Waratah Loop 2016-2017

At the member’s day on the 2nd of December 2017, the new platform and waiting shelter were opened to ‘traffic’ operation. A few weeks later after sufficient staff had been requalified for ‘Army Hill’ regular operations commenced to the new waiting shelter.
Work will continue to turn the two sidings into a true loop, but this work is low priority and will be documented in a new post once work starts.

Jump to –

February 2016

The main focus of work for some time has been Army Hill itself, but the other end of the hill has been receiving some attention with the construction of the south points for Waratah Loop.

The points being installed are ‘Melbourne Style’ spring mechanism, the same type installed at the ‘Pitt Street Crossover’. It was originally intended to install a Sydney style mechanism here, but right where the points were to go there is a high pressure gas main encased in concrete, so it was not possible to dig the pit required for a Sydney mechanism. The blade units are 2nd hand from Melbourne.


Martin Pinches

February 20

Over the past week some concrete has been placed at the Waratah loop entrance points fixing them into position.


Matthew Geier

Work has been continuing on the points through March and into April.

April 4th

Waratah Loop - south points.

Danny Adamopoulos

April 9th

Adjacent to the current works is a rarely used ‘back entrance’ to the Army property. We are concreting up to their gate.

Waratah Loop - south points.
Waratah Loop - south points.

Danny Adamopoulos

April 16th

A good run due to donations enabling the purchasing of concrete have allowed this points to be concreted in quite quickly. Concrete is now between the new track and the Army’s access gate. Much more work is needed before the Rawson Ave side can be concreted. A CSO welder has been working on the turn out rails.

Danny Adamopoulos

April 30th

‘Mainline’ now up to the gate. Work still proceeding on the turn out rails.

Waratah Loop - south points.
Waratah Loop - south points.

Matthew Geier

July 2nd

The eastern loop track at the Sutherland end was joined up, and the track drain was further extended ready for the next rail to be welded in place. This means both tracks of Waratah loop are ‘connected’ now.

The inside rail to the eastern track being placed into the correct position prior to cutting and welding.

Danny Adamopoulos

Danny Adamopoulos

July 9th

A minor milestone has been achieved – We now have full track to both sides of ‘Waratah Loop’. This will now be concreted into position as concrete is supplied, with all the fiddly welding required now completed.

Welding the outside rail

Martin Pinches

July 27 / July 30

Work continues on the turn out with the outer check rail being progressively welded into place.

Danny Adamopoulos

Matthew Geier

August 27th

Work today focused on the installation of the ‘Melbourne style’ point operating mechanism that was fabricated by Mike Giddy.

Martin Pinches


November 12th

The rails from the advancing Army Hill reconstruction were welded to the new Waratah Loop points. Only 12m of concreting to be done and Waratah Loop is reconnected to the museum. A small amount of concrete that arrived on the day was used on the Waratah Loop diverging track.
See the Army Hill page for the ‘closure’ of the rails.

A concrete pad is being constructed near the loop for Cremorne tramway waiting shed the museum has in ‘knocked down form’ to be reassembled at this location.


Foundation for Cremorne waiting shed.

Danny Adamopolous

November 16th

Some extra concrete arrived. The 2 Wednesday workers working up at Waratah Loop had to call in a couple of Wednesday workshop regulars to lend a hand as the warm day was making the concrete ‘go off’ too fast.

Martin Pinches


December 3rd

The track next to the new waiting shed was removed and excavated. This track will be concreted and a new brick gutter in front of the waiting shed will be constructed. Sydney Trains have also started on a path over to their restored substation.

Danny Adamopolous – Martin Pinches

December 10th

Vintage seat being delivered for use in the new Waratah loop waiting shed.

Martin Pinches

December 17th

A small group were working near the new waiting shed cleaning rails to be re-installed when our concrete supplier called in with a significant quantity of surplus concrete.

While this small group were struggling to work this concrete, the scrubber car 134s arrived as part of a track cleaning run. 134s looked on as more people got to work on the wet and rapidly drying concrete.

Martin Pinches


Finishing off the concrete
Two works cars near the terminus.

Matthew Geier

January 7th, 2017

Martin Pinches


January 21st, 2017

Work continues to ready the track in front of the new waiting shed to be concreted.

Martin Pinches


January 25th, 2017

New track in front of the new waiting shed got some concrete. Now that this is ready and the first bit is in, we expect relatively rapid progress on concreting the rest.

Ian Saxon


January 28th, 2017

Martin Pinches

February 4th, 2017

More concreting. The track beside the new waiting shelter gets nearer to completion. A batch of bull nose bricks has been purchased to build a small curb next to the new waiting shed. Now the track in front of the shelter has been concreted, the kerb can be built.

Martin Pinches

February 11th, 2017

The track is now complete south of the ‘driveway’ access to the waratah loop yard area.

A brick kerb for the waiting shed was started. This will be similar to the look in front of the Miranda waiting shed back at the museum gates.

Danny Adamopoulos

February 15th, 2017

A new fence to separate the passenger areas from our storage yard.
The new eastern track near the waiting shed. It’s being held into position by long tie rods to the existing track. This will accurately maintain the spacing while the concrete is being poured.

Martin Pinches

February 25th, 2017

F393 makes a visit to the new waiting shed.

Matthew Geier

March 11th, 2017

Concreting the ‘6ft’ between the two tracks near the waiting shed.

The ‘back entrance’ to the army site. Preparations to concrete the driveway.

Danny Adamopoulos

April 1st, 2017

1979 has just dropped off a load of workers after their lunch break. It’s heading back to the museum.

Danny Adamopoulos / Matthew Geier

April 8th, 2017

David Canini, our regular excavator contractor, was brought in to use his machines to excavate the last un-rebuilt section of Waratah Loop and prepare the track bed for rebuilding in concrete. The spoil was used to backfill the cess on Army Hill.

Matthew Geier

April 29th, 2017

Rails removed on April 8 (above) have been cleaned and are replaced. The section will be welded, packed and then concreted to complete the concreting of the loop area.

Danny Adamopoulos

May 20th, 2017

Brick paving ‘platform face’ added to the new waiting shed.

Danny Adamopoulos

June 17th, 2017

Track drains welded up and CSO workers extend the paving around the waiting shed.

Matthew Geier

July 15th, 2017

5m³ of concrete was purchased thanks to an ‘anonymous doner’.

This got just over 1/3 of the way filling the missing link between the waiting shed and the rest of track leading back to the museum.

Matthew Geier

August 16th, 2017

After quite some time with no deliveries, a small amount of surplus arrived on this Wednesday.

Martin Pinches

August 23rd, 2017

Another Wednesday and another small amount of surplus.

Martin Pinches

August 26th, 2017

Concrete was purchased thanks to a donation to allow more track to be completed. A small gap remains. The joint here needs to be finally welded. If we weld it too soon, the expansion and contraction of the rails due to weather temperature changes will break the weld. It will be welded just before the last bit of concrete is poured.

Martin Pinches


September 13th, 2017

The Wednesday crew took delivery of a small amount of surplus concrete. This allowed the ‘four foot’ to be completed. We now have concrete track from Army Crossing to the new waiting shed at Waratah Loop.
The ‘six foot’ needs to be completed before passenger services can resume. Driver retraining for Army Hill will commence shortly as once this concrete cures, the track is able to be used.

Ian Saxon

September 20th, 2017

The Wednesday crew put in that extra effort again, with 3 trucks and 3.5m of concrete arriving.

Martin Pinches

September 30th, 2017

5 metres of surplus concrete in 3 trucks arrived Sat am. The 6’ was completed and a start was made on the west Cess area.
Of note is the fence installed by the Sydney Trains contractors working on the Sutherland Substation has now been moved to its correct location and the brick platform from the waiting shed extended.

Martin Pinches

October 7th, 2017

Very little concreting is left to do now at Waratah Loop. The bick curb ‘platfom’ needs to be extended, and that will happen shortly. The bull-nose bricks required are already on site.

Martin Pinches

October 21st, 2017

Most of the effort today went into extending the brick curb for the Waratah Loop platform.

Martin Pinches

Danny Adamopolous


November 4th, 2017

Finishing work continues. Driver (re)training now in progress. As the route has been closed to normal traffic operations for nearly 5 years now, all drivers have to be retested on their route knowledge. ‘Army Hill’ is quite steep, so it’s important that all drivers know exactly how to handle their tram on the grade. The reassessment process ensures that all tram drivers are aware of the operating challenges of the hill and can operate their trams in a safe manner.

A driver training trip with P1497

Matthew Geier

November 11th, 2017

Earthworks past the end of the current track to put stormwater pipes in and preparing the ground for the start on assembling the northern points of Waratah Loop -making a true passing loop. This will be a very low profile project. For some time Waratah loop will be a double stub terminus.

Danny Adamopolous

November 19th, 2017

CSO workers continue working on the brick platform at the Waratah terminus. Work is expected to be complete here within 2 or 3 weeks.

Martin Pinches

Waratah loop is expected to be ‘opened for passenger traffic’ on the annual members day on December 2nd, 2017, however, regular services probably will be delayed several more weeks due to not all traffic volunteers having done their reassessment on driving on the new Army Hill track yet.


This project is now effectively complete at the new terminus is in regular use.

Further work north will occur as time and resources permits. See the Waratah Loop North post.


5 thoughts on “Waratah Loop 2016-2017”

  1. Thanks for keeping us posted on the progress being made. It looks great! A big thanks to everyone involved and I’m GUTTED that I can’t be personally because I live so far away.

  2. Great achievement! What is the small building in the background in the photo in the 25th January report? Keep up the good work.

    1. There are several buildings in the background of the January 25th shot, however, I assume you mean the cream coloured one with the tower. That’s the No 3 substation for the museum tramway. Presently used for storage. If the Sutherland extension ever comes to be, this building will be fitted out as a traction substation to supply the line towards Sutherland.

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