WGs – GANG MOTORS

WGs – GANG MOTORS

There were around 10 WGs used on the North East Railway

Line which extended from East Tamar Junction to Herrick for transporting the Gangs and also as a means of transporting materials for trackwork on flat-tops.  The earlier WGs had a Bruder engine, but in later years Wisconsin motors were used.

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I’m sure someone will know when the WGs were first introduced by TGR, but my earliest memory of them and what we referred to as ‘trikes’ was around 1952-3.  Both were used as a means of transport for the Ganger and fettlers. As a young child I listened for the trolley rattling along the rails in the afternoon and ran down the track to meet my father and catch a ride, and stayed aboard while it was put in the shed. Similarly, a ride on the trike was a highlight of the day but all too soon school interfered!

The Lilydale Gang’s track section started just north of the Lilydale Railway yard through to Wyena, with a Gang consisting of 5, the Ganger and four fettlers.  Depending upon where they were working, would determine where the WG was housed overnight, with a trolley shed at Tunnel and Lilydale, and run into the dead-end line if left at Lebrina.  There were similar trolley sheds throughout the north east on the other rail sections. 

Amalgamations of gang track sections occurred in the 1960’s with WGs still used.

In the 1970s the WGs were progressively replaced over a number of years with Dyna twin-cab trucks.  The WG12 on permanent loan to L&NER had been the last Lilydale gang motor.  It was returned to service while the West Coast Wilderness Railway (The ABT) was being rebuilt.  It was involved in a collision with a ballast plough and needed some repairs before being brought back to Lilydale when the railway was completed.

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