Focus on … Victoria’s Narrow Gauge Gembrook Line – Part Two
A Pictorial Tribute to the late Edward A. Downs, Railway Historian
Compiled by John Thompson
Published 2006 by Puffing Billy Preservation Society
46 pages A4 size landscape format, soft cover, 46 photographs most published for the first time.
A follow-up to Focus on … Victoria’s Narrow Gauge Gembrook Line Part One and produced to the same high standard. This one includes views around the loco depot at Upper Ferntree Gully in 1948, and rolling stock at Upper Ferntree Gully including two different NQR trucks adapted for livestock traffic.
Then there is a series of photos of the Saturday morning train on 24 January 1948, hauled by 13A, including views from the train, at the water tanks, passengers riding on the footboards, shunting at Cockatoo, arrival at Gembrook station, watering the loco at Gembrook, timber tramway trucks at Gembrook, and crossing the afternoon train at Belgrave hauled by 3A.
This is followed by views on another trip on Saturday 13 March 1948, showing many passengers clinging to the outside of the train, arrival at Emerald, and views around Gembrook station.
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.