Author(s): Nick Anchen
The Victorian Railways narrow gauge lines portrayed the very essence of the Australian pioneering spirit, with their ingeniously constructed routes traversing picturesque, forested and rugged country. Built in the era of the horse and cart, when railways had a monopoly over the conveyance of freight and passenger alike, the narrow gauge lines served their purpose, before being rapidly overtaken by road transport. With their toy-like appearance, the little trains were beloved by children, and this factor was to bring about their salvation. Through the valiant actions of a few spirited individuals, Victoria's narrow gauge heritage lives on, with the re-born Gembrook and Walhalla lines among the most revered and admired railways in Australia. The Narrow Gauge is a comprehensive coffee table style book, a fitting salute to a fascinating chapter in Victoria's history - the story of four character-filled railways, from their inception, through to present day operations and relics. The history of the Victorian Railways narrow gauge lines - Wangaratta to Whitfield, Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Colac to Beech Forest and Crowes, and Moe to Walhalla - from construction right through to closure. Fascinating recollections by railwaymen, locals and railway enthusiasts, including Gerald Dee, Ron Kain, Wal Larsen, Harold Lindsay, Don Marshall, Graeme O'Brien, Jim Rae, Harold 'Joe' Ramage, Dave Scott and Reg Walton - fond memories of a bygone era. A full description of all VR narrow gauge locomotives and rolling stock. A spectacular array of B&W and colour photographs - a comprehensive collection, including rare early 1950s colour transparencies. Outstanding images by Mal Austin, Phil A'Vard, Ray Bruce, Milton Collins, John Dare, Wilf Henty, Ron Kain, William Lee, Eric Quinlan, Peter Ralph, Michael Schrader and many others. Narrow gauge salvation - the remarkable story of two great railway preservation efforts, from Puffing Billy to the Walhalla Goldfields Railway. Ghosts of the narrow gauge - an illustrated guide to the remains and relics.