This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

From Dimb to Basalt Knob

A retired railway carriage from Dimboola has ended up in the mountains of the Victorian High Country.
The T 101 icewagon railway carriage hut aka Basalt Knob Hut, was built in 1894 at the Pinder & Kelly Newport workshops for the Victorian Railways and de-registered in 1978. In the early 1980s a Dargo timber mill purchased the rolling stock from the Dimboola line for forestry workers accommodation and trucked them to Dargo. 
The carriage was in a Dargo mill when it was bought by Ken Scott from David Coates, who sold it to David Eddy from Deeandal & Sons logging company. 
A logging road was constructed, and a loggers' camp erected at Basalt Knob in 1982. The T 101 icewagon was carted it up to its location up above Talbotville near Blue Rag. When the logging finished all the other carriages forming the logging camp were removed by the mill, but they never got around to removing the T 101 carriage, so T 101 now ‘The Basalt Knob Hut’ is still there offering emergency shelter in the Victorian High Country, at Basalt Knob near the junction of Brewery Creek Track & Ritchie Rd which can be accessed via the Dargo High Plains Rd.
Story and photos from the Victorian High Country Huts Association Facebook page

  Hauled by steam diesel powered locomotives, the ‘T’ insulated ice van carriages had an ice bunker running along the middle of the ceiling that was filled with ice from hatches in the roof. They were used to transport refrigerated meat carcasses or other goods that required a cool temperature. Their walls were between 4 and 6 inches thick for insulation. The vertical channel at the end was a drain for the ice bunker. All T's in this number group had lever type handbrakes. This series of T vans had a 12 ton capacity. Truly a relic from a bygone age they lasted to the late 70's in "refrigerated" service. (from Victorian Railways Net site) 
An update: a photo of T 101 while still on the rails in 1978, possibly in Dimboola, from rail-fan Geoff Winkler who took photos in the Wimmera in the 70s.

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