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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

to Starlings Gap. During the process we found many sleepers, some dog spikes and some wooden rail. However, the track was heavily overgrown and at the end of two days of hard work we had cleared only metres, not kilometres. We were back on the job in October 1969. Art Terry was the leader this time, as he was in 1970 also. About this time the Forestry Commission did a good job of clearing the walking track with a bulldozer, but most of the railway relics were also cleared. Also, 'officials' decided the remaining bridges were 'unsafe'. The bridges were demolished.

Clarkefield - Deep Creek - Kilmore East was the weekend walk led by Tyrone Thomas on 27-28 June 1970. Appropriately we travelled by train to Clarkefield then for some time followed the old permanent way from Clarkefield to Lancefield. This section was opened in 1881 and closed in 1956. From 1892 to 1904 there was also a railway from Lancefield to Kilmore. Kilmore was on the line from Bendigo to Heathcote Junction. The section from Kilmore to Heathcote Junction opened in 1888 and closed in 1968. So during this walk we passed parts of three previous railway lines and travelled on two current lines.

I have described some of my early trips with the Club during the late sixties. You will notice that we frequently travelled by train, and we also found that some abandoned railways made good walking areas.

John Siseman led a weekend walk (6-8 November 1987) that started at Collins Siding, the stopping place before Erica on the Moe to Walhalla narrow-gauge (2 feet 6 inches) line. We followed the recently cleared permanent way down to Tyers Junction where there used to be a locomotive shed that housed the 1694 Climax. After rusting in the forest for years, the wood-burning Climax is the latest addition to the Puffing Billy fleet and proudly hauls 'The Commissioner's Special' across the Monbulk Creek trestle bridge at a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour. From the scout camp at Tyers Junction we tried to follow a couple of timber tramlines to a camping area on the Alpine Walking Trail below Mt Erica. Then we walked along the Alpine Track, which follows the firewood tramlines along the Thomson River. During the gold-mining era, all trees near Walhalla were burnt in the fireboxes of mine boilers or in the wood stoves of miners' kitchens. The steel bridge across the Thomson River at Poverty Point carried the firewood trains across the river. After a diversion to Mormon Town this walk finished in Walhalla. The narrow-gauge line to Walhalla opened on 3 May 1910, with the section to Walhalla closing on 1 April 1944, and the section from Erica to Moe closing on 25 June 1954. The Garratt engine G42 that used to run