Member & Rail Division, Pannawonica (WA)
Engineman and Yard Foreman.
Pete says: “I grew up in Sydney and worked in the mining industry in Western Australia between 1995 and 2005. In 2005 I transferred from the Pilbara Iron Mining Division to the Rail Division at Pannawonica where I now work as an Engineman and Yard Foreman.
Pannawonica is a closed (company-owned) mining town of about 1000 people. It is located 200kms south east of Karratha by road. Our railway joins the mine with the port of Cape Lambert. We run trains of 207 cars with four 4400hp locomotives on the head end. Fully loaded that translates to just over 2kms long and about 28,000t.
I have been a member of various rail preservation groups in different states since the early 1990’s but the remote nature of my chosen profession has prevented me from being actively involved for some time. I am particularly interested in the history of the NSWGR and the Oberon branch was one of the many that were either mothballed or closed before I had the opportunity to travel on them.
I travelled extensively throughout the Central West of NSW while I was growing up and therefore had some knowledge of the branch and the area. After following the progress of OTHR for a while, it appeared to me that you had an enthusiastic and expanding group of volunteers. This coupled with an achievable and sustainable restoration program prompted me to become involved, albeit remotely, with the OTHR.
I travel across to Sydney with my wife and two young daughters on regular occasions and hope that I can coincide with one of your working bees in the future. I also look forward to travelling on the line once the restoration is complete.
The photo above shows me with one of our GE Dash 9 locomotives.”