News 2012                         


Updated 25/06/2013


18th December, 2012


Over the first two weeks of December DE Loco C1703 received considerable attention to bring it up to Mainline Standard.

The loco has had a number of miscellaneous repairs carried out, been fully serviced, given a new set of main & auxiliary generator brushes, a new set of batteries and had ditch lights fitted. Most of the work has been carried out by Gemco Rail.

C 1703 will commence casual work with Qube Logistics in January 2013 primarily operating rail transport trains. 





31st October, 2012

Several  areas along both the Isandra to Dwellingup and Dwellingup to Etmilyn sections received track maintenance attention at the end of October with approximately 17 sleepers inserted west of Dwellingup and 49 inserted to the east.

Left, several sleepers are being replaced at the 11.8km, just east of Isandra and prior to the commencement of the heavily graded section of Greens Hill.


30th October, 2012

HVR's fleet of 6 ex Tasmanian passenger cars have carried thousands of passengers for the railway since their acquisition in 1979. Following almost 33 years of service with HVR, they have become generally 'life expired' to the point of requiring significant repair or overhaul in order to remain serviceable. As a result, 5 of these vehicles have been withdrawn from service and the 6th, SSD1, is to receive replacement bogies with roller bearings. SSD1 will remain in use at Dwellingup and the other 5 vehicles are to be sold. The bogies from all 6 vehicles have been sold to the West Coast Wilderness Railway in Tasmania for ongoing use.


SSD1 being lifted for bogie replacement.              The SS bodies & bogies stowed for disposal.

7th October, 2012

On Sunday 7th October, due to weather conditions and failed rings in W920's LH cylinder on Saturday's morning service, the HVR Steam-Ranger train was worked by Diesel Loco F40.

Given the time of year, weather conditions and increasing fire risk, repairing W920 for just the four remaining Steam Ranger operating days has been deferred and all remaining Ranger services for 2012 will be Diesel hauled by F40. This may also lead to a few extra services in November.



22nd September, 2012

In the late afternoon of Saturday 22 Sept, the two newly acquired ex Standard Gauge


Above: The two PGV's at Alumina Junction with road transporting supports in the foreground and later enroute to Isandra.

At Alumina Junction, the two ex Std Gauge PGV's were placed on Narrow Gauge bogies. HRGA96 was placed on ex WAGR freight bogies using specially fabricated adaptors, whilst PGC3950 was placed on overhauled ex SAR bogies from HVR stock. Both vehicle handbrakes were then connected and tested.


20th September, 2012

On Thursday 20th September HVR collected two Power Generator Vans from the Gemco Rail locomotive maintenance facility at Midland. The two vehicles were once part of the Spirit of The West Restaurant Train fleet. The larger vehicle HRGA 96 was a permanent SoTW vehicle and included Guard's section, dishwashing and stores. The smaller PGC3950 was originally a Narrow Gauge vehicle and ran on the last NG Ghan in South Australia before being converted to Standard Gauge.  This vehicle will be returned to NG and vacuum braked for use on another proposed HVR Restaurant Train which would be able to have heating, air-conditioning, electric cooking and refrigeration etc. The large HRGA96 will become an office, toilet and power supply at Isandra. These vehicles have been generously donated to HVR by Gemco Rail.


PGC3950 departing Midland and HGRA96 awaiting departure as PGC3950 was being loaded.

ABC Crane Hire of Mandurah loaded and un-loaded the vehicles which were carried by WA Specialised Transport. Both companies did a marvellous job for us and at reduced rates.


Above: Unloading late in the day at Alumina Junction

12th September, 2012

************* Happy Anniversary to Us *************

Today was the 36th Anniversary of Hotham Valley Steam Ranger Trains 

from Pinjarra to Dwellingup

Hotham Valley Railway was 38 years old in March this year.

9th September, 2012

Dwellingup was a busy station on Sunday 9th September with both Steam-Ranger and Forest Trains operating as was once regularly the case. On this occasion, the Forest Train was a special service for approximately 100 of the Waylen Bay Sea Scouts visiting Dwellingup for the weekend.

The newly revised Forest Train consist of 3 x RA class 40 seat passenger 'wagons' having been commissioned only the previous day with the completion of repairs & servicing requirements to RA5643 (centre vehicle) which had been out of service for the last 6 years. The revised consist provides a more suitable train for touring through the forest whilst also providing much greater oversight of the train and passengers by loco crews and passenger attendants.


HVR Member of many years, and long serving steam fireman Neil Chamberlain, takes great pride and enjoyment in his involvement with HVR. Here on Sunday morning 9th September 2012 Neil is seen with a smile on his face as always, busy cleaning loco W920 which he will be working for the Steam-Ranger trains that day.



5th August, 2012

At around 10:15pm Saturday night 4th August,  one of HVR's two volunteer accommodation houses in Dwellingup burnt down. Luckily no one was in the house at the time. The cause is not considered suspicious and is thought to possibly be the result of a chimney fire.

The structure was not insured and the loss will impact heavily on volunteers that relied on this accommodation whilst attending Dwellingup to operate the railway, many of whom had put a lot of work into making the small, very old houses as comfortable and homely as possible.


Also on Saturday evening, as the house was burning down, the returning Restaurant Train suffered the de-railment of its last vehicle, ZJ 367, at the 24.750km just a few hundred metres before Dwellingup. Passengers were collected using the road coach which was at Dwellingup awaiting their return. The ZJ was re-railed on the following morning and returned to Dwellingup. Track repairs & inspections will be undertaken during the week with services expected to be back to normal for Saturday 12th August.


JULY 2012

9th July, 2012

"A Renovator's Dream" as any real estate agent would certainly describe it.

Z 202 is now in the Dwellingup depot and work has commenced on its restoration.


2nd July, 2012

Work is steadily progressing on the re-building of DE loco G50 at Pinjarra. This work is mostly being carried out by the 'Tuesday Team' in between the many other more mundane tasks they undertake such as bagging coal. The most recent work has been painting out of the forward machinery space following many weeks of intensive cleaning to remove years and years of grime.


JUNE 2012

30th June, 2012

On Saturday 30th June, the shunting out of several items of WAGR freight rollingstock from the old mill yard siding was carried out in order to make these available for restoration work.

25th June, 2012

In preparation for the shunting out of some of HVR's freight rollingstock at Dwellingup, room needed to be made within the yard area. As part of this, the old triangle has been used to stable several items. One item was an old rail tank car, JM33, previously set up as a fire fighting unit.

Due to the RTC having Hotham Valley emblazoned upon each side, the opportunity to take advantage of this was quickly recognized and the tanker was placed at the south-eastern extremity of the triangle where it is clearly visible from the main road.

10th June, 2012

On Sunday afternoon 10th June, the winter weather turned into quite a storm as the afternoon Steam Ranger service headed to Isandra with winds reported in excess of 115kph. On the return journey, the train needed to stop twice as it neared Dwellingup in order to clear fallen trees from the line. Although the passengers thought it was all very exciting at the time, many would have been annoyed later to find the storm had damaged so many power lines that much of the South West and some of Perth would be without power for most of the ensuing week.  


MAY 2012

6th May, 2012

The first Steam Ranger for 2012 ran on Sunday 6th May and the morning service is seen here ready for its return to Dwellingup. Passengers clearly appreciated and made good use of the new facilities during the day.






The morning service returning to Dwellingup having just departed Isandra makes a picturesque country style sight as it steams towards the scarp and the 1 in 30 grades.. 



5th May, 2012

During the first week of May, the landscaping at Isandra Siding, commenced in April, progressed rapidly to evolve into a very nice environment with seating, tables, walkways and bush tracks.

This work was made possible with funding assistance from the WA Government Community Facilities Grants Program, the Rail Heritage Foundation of WA and the Peel Development Commission plus other in-kind contributors such as CSBP who provided the culvert pipes.




3rd May, 2012


2nd May, 2012




APRIL 2012

28th April, 2012


On Saturday 28th April, work commenced on significant landscaping works at Isandra Siding to improve the area for passengers visiting on the Steam Ranger Trains due to re-commence in May.



19th April, 2012



During late March and early April DE Loco C1703 had a variety of maintenance carried out upon it inclusive of a fresh paint job. The loco remains stabled in the east yard at HVTR's Pinjarra depot.





In the dark cloudy afternoon of Thursday 19th April, the Tender of steam loco W947 purchased from the ARHS WA Div by HVR, was transported to HVTR's line and unloaded at Alumina Junction.

MARCH 2012

26th March, 2012

On the morning of Monday March 26th, ex WAGR Perth suburban passenger coach AYE/V 714 was unloaded at HVTR's Alumina Junction siding, having travelled by truck from Carnarvon over the weekend. This vehicle has been purchased from the Carnarvon Heritage Group by The Pemberton Tramway Co and will be used to help HVTR move in the direction of operating more WAGR heritage rollingstock on its trains in due course.


 This vehicle is in remarkably good and original "1992 in service" condition, having been stowed under cover at Carnarvon for many years.

During the afternoon of Monday March 26th, following inspections and journal lubrication, AYE/V 714 was secured to Shunting Tractor ST2 and moved at walking pace to Isandra Siding for storage.




28th February, 2012

With the limited resources of any tourist railway, new ways are always being looked for or tried in order to get the best output or return for the investment of human & financial

Most of the HVTR line is ballasted with gravel or crushed rock, each with high fines content which sets like concrete during summer making the removal of sleepers an extremely hard, tiring and labour intensive task.

A new idea of gouging around each sleeper using high pressure water has proved an extremely successful way of simplifying sleeper removal. Once released from the ballast, one end can then be washed or dug out, the track jacked slightly followed by a gentle rocking of the sleeper from side to side which allows water to get under the sleeper and act as a lubricant, enabling the sleeper to be easily withdrawn. 


As an alternative to digging excessively beyond the sleeper (although this is needed for the replacement) or where it is best not to lift the track and disturb adjacent sleepers or fastenings, a special saw blade by Aust-Saw called a Root-Master is being used to cut the old sleepers into 3 pieces making removal a very easy job. The blade is extremely tough and not troubled by the surrounding ground material.


26th February, 2012


On Sunday 26th  February, Darryl Parker and Will Howard re-fitted the serviced vacuum brake cylinder to Steam Loco G123 at the HVTR Pinjarra workshops. A specially made adaptor enabled the cylinder to be safely and accurately lifted and positioned using a low-profile trolley jack.




13th February, 2012

At 0700, Monday 13th  February, HVR commenced a planned 7 week track maintenance project to replace between 400 & 600 sleepers plus correct a quantity of Top & Line deficiencies along the line between Isandra and Dwellingup.

The photograph here shows the first sleeper replacement and lift being undertaken at Isandra by Justin Smith, Tim Morling and Matthew Willis under the guidance and direction of David Conlan.


7th February, 2012

During the afternoon of Tuesday 7th  February, the Brookfield Rail 'Matisa' Track Recorder car was run over the HVTR by MRX Technologies, courtesy of Brookfield Rail, in preparation for a planned 7 week maintenance project due to commence on 13th February.

On this occasion, the Matisa was run without its outrigger equipment as we were primarily interested in Gauge, Twist and Cant information only which are all measured by the unit itself.




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