Bennett Brook Railway facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsBennett Brook Railway
|Status||Operating as a tourist railway|
|Owner||West Australian Light Rail Preservation Association|
|Locale||Whiteman, Western Australia|
|Stations||Whiteman Village Junction
Zamia (Formerly Maine)
|Operator(s)||West Australian Light Rail Preservation Association (WALRPA)|
|Depot(s)||Mussel Pool Workshops|
|Line length||Approx 6 kilometres (3.7 mi)|
|Track gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
|Operating speed||20 km/h (12 mph)|
The Bennett Brook Railway is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge tourist oriented railway operated by the West Australian Light Railway Preservation Association and is located within the boundaries of Whiteman Park, nineteen kilometres from Perth.
The Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association (WALRPA) was formed on 26 April 1976 by a group of rail enthusiasts who shared an interest in less well known railways of Western Australia.
Following the closing of the Lake View and Star Gold Mine in Kalgoorlie in the mid-1970s, four of the founding members purchased the railway's first locomotive - an LV&S 'Planet' Locomotive (which still operates at the railway - the Atlantic Planet). The Planet first was located at a member's property in the Perth Hills, on 17 September 1976.
In 1977, the group proposed to develop a railway at Whiteman Park. Five submissions were received in total, 3 for a 610 mm (2 ft) railway, one for a 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) railway, similar to the railway located at Castledare, and finally a submission to re-locate the Australian Railway Historical Society.
From 1977 to 1982, referred to as the negotiation period, the group also submitted proposals for an operational railway to El Caballo Blanco in Wundowie, The Maylands Peninsula Redevelopment, the former Upper Darling Range Railway (From Kalamunda to Goosberry Hill, and a Mandurah tourist development.
The closure of the Bristile & Wunderlich Brickworks in Belmont saw the donation of a number of hoppers and other rail items. The railway acquired a locomotive and a number of hoppers from the Maylands Brickworks.
In 1982, development and restoration continued in the Perth Hills, until 16 August, when the WALRPA was advised by Metropolitan Region Planning Authority that their submission for a 610 mm (2 ft) railway at Whiteman Park had been successful. On 18 September 1982, the first equipment was placed at Whiteman Park.
In 1983, two former Whiteman Brick locomotives - "Ridley 2" and "Yellow Rose" were acquired.
In June, the C passenger wagons (built on the Maylands Brickworks hoppers) and the Maylands locomotive were moved to Whiteman Park, hauling the first work train on 9 July, and the Planet Locomotive followed on 11 August.
Track laying began on 18 January 1984, and reached "Central" Station on 18 November the same year. Also in 1984, the WALRPA purchased the former Claisebrook railway station to be placed at Central Station (The building arrived in March of that year), acquired a 60 ft Turntable from Midland Workshops, and in March they were notified of their success in a tender for two SAR NG15 steam locomotives (#118 & #123).
8 December 1984 was the official opening of the Bennett Brook Railway, and Peter Dowding MLA (The Patron of the Organisation), with some assistance, drove the first passenger train out of Central Station.
The railway operates passenger services during the following times:
|Weekends & Public Holidays||11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.|
|W.A. School Holidays||11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.||Monday-Friday during the holidays|
|Mid-Week||11:00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. half hourly||Only Operating Wed & Thu|
Held biannually, the railway runs a Friends of Ashley (FOA) Day (Formerly known as Friends of Thomas the Tank Engine), which sees most of the railway's volunteers, locomotives and passenger carriages in operation. This is usually held in May and September which sees the start and end of the railway's steam season.
Enthusiast's Days are also held occasionally. They are held in winter so there are no restrictions on steam operations. Most operating engines are involved in interesting freight and passenger trains.
September to May is fire season, so Diesel engines will operate all services.
May to September is steam season, steam engines may operate weekend services when available and Diesel engines will operate all other services.
Dates are approximate and are dependent on park conditions and approval.
|Model||Name||Former Operator||Condition||Wheel arrangement||Comments||Coupler(s)||Image|
|SAR NG15 123||Fremantle||South African Railways||Maintenance||2-8-2||Overhaul in progress. Estimated completion: mid 2021||Jones Couplers|
|SAR NG15 118||Elizabeth||South African Railways||Stored||2-8-2||Stored with major work required||Jones Couplers|
|Perry||Betty Thompson||Inkerman Sugar Mill, QLD||Operational||0-4-2T||Privately owned. Current steam mainstay||Jones Couplers|
|Perry||Marian Sugar Mill, QLD||Maintenance||0-6-2T||
Overhaul in progress
|O&K Mallet No. 3||Magnet Tramway, TAS||Maintenance||0-4-4-0T||Restoration in progress|
|Krauss||Multiple. Previous - Western Machinery, WA||Storage||0-4-0WT||Awaiting Restoration||Link and Pin|
Large Diesel locomotives
|Model||Name||Former Operator||Condition||Wheel arrangement||Comments||Coupler(s)||Image|
|1938 Planet (Atlantic Engine)||Planet||Lake View and Star Gold Mine, WA||Operational||0-4-0||Jones Couplers, Link and Pin|
|1968 Planet (Dorman Engine)||Lake View and Star Gold Mine, WA||Operational||0-4-0||Privately owned, new cab fitted mid 2010s|
|Gemco Funkey PW27||Wyndham||Wyndham Jetty, WA||Maintenance||0-4-0||Awaiting transmission overhaul||Jones Couplers|
|Fowler #2||Rosalie||Isis Central Sugar Mill, QLD||Maintenance||0-6-0||In process of installing new engine and drivetrain||Jones Couplers|
|Builder||Model||Name||Former Operator||Condition||Wheel arrangement||Comments||Couplers||Fuel|
|Kless||Ashley||"The Big Orange", WA||Operational||0-4-0D||Link and Pin||Diesel|
|Ruston & Hornsby||LBT||Manjimup Mill, WA||Operational||4wdDM||Jones Couplers, Link and Pin||Diesel|
|Maylands Brickworks||Maylands||Maylands Brickworks, WA||Operational||Maylands was the first Operational locomotive at the BBR, Powered by a Holden Red 6 Cylinder Engine and an automatic car transmition||Link and Pin||Petrol|
|Planet||Yellow Rose||Whiteman Brickworks, WA||Operational||4wPM||Link and Pin||Petrol|
|Ridley||Whiteman Brick||Maintenance||4wPM||Link and Pin|
|Ridley #2||Whiteman Brick||Storage||2-2w + 2w-2PM|
Carriages and wagons
All fitted with Jones couplers
|Class||Number||Original Class||Original Operator||Description||Comments||Entered Service|
|AQ||4745||QBB||WAGR||Fitted with window glazing and is concertina fitted at one end||BBR Built on QBB Chassis. Part of Winter Stock.||1986|
|AQ||1788||QBB||WAGR||Mostly in original construction condition, no glazing of the windows. Rebuilt doors, concertina fitted at both ends||BBR Built on QBB Chassis. Part of Winter Stock.||1986|
|AQB||2790||QBB||WAGR||Fitted With Guards Compartment (Brake instrument and Handbrake Wheel)||BBR Built on QBB Chassis. Part of Winter Stock||1986|
|AV||3273||V||WAGR||Buffet/Party Car. Fitted with tables and seats, a Bar servery area and a Brake Instrument||BBR Built on V Chassis||1989|
|AR||1638||R||WAGR||Wheelchair access. Fitted with "Roll Up" windows. Fitted with concertinas at both end. No fixed seating||BBR Built on R Chassis. Part of Winter Stock||?|
|R||3644||R||WAGR||Fitted with Bus seats for passenger seating. "Drop" side doors modified for passenger access||Part of Summer Stock||?|
|RP||1783||R||WAGR||Fitted with a Roof, Bus seats for passenger seating. "Drop" side doors modified for passenger access||Part of Summer Stock||?|
|RP||4461||R||WAGR||Fitted with a Roof, Bus seats for passenger seating. "Drop" side doors modified for passenger access||Reputed to be the only remaining example of a WAGR 4 Door R wagon. Part of Summer Stock||?|
All fitted with Link and Pin couplers
|Designator||Built from/on||Description||Comments||Entered Service|
|C1||Maylands Clay Pit chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Currently out of service and derelict in storage yard||1983|
|C2||Maylands Clay Pit chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Currently out of service and derelict in storage yard||1983|
|C3||Maylands Clay Pit chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Restored to operational service on a "Citra" chassis for BBR's 21st Birthday celebrations in 2005||1983|
|C4||Lake View and Star Goldmine Ore hopper Chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Ran for 4 years, then scrapped. Access only available from platform side||1983|
|BV1||Lake View and Star Goldmine Ore hopper Chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Brake Carriage||Fitted with Brake wheel in Guards Compartment. Still operational||1984|
|ALV11||Lake View and Star Goldmine Ore hopper Chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Still operational||1985|
|ALX12||Lake View and Star Goldmine Ore hopper Chassis||4 Wheel Passenger Carriage||Still operational||1985|
|ADL101||Toast Rack Style Passenger Carriages||Originally built in Harvey for the Big Orange Railway. Transported to BBR in 2004 on a long-term loan agreement||2006|
|ADL102||Toast Rack Style Passenger Carriages||Originally built in Harvey for the Big Orange Railway. Transported to BBR in 2004 on a long-term loan agreement||2006|
|ADL103||Toast Rack Style Passenger Carriages||Originally built in Harvey for the Big Orange Railway. Transported to BBR in 2004 on a long-term loan agreement||2006|
All Wagons are fitted with Jones Couplers, unless said otherwise.
|D||33||WAGR||Covered Goods Van||Restored, and reinstalled on LA Chassis|
|R||1751||WAGR||Completely Rebuilt by Bennett Brook Railway Crews|
|QBB||2889||WAGR||Flat Wagon, used to carry heavy and often large loads about the railway|
|JOA||12051||WAGR||Distillate Fuel Tanker||Used as a water tanker|
|Z||63||WAGR||Brake Van||Replica Z wagon, built by BBR on an ex WAGR V Wagon (V3263) Chassis. Brake van on Summer Stock.|
|LV||8||Lake View and Star Goldmine||Side dump ore hoppers||Classified by the National Trust (WA). Link and Pin Coupler|
|LV||9||Lake View and Star Goldmine||Side dump ore hoppers||Classified by the National Trust (WA). Link and Pin Coupler|
At the Bennett Brook Railway, all buildings used on the line (with the exclusion of the yards) are former WAGR/Westrail Station Buildings.
Whiteman Village Junction Station houses the former station buildings from Claisebrook Station (Platform 1/Ticket Office), Subiaco Station (Platform 2/3, Party Room), and Signal cabins from Subiaco and Fremantle (Both are currently not operational). Down at Mussel Pool: The station building is from Nungarin (And was transported to BBR in 1989 with assistance from the Australian Army's 22nd Construction Squadron. There are also two signal Cabins, Collie (No longer operational, now located at parker siding), and Cottesloe, which is fully operational located at the northern end of the Mussel Pool platform.
Signalling and safeworking
Located at Mussel Pool, the Cottesloe Cabin is in place on the Station Platform, and is fully operational. In the Cottesloe Cabin, stands the former Wagin Lever frame, with 15 levers, this frame turned out to be the perfect size for the Mussel Pool Station. 13 of the 15 levers in the frame are used, for 3 sets of points & Locks, and 12 Signals. The cabin is used mostly on weekends during run-arounds at Mussel Pool station, however during large events the cabin is used to assist sorting and preparing trains at the start of the event.
BBR primarily uses the Staff and Ticket System for section authority. The railway is split in 2 sections, and has 2 staffs - Mussel Pool to WVJ (Blue Staff), and the Loop (Red Staff). In order to travel on a section of line, the driver of a locomotive must be in possession of the relevant Staff. In the case of multiple trains needing to use 1 section of track, the Staff unlocks a box located in the signal cabins at each end of the section, which hold the tickets. A ticket would be filled out and given to the driver of the lead consist, who would also be shown the staff. After the average time to complete the section has passed, the second train can depart the station, proceeding with caution in case the train ahead has broken down, holding both the staff (or another ticket) and a notice of train ahead.
In late 2012 an Electric Staff system was re-introduced on the Mussel Pool to Whiteman Village Junction, with staff instruments located in the signal cabins at both stations. At the same time a wired telephone line was re-introduced between the two stations, using telegraph poles.
BBR has recently completed installation of electric point motors and electrically operated semaphore signals at the north end of Whiteman Village Junction. Work has now started on the installation of searchlight coloured light signals and additional point motors to the south end of Whiteman Village Junction.
- Whiteford, David (2005) From Back Yard to Bennett Brook 1976 - 2005 - ISBN: 0-646-49941-6
Bennett Brook Railway Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.