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.bringing your rail heritage back to life.

PO Box 299 Oberon NSW 2787
Website: www.othr.com.au
Email: admin@othr.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OTHR.Inc
GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/2mhftk44

Proudly sponsored by

President: Tim Arnison
Vice President: Peter Culley
Secretary: Elaine Boxer
Treasurer: John Brotchie
Track Manager: Graham Williams
Public Officer: Elaine Boxer
General Committee:
David McMurray: Fundraiser, Acting Newsletter Editor/Publicity
Ian Davis: Document Writer
Martyn Salman

Editors thoughts
Some people dont have any at all, others have a little, many have a lot and lose it when something doesnt go
their way, but Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway has it in spades.
Theres absolutely no doubt that your committee and volunteers both past and present have had to have
plenty to have surmounted every piece of red tape and every wall thats been thrown up in front of them
during the past ten years.
Patience, tolerance, stoicism, fortitude, persistence, determination, resolve, call it what you will, who knew ten
years ago when the fantastic vision of rebuilding and running trains on the Oberon to Tarana branch line was
born that OTHR needed so much.
Our early visionaries with full enthusiasm announced the project would be up and running within eighteen
months. Little did they realise the need for funding, dealing with the line managers, satisfying the track owners,
writing and adhering to endless SMS, applying for and keeping licences, putting up with unco-operative
buffoons, working through never ending red tape to satisfy their masters; they needed patience and plenty of
And so it is ten years later, same problems, enthusiastic visionaries, infinite patience.
Your committee, volunteers and all members will win in the end.
As Napoleon Hill once said:
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success

Oberon Tarana branch line opening Wednesday 3rd October 1923

Alan Sharp Collection

Know Dave McMurray

When it comes to volunteering and community work, Dave doesnt know how to say no. He has been a long
time member of OTHR and came to the committee almost by accident.
Prior to retirement Dave had a background in banking and small business. He retired to Oberon to enjoy the
good life and found the town to be absolutely welcoming and friendly.
The townsfolk must have seen him coming and eventually the then OTHR Committee approached him with a
request that he turn his idle time into preparing a long term Business Plan for the association.
That task took about two years to complete and present to the committee. The Plan is a useful tool when
presenting OTHR to potential sponsors and grant givers; it represents a way forward once operations have
President Tim then invited Dave to join the committee as a general committee member.
In time the position of Publicity Officer and Newsletter Editor became available and Dave offered to take on the
job until a permanent appointment was made. Guess who looks like assuming that role on a permanent basis.
Daves background was in banking where he attained a Branch Managers role. He then got into the newspaper
industry becoming a Newsagent and he ran that business for some 16 years.
In addition to his role as a committee member of OTHR Dave also holds the position of:
Secretary/Treasurer/Public Officer of the local Mens Shed.
Community car driver
Member of the community consultative committee for Oberon Correctional Service.
In the past he was:
Secretary/Treasurer of the 48 & FJ Holden Club of NSW Inc.
A founding member of the Oberon Heritage and Collectors Club Inc.
A founding member, co-ordinator and publicity officer for the now famous Highlands Steam & Vintage
Member of Oberon Events Committee
Dave is keen to see OTHR succeed with its vision of running a train on the tracks and operating a successful
tourism operation.
He is passionate about Oberon continuing to govern itself as it has done for more than 100 years and hopes
that will be so.
Dave knows that OTHR and Oberon Council maintain a very good relationship that is imperative to our future

General Meeting
1st February 2017

General meeting
Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. will hold its next general meeting on Wednesday 1st February 2017
commencing at 7.30PM.
As usual the meeting will be light on procedure and heavy on presentation of interesting topics.
Secretary Elaine is lining up a very interesting speaker who will relay information that could have a bearing on
our future.
A poster will be sent to members closer to the proposed meeting.

Some Oberon Facts

Bushrangers were common in the Oberon district from around 1825.

Many of Oberons sons joined the ranks of bushrangers.

Ben Hall and his gang ranged widely throughout the district.

The Ribbon Gang was arrested in rough country near the Abercrombie River.

Most bushranging related to cattle duffing, horse thefts, bail ups of travellers, stores, landowners and
theft of gold.

Local legend has that the Captain Kings Inn at Wisemans Creek which operated from 1858 used to
hang red checked tablecloths on the clothesline to indicate the coast was clear of the police for the
bushrangers hiding in the surrounding hills.
Historical facts attributed to Philippa Gomel-Smith

Bushranger Ben Hall was a frequent visitor in the Oberon district.

How does OTHR achieve demand to hold a premier market

In past editions of this newsletter we have been discussing parts of our Business Plan including positioning
Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. as a local tourism leader and why we think we can achieve that position.
Thats all very well but we cant achieve that position unless we have customers and we have customers by
creating demand.

Great displays create demand; we know this because your committee is constantly fielding enquiries
from visitors keen to take in the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway experience even though we are yet to
provide an operating attraction.

A regular stream of visitors including individuals, families and bus touring groups are visiting the
heritage railway site even though there is no regular advertising but rather word of mouth and our
website and Facebook. Currently numbers are small at about 200/250 per annum but our projections
for our first full year of operations would be in the order of 10200 per annum with a full complement of

In the not too distant future the Skoda and Tatra Register will be establishing its museum (see story
page 18) and that organisation will attract an increasing number of car clubs visiting the precinct.

We plan to encourage other heritage groups to mount permanent displays in the station precinct to
give the visitor a total heritage experience.

Pricing is an important feature in creating demand and your committee has projected entry prices sited
in the midrange of fees charged by other attractions across the region.

Our plan is to work with other local attractions with the aim of cross selling all attractions on a joint
discount pricing strategy

OTHR committee has projected visitor numbers very conservatively and we believe actual numbers will
be much greater in practice.

We know that visitors to Oberon are increasing at dramatic rates based on Visitor Information Centre
statistics and we believe that a greater proportion of those visitors will want to attain a heritage railway

Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway will embark on a comprehensive advertising campaign aimed
specifically at our target market and we are confident that a large number of visitors will come from
that targeted advertising.

Mayfield Gardens, another reason to visit Oberon Simply Spectacular!

Miniature Railway planned as a boost to

Your committee is currently considering a proposal to construct a miniature railway at the Oberon Station
precinct. Plans indicate a dual gauge track consisting of 71/4 and 5 extending for several hundred metres.
The track layout is interesting in that the current plan allows it to exit the station precinct between the station
and North Street, enter council parkland before returning to the station precinct.
Miniature train enthusiasts will be invited to use the tracks and there are many in Oberon and surrounding
Your association plans to seek funding and they believe that with Oberon Councils participation it will be a
valuable adjunct to our tourist operations.
On completion the miniature railway will add to OTHRs capacity to attract and build on tourists and visitors as
we work our way towards commencing full operations in the future.

Next Working Bee

Saturday 7th January 2017

Wednesday 11th January 2017

Working Bee News

President Tim advises that the storage room is well on the way to completion. This working bee will again
prioritise that task.
Depending on the weather there are still quite a lot of maintenance jobs to be done around the yard, station,
rolling stock and the refrigerator van.
Planning for the layout of the miniature railway also requires our attention.
Remember the conditions of offering up your labour for a day or two:

Morning and Afternoon tea.

A great lunch

Accommodation for out of towners at Oberon Mens Shed

Hot showers at the caravan park.

Come on, be a part of it; you wont regret it.

This is the actual photo that was used for Mike OKanes painting
That is the fabulous prize OTHR is giving away in our off-line fund raising draw.
See entry form on page 21

Late membership renewals

Treasurer John Brotchie advises that any member who had outstanding fees at 31st December 2016 has been
If you havent paid your 2016/17 dues and wish to remain a member you will need to pay outstanding fees plus
a joining fee.
This action is regretted but its important to renew membership on time to be covered by insurance when
participating in activities around the station and branch line precinct.
Membership forms can be downloaded from the OTHR website.

Welcome New Members

Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. is always looking for new members.
Why not contact us if you would like to join our dedicated group of members
Forms available on the OTHR website.

Say Whaaat???
Mountains arent serious
They are hill areas!

And now the news..

Early December saw an inspection of our operations by a couple of inspectors from ONSR.
Grant Windsham and Shardi Darwich were on hand to see what progress we have been making lately
and to start the process of giving Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. reaccreditation.
That process is very important to OTHR because it will give our members the ability to operate track
maintenance vehicles within the station yard. A great step forward for OTHR that will enhance future

Grant Windsham (left) and Shadi Darwich at the conclusion of their meeting with OTHR committee

Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. will be supporting Oberon Councils Summer Reading
Programme by way of donating a series of childrens railway books.

Missed the last General Meeting? Then you would have missed Bill Harrisons most interesting talk
about the trials and tribulations of the Glenreagh Mountain Railway. Bill has been most helpful to OTHR
in rewriting our SMSs and in a way its good to hear that other railway associations have as many
difficulties as us when dealing with bureaucracy.

Gunzel Col Bembrick has completed restoration of Ground Frame B which will need a crane to lift it
from his shed to its new resting place in the railway precinct. Col quietly works on these projects and a
lot of his work goes unmentioned. Congratulations Col.

Skoda and Tatra Register comes to Oberon

The Skoda & Tatra Register has been successful in obtaining DA approval for its proposed museum.
Building should commence in the first half of the New Year.
The proposed museum will be built within the Oberon Station precinct. Both committees have agreed to a
collaborative agreement to work together to provide an educational facility that will highlight to visitors past
mechanical and steam practices.
We are indeed fortunate to be able to work with the proposed new museum, one of about six in the world and
it will be built to the latest Museums Australia standards.
OTHR congratulates the Skoda & Tatra Register on their success and we look forward to a close working
relationship thats bound to increase tourist and visitor traffic to the precinct.

Highlands Steam and Vintage Fair.

10 11 February 2017
Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway has a very important role to play at the Highlands Steam & Vintage Fair.
Plans are still being put into place but we can confirm a miniature railway will be in attendance offering kids
free rides.
We will have a giant raffle with tickets available at the gate.
The entire heritage railway precinct will be open for inspection and some members will be on hand to tell you
about the displays and our achievements during 2016.
Memorabilia will be for sale at the station.
The station site will be open on Saturday February 11 and is a major fund raising day for OTHR.
Do make a point of coming along and give generously as every dollar helps.
More information will be available next month.

OTHR Locomotives will be displayed at the Highlands Steam & Vintage Fair 2017


We want to lighten your wallet just a little..

Donations to our offline fundraising initiative have been quite disappointing to date.
A donation of $5.00 gives you an entry into the draw for the fantastic painting by local artist Mike
The draw will take place on 31st January 2017, so this is your last chance to make an offline donation
and receive tickets in the draw.
An entry form is located on page 21.

An offline donation with a prize in a draw was the brainchild of one of our members. He had surmised
that this novel approach to fund raising was just what you members would go for.
The draw will be conducted at the end of this month, so theres still time to make that donation. Dont
prove our member wrong.

All donations are tax deductible.

Dont forget a donation to the GoFundMe campaign where all funds raised go towards the completion
of Stage 1 of our ambitious project the Oberon to Hazelgrove part of the line and get a train running
on that piece of track.


Shes a Beauty!
Hurry! Last chance to be in the draw!

Seen this painting before?

Of course; its the painting taken from the photo that appears on page 7 and portrays an image of the type of
loco that used to ply the Oberon Tarana branch line between Oberon and Tarana.
The painting is an image of the train about to cross the Snakes Gully Bridge north of Oberon, heading towards
Oberon. It depicts a period around the 1930s.
Mike OKane, a local artist, is the painter.
And it could be yours!
OTHR has launched an offline draw as part of our fund raising programme to get Stage 1, Oberon to Hazelgrove
finished and a train running.


To enter the draw we need you to post by mail donations to our mail address:
PO Box 299 Oberon NSW 2787.
We need:
your name,
email and
phone number.
Your donation needs to be clearly marked fundraiser.

Your name and donation will be listed on the GoFundMe platform as an offline donation.
One ticket in the draw will be issued for each $5.00 donation. Tickets will be mailed as soon as possible.
Cut off will be 25th January 2017 and the draw will take place at Oberon Station by President, Tim Arnison or his
nominee on 31st January 2017.
All donations are tax deductible as OTHR is a registered charity.
Entry form can be found on page 21.
The draw came about as a result of a member suggestion and, if successful, we plan this form of fundraising to
be ongoing.

Ghost of cattle transport making a comeback!

As children, how many of us stood on stations and gazed with wonderment as a steamer or loco passed by
hauling cattle to the State Abattoir at Homebush NSW. How many of us still have the peculiar odour of cattle or
sheep or maybe pigs, that lingered long after the train had passed, etched in our brains. Maybe this was your
first introduction to farming life.
Cattle Wagon CW17192 was one such wagon that could have easily passed us by carrying livestock towards
their inevitable fate.
Cattle Wagon CW17192 was eventually stored at Waterfall just outside of Sydney NSW. Condemned in May
1982 it found its way to a company called TRAK and that company donated it to Oberon Tarana Heritage
Railway Inc. 28th September 2010 and as retrieved, in very poor condition.


Cattle wagon as delivered

After resting at the historic Oberon Station precinct for another three years your committee committed to
restoring Cattle Wagon CW17192 and on May 7th 2013 it was consigned into the hands of Warwick Armstrong
for restoration.
Last month we mentioned that some timber had been milled to be used in that restoration and this is currently
being seasoned.

Cattle Wagon CW17192 being dispatched for restoration.

And now for something different..

Several times we have mentioned milled timber and whilst its only vaguely associated with our railway, its
worth recounting how it came to be in the hands of your association.
Winter in Oberon in 2016 was long, cold and wet. Frequent strong winds caused trees to be downed all over
the Shire. Farmers Neville & Ros Adams lost around ten really good trees and subsequently offered them to
OTHR provided we removed them from their property.
Properly milled and seasoned timber is a valuable commodity, thus President Tim jumped at the chance to
accept the offer. He reasoned that your association could use some of the timber and the majority could be
sold in due course for a profit. That profit would help OTHR in its day to day operations.
How does one mill timber? These days it is a fairly simple operation using a portable mill that can be set up on
site. The mill, known by its manufacturers name Lucas Mill is set up on a suitable site, rough logs are
positioned within the framework and the saw cuts planks to particular widths and then the planks are cut to
The milled timber is then set aside to season naturally for a period of time to be put to use or sold.

Rough sawn logs in situ

Hauling a log to the mill

Positioning the log in the Lucas Mill

Milling the log into planks


Milled timber left to season

A jolly good time.

was had by all members who attended the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway Inc. Christmas Party.
Venue was the rolling stock shed in the station precinct.
Numbers were a little down but that didnt stop the motley crew from enjoying a lovely BBQ followed by
Reminiscing was the order of the evening and reflection on progress to date and a longing look at what the next
twelve months may hold.

Revellers from left Glenda and Col Bembrick, John Boxer, John & Elizabeth Brotchie,
Sue Arnison, Elaine Boxer, Tony Buckland, Tim Arnison, Barry Webb and Arthur Robinson.


Its beginning to look like Christmas

Im dreaming of a white Christmasalways a possibility in Oberon


Whats this thing called Luv?

The photo of this building was taken in 1871 just a few short years after its construction.
Can you guess what it is?
Here are a couple of clues:

Its of Gothic Design.

The mood of the building is deliberately sombre yet peaceful.

If you where the guest of honour you would be horizontal.

Your guests would be reflective.

Got it? Its the Mortuary Station located in Regent Street, Chippendale. It was from here that many
Sydneysiders departed for their final rest at Rookwood Cemetery.


For all enquiries
Secretary: Elaine Ph. 02 6336-0441
Email admin@othr.com.au


Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway


Offline Draw
Win this:

Complete this entry form for your last chance to win this fabulous painting.
Drawn 31 January 2017

Donation: $
Phone Number:
Each $5.00 of your donation receives one entry in the draw, i.e. $30.00 donation = 6 entries. Entries close 25th
January 2017 and draw conducted on 31st January 2017.
Entry tickets forwarded as soon as practicable. All donors acknowledged on GoFundMe platform as an offline
Post entry and donation to OTHR, PO Box 299 Oberon NSW 2787 clearly marked Fundraiser.
All donations are tax deductible.