As we drove into Dorrigo I could see a long passenger train pulled into the station.
Only, hang on a second. That’s more of a dilapidated shed than a station. And that looks like a steam engine. And right behind it, another steam engine….and another, and another!
A spooky line of pitch-black steam engines spread end to end along a track as far back as I could see.
Later I would understand that this was the Dorrigo Steam Railway Museum. Or at least it will be at some point in the distant future. Right now it is definitively fenced off with barbed wire. Decorated with a slight over-abundance of private property signs, and no trespassing signs, and no flying drone signs. Nope, I get the feeling it will be a while yet before visitors will be welcomed here.
According to the information posted at their front gate the museum’s large collection currently includes:
- 45 steam locomotives.
- 79 locomotives.
- 280 passenger carriages & freight wagons.
- 19 railmotors
- 7 breakdown cranes.
The massive engines are regularly coated with waste oil to prevent rusting, giving the whole place a feel of some prehistoric tarpit graveyard.
A procession of black iron mammoths frozen in time.
The time will come when people will travel in stages moved by steam engines from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly, 15 or 20 miles an hour….Oliver Evans.