start and replace them all over again (not to mention the recurring cost of new sleepers).

While alternative sleeper materials are not a new thing, with both steel and concrete sleepers being used in railways for many years, one Aussie company has been working on an even better solution. Integrated Recycling from Mildura have developed Duratrack, an engineered recycled plastic railway sleeper, manufactured in Australia from Australian waste plastic.

With a minimum 50+ year lifespan, they are not only environmentally friendly but provide an organisation like CMR with a product that will reduce both the cost and effort required to maintain the track infrastructure and allow us to focus our resources into providing a top-quality heritage railway experience for our guests.

Some interesting facts about Duratrack sleepers:

🔹 30 Duratrack railway sleepers will save about 300 trees and use about 1 tonne of plastic waste.
🔹 Every kilometre of (standard gauge) Duratrack sleepers installed will recycle approximately 90 tonnes of waste plastic.
🔹 Compared to concrete or steel sleepers, Duratrack sleepers require less energy to manufacture and thereby produce significantly less greenhouse gases.

We would love to get the support to see these rolled out along the line at Cooma and beyond and be the pioneers for recycled sleepers in NSW.

In an age where NSW alone produces 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year, of which only 10% is recycled, it’s important that we all embrace and support important initiatives like this and CMR is no different.

Check out the Integrated Recycling website for more information about the Duratrack recycled sleepers, including how they’re made and where they are being used 👇👇👇

https://www.integratedrecycling.com.au/railway-sleepers/

If you would like to help with track restoration, both in the yard and out on the line, we are always looking for financial contributions toward our sleeper fund which will help us purchase new sleepers and hardware to replace the many aging (or non-existent) sleepers.

https://cooma-monaro-railway.square.site/shop/Donations/4

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

Getting Back on the Rails

It’s been a long journey and almost a decade since trains last graced the rails in the Monaro but we’re definitely on the home stretch. While we are still working through our re-accreditation, our volunteers are starting to prepare for the day that trains will roll once more.

Track from the loco shed is being inspected in preparation for some much-needed sleeper replacement between the shed and the yard. Inspections have also begun on our fleet of Railmotors which are still in operational condition but, like any vehicle that sits idle for a decade, they’ll need a little TLC before they roll out of the shed again.

While track maintenance continues in the yard, planning has also commenced for travelling out of the Cooma Railway Precinct with initial inspections and vegetation control taking place on the Cooma to Snowy Junction section to the north and Cooma to Rock Flat section to the south.

This is an exciting step toward seeing trains running again in the Monaro and takes us one step closer to re-connecting with our friends in Nimmitabel and Bombala.

Who else is looking forward to seeing No.22 roll out of Cooma yard once more? We certainly are!

If you would like to help with track restoration, both in the yard and out on the line, we are always looking for financial contributions toward our sleeper fund which will help us purchase new sleepers and hardware to replace the many aging (or non-existent) sleepers.

https://cooma-monaro-railway.square.site/shop/Donations/4

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.

We are also looking for assistance in kind with things like machinery and equipment hire or donation of services.

As always, we’re always happy for people to come down and join our volunteer trackwork teams.

If you think you might be able to help with these projects, please get in touch through Facebook or via email at secretary@cmrailway.org.au.

Project Update | Signals & Interlocking System

Did you know that the Cooma Railway Precinct will have the only original, fully operational Signal and Interlocking system remaining in NSW? Thanks to our friends from the CMR Signals Branch, we are well on our way to restoring this amazing piece of engineering back to its former glory.

For those who aren’t familiar with railway operations, a Signal and Interlocking system is a network of mechanical rodding and cables, operated by levers in the Signal Box that make it physically impossible for a train to receive a signal to proceed until it is safe for them to do so. The system at Cooma Station is almost entirely manual with a small number of electric components added when the stock sidings were relocated outside the station precinct.

In February 2022, the dedicated volunteers from the CMR Signals Branch will be travelling back to Cooma to continue their amazing work and take us another step closer to bringing trains back to the Monaro.

To continue this great work, we need your help. If you would like to help this project, donations can be made through our online store using the link below 👇👇👇

All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of materials and services to support the great work of our volunteer team.

Stay tuned for more updates on progress in the new year!

New Arrivals

The last few weeks of 2021 were exciting for CMR as we took delivery of more rolling stock from the NSW State Collection. This included two items that will play a pivotal role in the restoration and maintenance of our track infrastructure:

🔹 40ft Bogie Flat Wagon
🔹 MHG Guards Van

While both items will be cosmetically restored and feature in our museum precinct, they will also be restored to operating condition where they will assist our team of volunteers as they work toward getting trains back on the rails in the Monaro once again.

The Flat Wagon will allow lengths of rail to be transported up and down the line as required for repairs to existing track, re-installation of lifted track or installation of new track infrastructure.

The MHG Guards Van will be fitted out as a mobile maintenance support vehicle providing our volunteers with mobile workshop and catering facilities where ever they are working out on the line.

Coupled with our sleeper carrying 4-wheel flat wagons and ballast wagons, our track maintenance rolling stock is almost complete and will allow us to maintain greater sections of line.

Now we just need something to pull it. 🤔 Stay tuned for that one…. 😉

Project Update | Powder Van Restoration

With a reprieve from the recent inclement weather, the team were able to make a start on the restoration of the PV 22318 Powder Van.

Arriving in 2011 after initial restoration by the RailCorp apprentices, the Powder Van has taken pride of place on the on the platform at Cooma Railway Station with its internal display of example items from the period. The van is also significant to the region as it was used to transport explosives to Cooma for the construction of the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

Over the last 10 years, the elements have taken their toll on the canvas roof and after 5 years, temporary protection had to be installed to prevent water leaking into the interior of the van.

Over the past two days, our team of volunteers have begun the process of replacing the canvas roof which involves:

🔹 Carefully removing the wooden trim around the roof
🔹 Removing the old canvas including the many 100s of staples
🔹 Cleaning and repairing any damaged timbers
🔹 Applying sealant to the roof timber joints

Under Daryl’s expert guidance, it’s great to see some of our younger volunteers getting the opportunity to learn about the techniques used in the construction and repair of these beautiful examples of railway history.

In the new year the team will continue with:

🔹 Installing new canvas with navy dressing
🔹 Re-installing original timber trim around the roof

Once the new roof has been installed, the team will finish off with a new fresh coat of paint and lettering, just in time for it to take pride of place once again with our new station museum due to open in early 2022.

🤷‍♀️ Did you know that in order to prevent sparks (which don’t go well with 💥 explosives 💥) the metal fittings inside the van including screws and nails are made from brass and copper rather than steel? The new roof will be installed using new copper nails, just like it would have originally had.

Stay tuned for more updates on progress in the new year!

Treasure Transoms

A vital element in bolstering CMR’s return to the rails arrived in the Cooma railway freight yard today.

A heavy haulage trio of trucks has delivered 320 bridge transoms that have been recycled from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, courtesy of the NSW Government, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and Sydney Trains.

The transoms became available as they were being replaced by concrete sleepers on the iconic bridge and will be used to repair or rebuild the culverts and bridges along CMR’s track network both north and south of the yard.

Our priority is to rebuild the culvert that was burnt-out in a 2013 arson attack. The culvert is within the fenced and secure perimeter of the Cooma railway precinct, and its repair will allow CMR to test-run its heritage rail fleet ahead of operations outside of the yard. The repaired culvert will be stronger than before, as we will convert this culvert to a transom top, replacing the old-style ballast top which had fewer strengthening transom structural beams.

CMR is indebted to our supporters, which include local company Monaro Freight who assisted CMR once again with the provision of a forklift and operator to unload and stack the transoms.

We also extend our sincere thanks and gratitude for the donation of the transoms, and for covering the costs of freight to Cooma. We are constantly pleased to have the assistance and support of the NSW Government, TfNSW and Sydney Trains to ensure CMR returns heritage rail operations to the Snowy Monaro region.

For more information on NSW rail operations please see #TfNSW and #sydneytrains

Quads, Sheds and Coffee

A Wheel Blast: This week we look at why the track quad vehicle has shiny rims, we move beyond the rafters to the battens at the loco shed, the sleepers continue to multiply under the track in the yard, and the best coffee is keeping our volunteers braced against the Cooma winter!

The track maintenance quad vehicle is progressing well, with volunteer Daryl making an impromptu sand blasting cabinet from a cardboard bow and clear plastic to sandblast the quad’s wheels. The wheels are now looking splendid and following examination will be primed and readied to go back onto the track vehicle.

Man at Work: Daryl uses an improvised sandblasting cabinet to renovate a wheel from the track maintenance quad vehicle. (CMR photo)

Over at the temporary loco shed, Caelan and Dave R. ignored the winter cold and continued working to bring the project closer to completion. They have completed installing the rafters and have commenced fixing the battens to the rafters. This project is a fine example of what the team at CMR can deliver, and we are looking forward to the arrival of steam locomotive 3203 to take pride of place in the shed.

Batten Progress: Caelan keeps himself warm by fixing battens to the rafters at the temporary loco shed project over at the goods shed. (CMR photo)

On Saturday our trusty crew of volunteers laid more sleepers in the yard, and our stalwart coffee connoisseur Dave Miller, whose Cooma-based mobile business, Coffee 2630 is a popular fixture at our monthly Fresh Produce Markets, is now making Saturday morning pit stops at the station to refuel our workers with complementary coffee. If you haven’t been to the markets yet, please do so – Dave has the best tasting coffee in the region, so your mouth will thank you forever.

Delirious Dave: Dave Rolfe can’t contain his anticipation for a cup of Dave Miller’s 2630 Coffee – you can get your fix at our next Fresh Produce Markets on 8 August or come down and volunteer on a Saturday morning and get a cup for free! (CMR photo)

There are so many ways you can get involved with the Cooma Monaro Railway. Our next Fresh Produce Markets will be held on 8 August (the second Sunday of the month), and you can join, volunteer, or donate to help advance our return to an operating museum with exhibitions and heritage rail operations. Just visit our website www.cmrailway.org.au to find out how to get involved, or contact us at secretary@cmrailway.org.au