Focus on … Victoria’s Narrow Gauge Beech Forest Line – Part One
A Pictorial Tribute to the late Edward A. Downs, Railway Historian
Compiled by John Thompson
Published 2006 by Puffing Billy Preservation Society
48 pages A4 size landscape format, soft cover, 66 photographs most published for the first time.
This is a high-quality publication in the Focus on … Victoria’s Narrow Gauge series. There are views of the whole length of the line, from Colac through Beech Forest to Crowes.
The first series of photographs were taken in February 1940, aboard a Garratt-hauled mixed train to Crowes, then a couple at Colac in December that year.
A journey on a goods train hauled by G41 the Beech Forest and return follows, The last full-page series cover the Crowes goods service which derparted Colac on New Years Day 1946.
A few pages of smaller photographs, reproduced four or five to a page, are described as a “miscellany of photographs on the Colac-Crowes line, from the Ted Downs collection”.
As in the other books in the series, the photographs are printed as duotones. They are sharp, well exposed, the composition is excellent, the detail is wonderful, and the captions are well written and informative. The pictures were taken at a time when few people owned cars, petrol was rationed, tyres were hard to get, and Puffing Billy was used as an escape from the city for the residents of Melbourne.