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Trees on Trains at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre

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On a whim
South West Rail and Heritage Centre Present Trees on Trains. A Whim was a large 'carriage' for hauling large logs often pulled by horses or bullocks and later by steam traction engines (Photo courtesy of State Library of Western Australia 022017PD).
A Whim was a large 'carriage' for hauling large logs often pulled by horses or bullocks and later by steam traction engines (Photo courtesy of State Library of Western Australia 022017PD).

The Open Day at South West Rail and Heritage Centre (SWRHC) on Sunday, May 27, 2018, from 10:00am to 2:00pm, will feature 'Trees on Trains', focussing on our long-lost rail systems.

In times past, the South West of Western Australia was crisscrossed with a web of rail lines going in all directions. These lines were vital to the timber industry in this state and were responsible for towns, some of which are still thriving, springing up throughout the region.

Rails through the bush


Co-author of the book Rails through the Bush, renowned historian Jeff Austin will give two talks, one at 10:45am and repeated at 12:15pm, focusing on the rail lines and mills that operated in the areas surrounding Boyanup. Jeff's book will be on sale at a special price of $59.00 and he will be happy to sign purchases.

The past on display

Moreover, there will be displays of some of the towns, the mills, the equipment and the lifestyles of families who depended on the timber for their living.

South West Rail and Heritage Centre Present Trees on Trains. Jardee Shunting Locomotive (rail tractor) from Jardee Timber Mill.
Jardee Shunting Locomotive (rail tractor) from Jardee Timber Mill.

The beloved Jardee Shunting Locomotive (rail tractor) spent many years hauling logs and timber at the Jardee Timber Mill south of Manjimup. The Jardee Mill closed in the 1990s and the locomotive was donated to the Leschenault Railway Preservation Society then transferred to Rail Heritage WA when the LRPS was dissolved.

The widowmaker

View photographs of some of the mills and various locomotives used in the hauling of timber from the forest to the mills. Maps will show where the timber lines were located and details of the work that was involved in the industry in the early days. In addition, the SWRHC has some of the earlier saws on display.

South West Rail and Heritage Centre Present Trees on Trains.
The Douglas Swing Saw, nicknamed the widowmaker.

The heart of SWRHC

As usual, all of the resident groups, the Boyanup Foundation Blacksmiths, the Capel Men's Shed, the Preston River Old Machinery Group and the South West Model Railway Group will all be in action, doing what they do best.

Keeping the children on the rails

The children will love a ride on the 'parent-powered' merry-go-round, made from recycled materials, and other activities.

Check out the Picnic Van

Light refreshments will be available from the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van. Toasted sandwiches, cakes, ice creams, cold drinks, tea and coffee will be on show, plus the ever-popular sausages will be a-sizzling.

Parking and toilets available

Toilet facilities are available, including a toilet suitable for people with a disability. There is plenty of parking, just follow the signs to find your convenient parking spot.

How to get there

The South West Rail and Heritage Centre situated in Turner Street, Boyanup, an accessible day trip from Perth, and well worth the experience, is open from 10:00am to 2:00pm. For more information, please contact Norm Chapple at swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552. You may also find this website and their Facebook page helpful, and entry is by donation.


All photos are from the SWRHC collection unless otherwise noted. Artwork by John F.
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Why? Have a fun day out in the country while discovering our long-lost rail systems
When: Sunday, May 27, 2018 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Phone: Contact Norm Chapple on swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552
Where: Rail Centre, 33 Turner St, Boyanup WA 6237
Cost: Entry by donation
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