Rails to Old Walhalla
By Nick Anchen
Published by Sierra Publishing
96 pages, 173 x 245 mm, card cover, 139photographs, 76 in colour.
This is a beautiful book about one of Australiaâsmost iconic old gold mining towns ? Walhalla. The town is located at the bottom of a very steeply sided narrow valley, which challeged road, railway and tramway builders alike, but provided spectacular photographic opportunities.
The photographs are carefully selected, well composed, and very wellprinted. They date from the 1880s to the present day and include views of thetown, the mining operations, tramways, the difficulties of transport to thetown before the railway came, railway construction, railway operation, remainsof the railway after it closed, previous attempts to restore the railway, andthe current railway operations.
There are some rather rare colour photographs: theStar Hotel two weeks before it burnt down in 1951 (it was rebuilt in 1999), twoof the beyer-garratt locomotive G42 in 1954, one of the last train to Erica in1954, and several of the town in the 1950s. There are also many recentphotographs of the town, its buildings, other remains, and the railway,including its bridges and all the locomotives. These photographs are ofextremely high quality, both technically and visually.
The photographs are accompanied with brief textgiving a history of the town, the mining operations, and the railway. Theseinclude recollections from people who worked on the railway.