News Bogong Creek aquaduct and tramline access.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Mister Tee on XC Skis, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Hi
    I have applied for permission for access , in writing by snail mail from AGL regarding access to the Bogong Creek aquaduct and tramline.
    This is their reply:
    "Dear
    Mr.Tee on XC skis
    Thank you for your letter regarding access to the Bogong Creek race line. The balance of land outside the Clover Power Station is not exclusive possession to AGL. It is crown land therefore accessible to the public. You do not require AGL's permission.
    Regards
    Doug Hunt
    Doug Hunt
    Manager, Asset Real Estate
    AGL Procurement & Property Services

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Douglas.Hunt@agl.com.au <Douglas.Hunt@agl.com.au>"

    So there you have it. I am not trespassing if I go walking from Clover arboretum to Bogong Creek saddle via the aquaduct . It is official.
     
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  2. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    I've done that route. If continued up Quartz Ridge, it's by far the easiest way up Mt Bogong, although the route along the tramline is a long, but gentle walk.

    Be aware that a bridge has collapsed 3/4 of the way along the aqueduct and these days trams finish there. This presents an obstacle. You can either tightrope walk along the pipe that carries aqueduct water or scramble down a steep cliff, battle through scrub and scramble up a steep cliff of the other side. Both options are a bit awkward.

    But I strongly recommend the walk, it's a different way to access Mt Bogong and Mt Nelse, it's very scenic and fairly easy going. :)

    [​IMG]
    Above: Me balancing on the pipe with an awkwardly heavy pack.
    Below: Mt Bogong from the tramline (taken decades before I was born, but nothing has changed).
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
    Gold Bruce

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    @Mister Tee on XC Skis - I’ll join you on this route in green season anytime - just name the date.

    Bloody unfit atm. Gotta get fit quickly so I can do a couple of long hikes in late December & January...
     
  4. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    I am doing this route from Clover Arboretum to Roper's hut via the Bogong Creek tramway / aqua duct and the old helipad.
    We will head up Timm's spur and return via the Spion Kopje fire trail. NO we will not walk across the Grey Hills!.
    This is planned as a VNPA walking trip for the Australia Day long weekend .
    Prior to that I have a few other multi night trips coming up incl. over the Xmas break Mt. McDonald to Hell's Window and back via The Bluff and the Refrigerator gap track to pick up the car at Low Saddle Road/ Brock's road junction.

    Also I am going up to the Young's hut side of the High plains coming up from MacNamara's hut. I will press onto Young's hut and Weston's hut , descend to Blair's hut , head for Dibbin's hut, Derrick's hut , Spargo's hut , Cobungra Ditch track, Brandy Ck. Track , Paling spur, Young's hut and back to pick up the vehicle at MacNamara's hut.
    I feel hot and sweaty just typing this stuff but I have two weeks off work and bushwalking I will a go from 27/12/18, with a short break in Melb. , to wash my gear and restock my pack before the drive up to the Bogong High Plains / Omeo/ Hotham / Dinner Plain area.
     
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  5. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    Whoops, I might not have advocated it if I knew a political group like the VNPA would be involved. Overall they're nice people but they tend to put a political spin on almost everything, both in the past and today.

    The aqueduct is part of a hydro scheme, and if I remember anything from when I was a child / adolescent, the VNPA despised hydro electricity and campaigned against even the slightest mention of it, not just in Tassie, but on the 'North Island of Australia' too. Anyway, I like the Kiewa hydro scheme and wouldn't mind if it was enlarged a bit, so now that they are aware of it, I hope the VNPA won't campaign against this wonderful tramline and aqueduct. I'd hate to see it bulldozed and left to return to nature.

    Now I've got that off my chest, the second walk Mr T is planning sounds wonderful. Enjoy yourself. :)
     
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  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Hi
    I sometimes lead walks with the VNPA Bushwalking and Activities group. They are not going to start campaigning for the removal of the Bogong Creek tramline and Aqua duct. AGL controls some of it so it is not entirely part of the Alpine N.P. or the state forest. There are more pressing issues at hand including mobilizing opposition to the plan to start building a Lego Land type tourist eyesore at Mt. Buffalo and the redonkulous Falls to Hotham walking route redevelopment etc.
     
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  7. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    Excellent work Mr. T. We also now have a direct contact for the law suit when someone falls off the AGL infrastructure.
    I know an easier way (or maybe about the same) but this way is very nice as you said. Quite pleasant surrounds for a road walk and Quartz ridge is a pretty good as well. Will never do Timms spur again when the Grey Hills offer so much more. .
     
  8. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
    Gold Bruce

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    Love the Grey Hills.
     
  9. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Mulhauser spur and Long spur combined make quite an easy route to the Mt. Bogong summit area.
     
  10. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    True but can do better than that.
     
  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Taking a 4 WD up to Granite Flat spur car park is quite easy too. The road is closed in white season. I have walked up from the Hollow way gate.
     
    #11 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  12. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    Yes another nice approach in Summer.
     
  13. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    I have heard claims that people have made trolleys powered by small engines running on 3 foot gauge axles and used them to joy ride or transport packs along the tramway.

    Personally I suspect that's rubbish, I reckon it's more of an unfulfilled dream. But it wouldn't be hard to do as they only run very rare trains these days and there are few walkers, so the chances of getting caught are minuscule and if people did that, it would be the easiest way to climb Mt Bogong.
     
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  14. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Gold Bruce

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    That's exactly the kind of thing my mates would do!! We've got 3 engineers in our ski touring/snow camping group.....
     
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  15. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Gold Bruce

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  16. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    There's a first rate gravel road that goes the 500~ish metres from the main Bogong High Plains rd to the carriage sheds at the start of the tramway. I can't remember if it has a gate on it or not. But if you can't drive all the way to the tracks, it's a very short walk.

    A small 2 stoke brush cutter or lawn mower engine would have more than enough power, but I don't think you could get small rail profile wheels from Bunnings (?) , so they might have to be ordered on the internet unless local hobby stores sell them? Apart from that, the top of the trolley only has to be big enough to stack packs and skis, with passengers sitting on top of them.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure the rails are 3 feet apart, but the wheels would have to slightly less than that to give some leeway going around curves or where the tracks are slightly out of gauge, as the tramway operates on minimum track maintenance. But I reckon any half decent mechanic or most mechanical or civil engineers would have learned enough in first year to make a useful operational trolley.
     
  17. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    If such a vehicle could be built then it makes getting to the old helipad easier. Access from Bogong Creek Saddle to Roper's hut via Timm's Spur is a good way to get onto the BHP for some ski touring!.

    The gate is locked at the BHP road diagonally opposite Clover arboretum. There is good parking at Clover Arboretum. It is maybe 1.5 kms to the start of the tramway . You have cross a branch of the Kiewa river over a bridge. The tracks fork . One goes up Mt. Arthur and the other goes towards the tramway. I have walked the first bit last summer. Timm's spur is quite sheltered , going along the Big River fire trail and the river crossing at the bottom of Timm's spur is easy .
     
  18. Ubiquitous Steve

    Gold Bruce

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    Well it’s a pity somebody doesnot make this route more easily trafficable over the “tight rope “ section of the pipeline!

    Money spent restoring this Access is a sound idea!

    How is the Black Possum Track upto Mt Arthur from the Jeep track?Is it still negotiable ?
     
  19. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Steve, you confuse such a route with it being known at all by anyone except by Parks VIC. ,a few hardy old bushwalkers and some XC ski nuts.
    Most people have never heard of Mt. Bogong or the Alpine N.P.. They don't walk anywhere or XC ski at all. There is no tourist money to be made from improving the pedestrian access along the Bogong Creek tramway and aqua duct. That is the thinking behind most decisions made regarding our managing National Parks.
    The State govt. has its tunnel vision locked on building bullshite "Lego Land" type eyesores within the National Parks aimed at getting people who would n't usually put up a tent or walk anywhere to fork out big money to stay in luxury lodges, walk along nanny state walk ways and in essence kill the goose that lays the golden egg: UNSPOILED NATURE.
    The Bogong creek Tramway is not unspoiled nature. It is not ready to become the next PUFFING BILLY type Tourist rail attraction either.
    Yes " the gate keeper argument " will be invoked by those who have less interesting things to do with their lives.
    I will get off my soap box now. I will take my med.s and lie down for a while ;-P.
     
  20. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us

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    You need to get out more and see all the tracks PV maintain. Opps. You do get out more, so you should see (and benefit from) the work first hand. What has the tourist dollar value got with track work done on the T spur, Duanne, Eskdale Spur, Quartz ridge and many more tracks used regularly by people such as yourself with no tangible tourist dollar gain. Those tracks which get more visitors, particularly the visitors with less skills, get more attention. Tracks like Paling spur and the Grey Hills will get less attention so those who enjoy that sort of thing still have somewhere to go. You do not like the Grey Hills and would be happy for PV to clear it so you don't get lost on it. You even put a call in to PV to see if they were going to clear it. Money has been allocated for sections of the AAWT and track work is regularly done on it. Captain C and a team from BW Victoria just did a track clearing with PV on Howitt Spur. So even the average person can get involved in helping out, after all the park belongs to the people.

    There is also not a great deal of unspoiled nature left which is accessible to people. Does that mean we should go and cut tracks into it so we can enjoy it more? BHP has already been spoiled by years of cattle grazing and other areas logging. We put out all the fires now so the land does not regenerate like it used to. My recent ventures have been about following animal pads and navigating through untracked areas, avoiding sensitive areas and the tourist tracks. I won't post any of this information because I don't want to turn them into tourist tracks. I am also not making any new tracks and when there can look for intrusions like feral animals and pest plants like Hawk weed. Even these untracked areas are spoiled by European settlement. Many of the tracks I follow are made by deer and horses.
     
  21. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    I did like walking along the Grey Hills but it is a tough hike and I am not in a hurry to go there again this green season. I will be walking up Paling spur next month.
    I was being partially facetious about the motivations of the state Govt. who control PV's budget. PV have a tiny budget and not enough staff. They do what they can to keep foot access routes open in many places but what I was saying is that the Bogong Creek aqua duct is a low priority.
     
  22. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    Here is the original letter that I sent by snail mail.



    To:
    AGL Energy Limited
    Locked Bag 3031
    Australia Square NSW 1215



    27/11/18



    RE: BUSHWALKING ALONG THE CLOVER DAM AREA AQUADUCT/tramway TO BOGONG CREEK SADDLE (Kiewa Hydroelectricity scheme, NE VIC)



    To whom it may Concern



    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I am a leader of a bushwalking group and part of the not for profit conservation group The Vic. Nat. Parks Assoc.( VNPA).

    On the Australia day long weekend next year in January 2019, I would like to include the aqua duct and tramway that is under AGL’s control as part of my bushwalking route in the Mt. Bogong and Bogong High Plains area in the Victorian Alps.

    We as a small party of walkers, no more than 6 people would like to follow this route from the Bogong Creek railhead near the Clover arboretum to Bogong Creek Saddle.



    Since much of this route is now under AGL’s control I am asking for permission to enter this area and use it as a walking route. We are all experienced walkers and there will be no danger or liability of an accident while enjoying the great outdoors.



    Please consider my request.

    If you are kind enough to give me written permission to walk along this route then I will be very grateful .

    Yours Faithfully

    Mr.Tee on XC skis.
     
  23. Ubiquitous Steve

    Gold Bruce

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    Well it doesnot strike me as being a very bright way to manage this tramway route....to leave a section where one has to
    walk along a pipe with pack on!
    But Team Bears are not great metal workers so it’s out of our hands.....must be terrific on a wet day crossing along the pipe!

    We note Xploras aversion to track maintenance...he likes the bush bashing caper ..

    The top of Paling Spur has been brush cut....Team Bears think it’s pretty good that it was performed ....otherwise Paling Spur Access would be a grovel of mega proportions!
     
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  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    I think they get access to the last quarter of the aqueduct beyond the collapsed bridge with quad bikes and they drive in on the 4WD road.

    These days it doesn't make much sense to rebuild a tramway when there's been a structural collapse like that bridge. Actually I'm rather grateful that the tramway (appears) to be still used at all. Over at the Rubicon Hydro scheme (also owned by Southern Hydro / AGL), they have abandoned the 2 foot gauge tramway entirely and the aqueducts there are patrolled and maintained by quad bikes.

    Rather than relying on memory I had a look at a large scale map and realised just how much the aqueduct and its tramway zig zag around. It's only the last section that heads directly towards Bogong Creek Saddle and that section of the aqueduct is no longer a tramway. So perhaps walking along it is better for scenic variety than it is for direct access to Mt Bogong or Mt Nelse.
     
    #24 Bogong, Dec 11, 2018 at 7:31 PM
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 4:01 PM
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  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Silver Bruce

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    The Rubicon Aquaduct / tramway has had the main Trestle Bridge completely replaced just near the Power Station. I was there in Jan. 2018. I love walking along there :).
     
    #25 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Dec 12, 2018 at 1:01 PM
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 8:43 PM
  26. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
    Gold Bruce

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    There are four trestle bridges on the Rubicon tramway:
    • The furthest north is fairly long but not very high, it has a name like 15,000 siphon???
    • Then there's the attractive little one near Royston power station
    • Beech Creek trestle was burnt in the 2009 fires and replaced without tram lines, but with handrails.
    • Another trestle near Beech Creek which was also toasted in 2009, leaving it with big holes in the decking
    [​IMG] Beech Creek Trestle bridge
    [​IMG] The cute little Royston Power Station trestle
    A guide to walking the Rubicon aqueducts.
     
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