Without a source of cheap energy to fuel steam boilers and for ore treatment, few Western Australian gold mines would have been productive.
Firewood companies established privately owned train lines up to 120 miles out from major centres such as Kalgoorlie to bring in firewood. Phil Bianchi has added new research, text and photos to his previously published works to produce what will be the definitive story of these railways and the workers who worked on them or depended on them.
The book features 22 first-hand accounts of the hardships faced by woodliners working, living and growing up on the woodlines in tin shacks miles from civilisation. Between 1900 and 1964 a total of 21.6 million tons of firewood had been cut; during 1912-16 average production was 650,000 tons per year. By the time the firewood companies ceased operations they had clear-felled a staggering 3.04 million hectares of goldfields woodlands; almost half the area of Tasmania.
Size 170 x 240mm, french flaps, heavily illustrated, 448 pages.
After the publication of his excellent photographic book "Iron Roads in the Outback", the author received many contacts and much new material from former employees. His new book explores the
life and times of these three commonwealth railways - the Central Australian, North Australian and trans-Australian - through the recollections and stories of a selection of retired railway men and women.
Well-organised so the stories fit into the overall narrative.
A5 size, 248 pages, interesting illustrations.
This booklet covers a selection of the more interesting horse-drawn trams which once operated around Westerns Australia.
Many were in north-west towns, provided to move freight and sometimes passengers between jetty and township. That at Rottnest often hauled happy day-trippers to the island!
Includes historic photographs (all black and white).
Well-known rail enthusiast (and former deputy Prime Minister) Tim Fischer AO has surveyed Australian locomotives, not from the railfan's usual point of view, but as he says an "account of the great tapestry of transport weaved by the steam locomotive in the country. It details how the nation was galvanised by the economic growth steam trains delivered".
Tim draws on his very wide experience to write of the states developments, how transport needs changed and were met, and adds in fascinating stories of people and places, all in his inimitable style.
Hundreds of illustrations including colour.
A4 size, card covers, 256 pages.
Described as a "pictorial review of the trams of Whiteman Park", this booklet features the vintage electric trams of the Perth Electric Tramway Society based at Whiteman Park in Perth's northern suburbs, in a new edition with a colour photo of each tram and in most cases also an early photo of the car in action or before rescue.
The use of colour printing has resulted in a very good publication. The booklet also demonstrates how a small group of volunteers has done a great job of collecting, restoring and operating these trams.
A5 size, 20 pages.
The late Jack Stanbridge was a legend in the railway and model railway hobbies in Western Australia, and actively photographed trains in WA for over 60 years.
This was the second volume Jack compiled to publish from his photos and collection, with a wide range of black and white images dating from the late 1920s onward.
A4 size, 152 pages with over 500 photographs plus occasional maps, catalogues from his model shop days, and other images.
A treasure trove!
This new book comprehensively book tells the story of this major rail station on the Great Southern railway. Wagin is still a junction of wheat lines to the east, and in the past was also a junction of a line west to Collie and Bunbury, so it was always busy.
The author was brought up in Wagin and knows the town and its railway story well, but much detailed research is also evident.
290 pages, A4 format well illustrated including colour photos and local maps.
This beautifully illustrated book tells of Australia's outback railways - across the Nullarbor, and Adelaide to Darwin, both the old and the new lines.
Mixing history, interviews, and old and new photography, the book covers its subject in 208 pages, hard covered, and with numerous illustrations most in colour and shows its author's knowledge of and affinity with his subject.
208 pages, hard covered.
The interesting story of the cross-country line between Donnybrook and Katanning, via Boyup Brook and Kojonup.
This line started in the south-west timber forests and ended in the great Southern wheat belt, opening up many miles of agricultural land with easier transport.
The book includes historical background, reminiscences, details of stations and sidings, and information on the locomotives used. 116 pages, many photos, including colour.
RAILS IN THE HILLS, a history of the railway from Midland to Karragullen 1891-1949.
The history of the "zig zag railway" through Kalamunda, originally built as a timber railway but later taken over by the government who ran it until closed in 1949.
The book includes photographs, also plans of the line and stations. Sections deal with the early years as a timber line, then the WAGR days, and the locomotives used in both periods.
Compiled by E.G.Webb, and published by the Kalamunda & Districts Historical Society, this book was previously published in 1996. It has been out of print for some years but the Society has reprinted it to make this information available again.
96 pages, A4 size, soft covered.
This book captures the last years of steam on the WA Government Railways in the 1960s.
Diesels replaced steam power in the dry north and east of Western Australia quickly in the 1950s, but steam locomotives continued to work hard in the south west until 1972. The editors have assembled a great coverage of steam working, and most photos are high quality, deserving and receiving full page space.
56 pages, all colour, good quality reproduction. Soft covers.
This new second edition is a very detailed and complete book about the railway which once ran west from Elleker (near Albany) to Nornalup.
An amazing collection of photos, maps and other information has been located and included.
The book includes notes on the railway, its construction and operation, the timber milling industry around Denmark, with various recollections and items of local history.
474 pages, A4 size.
New revised second edition of the Guide book by loco expert Peter Clark with summary details of every locomotive type operating in Australia today - diesel, electric and surviving steam.
368 pages, mostly a page per class with photo, summary text and principal dimensions.
Up to date with locomotives delivered in 2014/15 to Roy Hill.
Many smaller industrial shunters are included as well as main line locomotives.
Ideal for reference or for identification in the field.
This interesting book is not just about Amery, a junction station between wheatbelt lines, but recounts the memories of numerous people to record the relationship between the railway and rural workers and residents.
The author was stationed at Amery early in his career.
138 pages, A5 size, illustrated.
Very interesting new book detailing many of the world's fastest trains, from the first Japanese Shinkansen
("Bullet Train") to the French record holder to Australia's best, with background on the why and wherefore.
Peter Clark is a professional mechanical engineer with experience in Australian Railways, and his experience shows.
210 x 285 mm, 192 pages, 100 colour plates.
The author loves trains and the Australian outback, and this endearment is clear in his book.
Often camping out to get good photos in the right lighting, this book shows modern trains in an outback setting which could only be Australia. Mostly on the trans-Australian line, but also in South Australia and the Northern Territory, over 80 photos are well reproduced in colour on quality paper.
Captions give the usual details of locos and locations, while the text recounts some of his trips, the pleasures and difficulties, and the background railway operations at the time.
A history of the York to Bruce Rock railway, the first of many light agricultural lines constructed to open up the wheat belt, and one of the survivors.
These railways, built between about 1910 and 1930, were constructed by political decision to minimal standards, saddling the railway administration for decades afterwards with slow trains and inefficient operations.
The author has set this line in context, explain the background to the first railway in the area, then the long political battle, and then operation in steam and diesel eras. A good selection of photos are included, together with route map, gradient diagrams, references and index.
112 pages, numerous illustrations, good quality art paper.
This DVD contains 2 short videos.
"How Steam Works" explains how a steam locomotive works. Using the Western Australian "S" class as background, and a purpose-made moving graphic, this film explains how steam is generated and controlled.
"Midland's Might", the second video, features the Midland Workshops-built locomotive S549, now based at The Railway Museum in Bassendean. The ten members of the S class were the only steam locomotives entirely designed,
built and operated in Western Australia.
Total running time approx. 10 mins. A low-resolution version of the first video features in our education pages.
GM1, famous as the first full size diesel locomotive to work across the Nullarbor, and the first into WA, is being restored by Rail Heritage WA for display, and for operation on special occasions. The Commonwealth Railways GM class Locomotive Profile looks at the workings and various liveries applied over the years to these stylish and impressive 'bulldog' units. Printed in colour.
Brilliant record of this great project in text and pictures, plus stories of project people and a list of 8000+ names of workers involved. Generous sponsorship means a very reasonable price for this book of 314 pages and all colour photos, hard cover with dustjacket.
Ron Kowald subtitles his book "stories of drama, humour and luck - they worked to keep the wheels turning" and has assembled a fascinating collection.
Many recollections of work and life as it was in steam days, together with potted background histories and over 100 photos. 130 pages.
New book by Roger Sallis gives a complete story of this railway, including the early politics, construction, government operation, closure and then resurrection of part as the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.
Many photos, including colour, map, index. 230 pages.