Posts Tagged ‘rust’

Fade to Rust

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

“Look at all that old junk.  Why would they put that here?” Words spoken by the unappreciative.  The seemingly discarded and forgotten old trucks and farm machinery scattered around the grounds of the Blue Heron French Cheese Company’s property is art.  Prized possesions of a knowing collector.  The collection of former workhorses doesn’t get the same attention as the collection of cheeses and wines on the inside of the establishment’s interior but it is definitely worth looking at.

Faded patinas, flat tyres, cobweb filled cabins and peeling signs make the old Macks, Whites and Willys more appealing.  If you stop long enough you can almost hear the stories being told – conversations of the men and women that drove them, maintained them and treasured them.  Cursing, laughing, crying – it all emanates from these proud rusty hulks.

For a selected few these beautiful old “out of action” chassis are collector’s items.  Indeed, with a lot of sweat and money, they could be restored to their former glory and driven once again.  Not a likely outcome in the short term.

If you are planning a trip to Oregon’s beautiful north coast don’t just visit Tillamook for its famous cheese.  Take some time to savor the delights of some of the other attractions too.  Hidden gems that make the mouth water are right under the nose.  They might not smell like cheese but they do make you salivate – if you’re into old metal that is!

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Rolling Rust

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

A rolling stone gathers no moss” said the Latin writer Publilus Syrus and this is true of rolling stock (railway carriages plying a nation’s rail system) too.
The very opposite of this ancient proverb lies before our eyes in the once mildly busy shunting yards at Healesville’s railway station. Old train carriages, once the pride of the Victorian Railway’s fleet, lie waiting their turn for restoration by Yarra Valley Tourist Railway volunteers. In the meantime, they march toward “unrepairable” – their patinas attract our attention.
The regular train service in Healesville stopped long ago – 1981 to be exact. How do I know? Because my father was the last serving Station Master at this station and I was present the day the last train rolled into the railway station – a sad day for the community and for rail enthusiasts in the state of Victoria.
For many years after the last train service the station and rail line were virtually abandoned, however, through the efforts of many enthusiastic volunteers, the rail line has been partially re-opened and tourists can now take a short journey from Healesville to the nearby Tarrawarra area. The memories of this beautiful trip are still vivid – out of the station, over the crossing, across the Watts River then up the incline all the way to the beautiful brick tunnel then down the other side toward the Yarra River flats and on to the Tarrawarra Monastery station.
A variety of rolling stock is now located at in the Healesville railway yard. Some of it is serviceable but most of it is in need of time, money and labour all of which is in limited supply.
The old carriages (and even older buildings) may not attract the attention of passersby however, if one stops long enough, the beauty of the blended mix of Mother Nature and Man Made is worth capturing on “film”.
Negotiating the worn rails and ballast we savour the contrast of faded paintwork and rust on the old carriages and delight in the angles created by nature and steel. Safe in the knowledge that nothing is going to move we get up close to wheels, springs and levers.
Like two excited children we delight in the opportunity to be “down in the pit” (off platform), surrounded by the smell of old grease and diesel – a “train spotter’s” Nirvana.
For those interested in anything to do with railways a visit to the Healesville railway station and the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway headquarters is a must. Don’t neglect the neglected and, if you would like to see the railway return to its former glory days become a volunteer or donate some monies to this worthwhile cause.

Click on the FS icon in the bottom right hand corner of the gallery for full screen view:

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