Gallery of images.
The railway line, when it opened through this area, and in running in a westerly direction, was nothing more than a section of line emerging from the Knowsley Forest East of Quarry Road, crossing the road, and then continuing via a number of curves and deep cuttings through private property, continuing over trestles across the Eastern Campaspe flood plain and across the river. There was no Ingham Siding on opening day in 1888 and the land around the cuttings was strewn with the remnants of bluestone spoil that remained from the cutting excavations.
Line construction was difficult and required blasting through the bluestone to provide the required cuttings through the south section of what was previously Axedale Estate and, at the time of construction, Heffernan's 'Marydale Estate'. Even before the line was opened, Napthali Ingham, the Axedale timber and stone contractor who was instrumental in getting support for the line construction as early as 1873, and who managed a quarry business about one mile [1.6km] to the north of where the line was constructed, said that he will be constructing a tramway from his quarry to the new railway line after it opens.
In December, 1890, the Bendigo Advertiser recorded that the Railways Commissioners received a deputation to urge on them the necessity of constructing a tramway from Ingham's quarries at Axedale to the local railway station. The term local railway station is viewed as an error. Ingham's quarry, mentioned as a mile to the North of the rail line was on the East side of the Campaspe River adjacent to what is now known as Ingham's Hill and the railway line on that side of the river was slightly closer than the closest railway station, Axedale, on the West side of the river. The Railways stated that engineering difficulties prevented the line running closer to Ingham's quaries when the original rail alignment was surveyed.
There is evidence of quarrying on the river side of Ingham Hill, as well as on the property opposite the ruins of Ingham's Quarry Hotel on Ingham Road.
The tramway deputation is followed by a petition of local residents, forwarded by the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, for permission to use the new Axedale Racecourse Platform for timber and produce loading. The Commissioners do not grant such permission.
Records associated with Ingham's Siding contain many inconsistencies and conflicting indications which were difficult to follow and I apologise for any errors that may still appear here.
In January 1891, Mr. Norman, Railways Engineer, with the Sandhurst Surveyor, visited Axedale in order to see what is required to connect Ingham's quarry with the railway to Heathcote. The inclusion of the Sandhurst Surveyor is puzzling as the East side of the Campaspe was under the administration of the Shire of McIvor and it would be expected that a surveyor would have come from that shire, unless there was a desire to run the tramway to Axedale Station on the opposite side of the Campaspe River.
Ingham at least succeeded in getting a 50 yard [46m] dead-end siding near Quarry Road, with shunting access from the Eastern or Heathcote end. Construction of the siding must have commenced in 1891 because, in December, it is recorded that a Mrs. Tait, visiting a family living at Ingham's Siding, had with her, her little girl about two years old. The girl fell into a dam nearby and unsuccessful efforts were made to resuscitate her. The siding was opened with the name of Ingham's Siding and is recorded in one place as as having been at 86 miles, 28 chains, 20 links (approx. 138.16 rail kilometres) from Melbourne. This location, taken literally, places it immediately on the Up side of what is now Quarry Road. There were a number of changes at the siding during its life. The opening of Ingham Siding is recorded as having occurred in 1892.
Gatekeepers, with the exception of the Up end of Axedale and the main road in Kilmore, had been withdrawn by 1900. Their houses had also been removed. However, Napthali Ingham built a house on the site at some stage. This is evidenced by an entry from the Way & Works records of 30 May 1911 where Ingham'swidow, Mary Ann Ingham (nee Cheshire), claims 160 pounds being the value of Gatehouse erected by her late husband at Ingham Siding. The Railways offer £90 for the house to be used as a Departmental Residence. It was probably for use by the siding Caretaker. The purchase is recorded as 18 October 1911. (W & W 10075 - 85/9341).
Activities at the siding can be easily imagined. A typical day would provide the sounds of axes, saws and falling trees ringing throughout the adjacent Knowsley Forest. This would be punctuated by the sight and sound of Clydesdale horses, or even bullocks and wagons, hauling logs for sawing to the number of sawmills set up on the road leading to the siding. Eventually they would be loaded into rail wagons placed there to be cleared by one of the passing trains during the day. The trains were either dedicated goods trains or mixed trains of passengers and goods. The siding was, at one time, managed by a Woman-in-Charge. A number of houses also existed there for a time. The remnants of the last house were cleared from the East side of Quarry Road in 2015.
In December 1892, a painful injury occurred to Joseph Lowery, a Fireman on an Up Wallan train. He was standing on the line at Ingham's Siding, shunting, when some of the carriages 'came along' behind him, and before he could get out of the way, his right arm was crushed between the buffers, fortunately without breaking any bones. The Porter at Axedale Station took Lowery's place on the engine with Driver C. Main, and the train proceeded on its journey. Lowery returned to Bendigo by train. After treatment at hospital he was then able to go home.
December 1894 saw a staff swap. Mrs. Donaldson is transferred from Rokeby Station to Ingham Siding and Mrs. Moss is transferred from Ingham Siding to Rokeby Station. This was possibly as a direct result of their husbands changing employment location. Such positions were commonly associated with the wives of Track Repairers.
The Railways Commissioners' Minute Book records a January 10, 1895 meeting entry of: “File 94/14862 – N. Ingham – To provide a road to his siding at Axedale at his expense £190.” It is assumed that this road would have been for siding entry from Quarry Road. One can imagine that, without a proper siding road, rain and horse traffic could have made access difficult during wet periods at least.
A serious bushfire fire occurred in 1898 and large sticks of timber at Ingham Siding became ignited. Residents were powerless to stop the fire spreading. The Gatekeeper's residence in the vicinity was in danger of destruction. Mr. Middleton, Stationmaster at Knowsley, travelled along the line on a tricycle to see if he could be of any assistance. On reaching near the siding, he found that sleepers had caught fire. He continued to Axedale and sent information to Bendigo Station. By this time, the 4.10pm train from Bendigo had reached Axedale and the train from Wallan had also arrived at Knowsley and neither could continue on its journey. Necessary repairs were effected via Mr. McVeigh, the Ganger in charge of the line. The train at Axedale then proceeded to Knowsley. Train delays were about 2 hours.
The Home signals were fitted with wooden crosses in March 1899 to indicate that they were ordinarily out of use. This may indicate that the signals may have been operated by the Gatekeeper in the earlier days. However, a staff lock for the points was provided in August the same year and the wooden crosses removed. The Gatekeeper would have been removed by 1900.
More tragedy struck in March 1904 when Repairer Edward Booth, who had worked for the Railways for 14 years, the last 4 of them at Ingham Siding, was killed when his trolley was struck by a train in a deep cutting on Heffernan's property. Booth was returning from the Axedale Racecourse with his wife, Emily, and their children. The family was able to get clear but Booth was struck by flying debris when the locomotive demolished the trolley. Emily was the Woman-in-Charge of the siding at the time. Her services were dispensed with the following month and the siding was then worked as no one in charge, under the supervision of the Stationmaster, Knowsley. The position was re-instated two months later when the Way and Works Branch advised that they could supply a woman for free house only. It is not known if the occupant was Mrs. Booth or a replacement.
Napthali Ingham died in 1909 and it is not known whether he shipped any bluestone from his siding.
The general area known as Ingham Siding eventually became the location of three different named sidings. It started with the short 50 yard long, dead end, timber siding in 1892 and the 1920s saw the emergence of Deane's Siding and Trench and Co. Siding. Both, unlike Ingham's original siding, saw life as loop sidings.
Victor Allen Deane married Alice Louisa Ingham, Napthali Ingham's daughter, in Brunswick in 1909 - the year that her father died. The couple came to Axedale about the same time, possibly for the funeral, and Victor initially took on the activities of his father-in-law. He purchased an Axedale property that he called 'Waverley Estate'. He was operating a quarry of sorts in 1911 at Axedale, probably his Father-in-Law's, as he was involved in supplying metal to Ingham Road. He stated that he did not have a crusher and supplied a coating of what he termed metal chips and gravel. I suspect that he had not set up for any quarrying at Ingham at that stage but he was also certainly involved with timber.
Deane gave a demonstration and starting of a new 13 b.h.p. [9.7KW] portable Tangye oil engine at Ingham in November 1912. It had just been purchased, together with a large circular saw for cutting box firewood blocks. The demonstration probably took place in the siding grounds as there is reference the following year to Deane having a sawmill within the siding.
In February 1913, Deane complained of a 'menace' and 'nuisance' on the shire road approaching Ingham. This would have been Quarry Road and access was being blocked by sawmills and refuse.
In March 1913, Deane complains again about obstruction and damage to the road at Axedale by a sawmill plant. Samuel Doak also complained about obstruction on the road leading to Ingham's Siding and he said that he had no objection to the sawmill remaining on the road. Neither has Mr. James Heffernan, the adjoining landowner.
The City Engineer reported that he inspected the road from the Heathcote-Bendigo Road (now McIvor Highway) to Ingham's railway siding, quoted as saying, "The sawmill referred to consisted of a portable engine and small bench used for cutting firewood. Persons collecting/cutting firewood try and place themselves as close as possible to the siding in order to limit cartage to the siding. The public accommodation at the siding is very limited outside by a sawmill believed to be owned by Mr. Deane himself. The mill on the road is owned by Mr. Curthoys." As the road is being illegally occupied, he suggested that Council give Curthoys a reasonable amount of time to remove it. [Mr. Charles Albert Curthoys, the Stationamster at Axedale in 1926, was his son].
There were houses in the vicinity of Ingham in 1913 as it was reported that Mrs. Curthoys, wife of Mr. W. Curthoys, passes away after an illness of only a day at her Ingham residence, leaving a widower, four boys and three girls.
In November 1915, the thirty-fourth Annual Heatcote Show is held. Special trains are advertised to run from Bendigo, also picking up at Ingham. This provides an indication of the number of people in the areas as Ingham was not a passenger stop.
In September 1921, an advertisement for Knockers-Out, Pitcher Dressers and Spallmen, and a good working Foreman to take charge of quarry and crushing plant. The reply address is simply 'Waverley Quarries, Axedale'. It is believed that this advertisement was placed by Deane but it is not known if this operation was at Ingham or nearer his own property of 'Waverley Estate".
In September 1922, the Railways advise that the siding is open for goods in truck loads only, a/c V. A. Deane. This indicates that at that time, Deane was the only operator at the siding. I suspect that Deane was only railing timber traffic and there was no quarry activity at the siding. Such activity may have commenced with the creation of Trench and Co. Siding the following year.
The 1927 Victorian Railways Grades Book shows that Ingham, as it was then known, consisted of a loop siding on the south side of the line with a dead end siding on the north side with staff-locked points. A Victorian Railways plan shows the centre of Quarry Road at 86M 31C 84L and the the loop siding existing from 86M 32C 32L (Up end points) to 86M 43C 36L (Down end points) - a total length of 11C 52L (approx. 230m). An August 1926 (35/26) Weekly Notice records "Deane's siding connected to main line at Down end to form loop, secured by Staff Lock." The Grades Book does not show it as a loop. It is shown as a dead-end on 1922 documents related to Trench and Co. Siding. At this stage, it is possible that Deane was not involved with stone at Ingham at this stage as he would have been directly competing with Trench and Co. Declining stone demand may have already started at this stage.
A Weekly Notice entry of May 30, 1939 (22/39), advises the transfer of Deane's Siding to C. Snell. This conflicts with a siding plan that shows H. W. Snell.
In 1922, Trench and Co., supplied a plan to the Victorian Railways Commissiers seeking permission to construct a quarrying siding on the South side of the rail line at Ingham - opposite Ingham's short dead-end. The letter mentions that the Commissioners had declined a previous request for permission to use the existing dead-end siding.
Their plan was redrawn by the Railways and titled Scheme A, and covered connection to the main line on the west side of Quarry Road and curving South to finish at a dead-end parallel to Quarry Road and South of the main line crossing. The plan shows Ingham Siding as a dead end.
The Commissioners replied with an alternative plan, titled Scheme B, that detailed a loop siding connecting to the main line as submitted by Trench and Co., but laying to the East, crossing Quarry Road and connecting to the main line on the Knowsley side of Quarry Road. This is a little unusual as Quarry Road would then end up with two crossings in close proximity.
In March, 1923, a Victorian Railways Commissioners' Minute Book, records the provision of a siding, cost £973/0/0, to be borne by Trench & Co P/L. A Weekly Notice entry advises that a loop siding on the south side of the line was constructed in 1923 and named Trench and Coy. Pty. Ltd. Siding. It was closed in 1933, reopened in 1934 and finally dismantled in 1940. It is shown as 'Opposite Ingham's Siding at 86 ½ miles'.
In December 1933, the AEC Rail Motor, returning from Bendigo, collided with a motor truck at the Ingham crossing at Quarry Road. The truck driver, Edward Parsons was thrown clear. The truck was wrecked and the rail motor was damaged.
In March, 1923, the Company forwarded details of plans to erect metal bins, "the bins, when full, to hold about two standard truck loads of material or a total load of about 32 tons. The doors or shutes (sic.) for loading will not project below the cross beams." The General Superintendent, 30 April, 1923, grants permission with a rider that the applicant should pay the cost of provision of notice boards at each side of the bins, lettered, "Engines, Vans, Box-type or High Loaded Vehicles Not To Pass This Board." Additionaly, trucks loaded out must be ready coupled for a straight pickup with leading vehicle outside Notice Board at end of bins for which direction trucks are required to be picked up. Metal bins were erected over the new loop siding. Permission letter, May 5, 1923.
May 5, 1923 - Trench given permission to provide a, a suitable vehicular gate in the railway boundary fence between the bins and the public road crossing and b, to turn in the boundary fence to connect with the bins and prevent animal trespass. Completed March 14, 1924.
May 5, 1924 - The Department agrees to the erection of metal bins over the siding, and to their standard clearances being departed from, on the condition that:
The Company agrees to pay the cost of 2 notice boards (one at each end of the bins),
Only ordinary low-sided goods trucks be used for loading metal will be allowed on the siding past the notice boards,
The Company shall give delivery of trucks with the leading vehicle placed outside the notice board, clear of the bins, ready for a straight pickup in the direction of conveyance,
The bins will be erected and maintained at the Company's cost in an approved position over the siding.
Minor alteration of the submitted plan, with the addition of knee braces below the whalings, is also made.
June 1924 - The Department undertakes to maintain the whole of the private siding, but the bins and the gate are to be maintained by the company.
Aug 5, 1932 - Company forwards letter from Mr. W. J. Burns re permission to load one or two trucks per week with firewood from their siding. They have no objection if they do not have to order or consign the trucks.
August 19, 1932 - The District Superintendent, writing to the Superintendent Goods train Service, grants permission subject to the Consignor complying with certain arrangements which will be necessary to handle the traffic. The permission states, "Years ago when metal was being loaded at Trench's Siding, we had a Stationmaster at Axedale who Supervised that siding and, the two places being in close proximity, no difficulty was experienced in Consignors ordering their empties and consigning the loaded trucks with Stationmaster, Axedale. Now, however, there is only a Caretaker at Axedale and Ingham is supervised by Bendigo, therefore, it will be necessary for the Consignor to arrange to phone his orders for empties and consign the loaded trucks with Stationmaster Bendigo. In addition, the placing charges prescribed on page 163 of the Goods Rates Book should be applied." In a follow-up letter of September 20, 1932, Mr. Burns agrees with all the conditions.
September 9, 1932 - Trench and Co., after receiving an account for £40/09/08, write to the department, considers the amount should not be charged as, during the nine years that the siding has existed, nothing has been done by way of maintenance excepting for minor works associated with a depression that had caused hand shunting difficulties and the removal of rubbish thrown from empty trucks about twice per year. They also state that the siding has not been used for about three years and absolutely no work had been done to it during that time. The letter includes:
"About nine years ago, we invested over £7,000 at Ingham and took on liabilities that cannot be got rid of for a number of years, in an industry that appeared to be permanent and had every prospect of showing a satisfactory return. Our estimates of the probable demand for road making material and the cost of supplying it from quarries at Ingham, was based on freight charges in vogue for a great number of years and, until these charges were increased, the output from the quarries proved that our estimate was correct. Directly the freight charge was increased, the demand for blue metal as a road making material rapidly decreased and in a few months disappeared.
The increase in freight charges was the direct cause that ruined our business and we consider that your Department should not press us to pay this amount, especially as it has not been put to any expense in maintaining the siding."
November 23, 1932 - The above letter resulted in a response to the affect that the Commissioners were surprised that there had been no attempt to settle the account, outstanding since July 1st. They added that the lack of settlement amounted to a breach of the agreement and, if not paid by the end of the month, they will be reluctantly compelled to discontinue the operation of the siding and take action for the recovery of the amount due to them. This was followed by another letter dated December 5th, stating that unless the outstanding amount if received by December 15th, the Commissioners will have no alternative, without further notice, but to terminate the siding agreement.
This last letter resulted in the payment of the amount on December 12th, 1932.
September 6, 1932 - The Chief Engineer Way and Works states in a report that on January 21, 1932, Mr. Trench had a meeting with the Estate Officer at which he discussed either disconnecting the private siding by removing the points and crossings connecting it with the main line, or by spiking the points for a short time under "the usual conditions", but Mr. Trench was averse to the proposals as he had recently given permission to Mr. Burns to use the siding for firewood and to which the Department had agreed.
Mr. Trench had added that he expects that at present, the outward traffic in firewood will be about three trucks per week, and the rental to be paid by Mr. Burns to the Company of 2/6d. per truck represents approximately half the annual maintenance charge.
Mr. Trench also intimated that there is a possibility of a pottery works purchasing clay from the Company's depot adjacent to the siding in connection with the sewerage installation of Swan Hill, that he is still tendering for small contracts for the supply of stone, screenings and spalls, and that he requires to keep the siding intact. He was advised by the Estate Office that it could not be recommended that the Commissioners reduce the maintenance charge. Mr. Trench preferred to pay the maintenance charge and keep the siding open.
May 29, 1933 - Mr. Trench writes to The Secretary for Railways: "Owing to there being practically no demand for bluestone metal, our siding at Ingham has not been used for several years, and we would like your Department to spike over or remove the points so as to relieve us of the maintenance charges until the demand for bluestone metal improves."
December 12, 1933 - Removal is completed - costs £16/4/0.
July 24, 1934 - Trench and Co. agrees to all the conditions in a letter dated July 10 and enclosed a cheque for £13/10/0.
August 18, 1933 - Way and Works instruction: Removing Staff Locks and operating locks (levers and rodding to remain) in connection with the removal of points and crossings of Trench and Co. siding at Ingham.
September 12, 1933 - Siding disconnected from the main line. Trench paid £10/2/11 costs. Maintenance charge of £40/9/3 is cancelled from July 1, 1933, but a £1 yearly debit for leaving the siding on railway land is raised at the same time. It is re-connected on July 13, 1934 at a cost, paid by Trench, of £11/6/7. The document states that at the same time, the annual maintenance charge should have been re-instated and the £1 yearly charge cancelled.
June 30, 1934 - Trench and Co. request that the siding be re-connected to the main line as early as practicable, attaching a £17 cheque for the estimated costs, with later settlement of any differences. This request was typed in the office of the Chief Engineer of Way and Works, and there is a pencilled note that Mr. Trench stated that he had left his cheque book at home and swore that he would forward a £17 cheque to be received by July 2, 1934. The cheque was subsequently received as required.
April 16, 1934 - The Estate Officer reports that Mr. Trench informed him that he had tendered to supply stone to several big contrcts closing about May, 1934, and that, if successful, he proposes to re-open his private siding and requested an estimated cost of re-connection. He was subsequently advise an amount of £17.
July 24, 1934 - The siding is re-connected.
August 7, 1934 - The siding is recorded as being available for traffic.
January 3, 1935 - Report is duly made. It includes details of subsequent fence repairs and oustanding rentals.
July 1st, 1937 - All maintenance charges were reduced by half and the maintenance charge should have been £20/4/8. It was incorrectly stated in the letter to Mr. Wainright on February 24, 1939, that the annual maintenance fee had been paid up to June 30, 1939. After adjusting overpayments and non-payments, the balance of charges discloses that Trench and Co. owes the Department £92/5/6.
November 16, 1938 - Trench and Co, Solicitor, Alan Wainright, advises the Railways Estate Officer that the Company is in the process of liquidating its assets and has no further need of occupying Ingham Siding. The Commissioners are asked to make an offer for the purchase of a quantity of rails, sleepers and fittings.
November 27, 1938 - The District Engineer is requested to report on the points, crossings, rails, cattle pits, sleepers, crossing timbers, and box culverts available for purchase.
January 16, 1939 - After deducting the cost of recovery and freight to store, a valuation of £78 is made.
February 24, 1939 - Trench's Solicitor is advised of the valuation, subject to the deduction of any outstanding amounts owed to the Commissioners. If the amount is not accepted within one month, the Commissioners will arrange for the siding to be dismantled, the main line made good at the Company's expense, estimated at £64, and for the released materials to be stacked on railway land in accordance with the terms of the agreement. The Company will then be permitted to take possession of the materials on payment of the actual costs incurred by the Commissioners in carrying out the work.
October 7, 1940 - Distric Engineer, Bendigo, advises that removal of Trench's loading platform has been completed and the closing of the boundary fence will be finished within the week.
June 12, 1940 - The Lands Officer interviews Trench and Co, Solicitor, Wainright, and handed him the accounts particulars. Mr. Wainright stated that it would be a severe blow to Mr. Trench Jr. to learn that an amount of £92/5/6 was owed to the Railways, rather than receiving the siding purchase price from them. Wainright said that after the death of Trench Snr., machinery and other siding equipment, valued at £1,000, was sold for only £300 to pay funeral and other expenses, adding that the only assets the Company would have was the £78 expected in payment from the Railways. He had little hope for the Department recovering the £92/.
Later pencilled notes regarding followup communication with Wainright raise queries regarding the correctness of supplied information. Finalisation is veryslow.
Jul 1940 - Trench Jr. is a Director of the Company and mentions a disconnection request being sent in 1935 and the Railways claim for £92/5/6 is denied.
Jul 1940 - Wainright writes to the Commissioners: The siding was reconnected to the main line in 1934 to enable metal to be sent to Deniliquin. When the contract was completed, disconnection was again requested - 1935 - and the Company regarded the siding as disconnected from that date. The Department issued accounts for 5 years (£1) disconnected fee and no charges were then levied for yearly maintenance. Previous follows this.
August 12, 1940 - Mr. O'Toole, Bendigo Goods, advises that Trench and Co. had not used its siding since November, 1936.
August 16, 1940 - Ganger F. Giri advises that the siding was last used August or September, 1934.
Aug 24, 1940 - Ganger Giri advises the District Engineer, Bendigo, that Trench's Siding has not been used since August or September, 1934, adding that it was disconnected from the main line September 11, 1933 and reconnected July 13, 1934 and is still connected to the main line. However, no use has been made since 1934.
November 6, 1940 - The Estate Office advises the District Engineer that the Department's offer of £76, etc., for the siding materials has been accepted and instructions might be issued to disconnect and lift the siding, make good the main line, remove cattle pits, restore wing fences, and take the released materials into stock.
January 15, 1941 - Lifting work has been completed. Includes an entry to affirm that the material is from Trench's and not the siding known as Ingham's Siding [Actually Deane's Siding at the time.]
March, 1899 - Siding signals are fitted with wooden cross. This indicates out of use.
August, 1899 - The main running line points are provided with a Staff Lock. the Key is the Axedale - Knowsley Train Staff. The wooden crosses are removed from the Home Signals.
November, 1904 - Ingham Siding is renamed Ingham.
August, 1906 - The Up and Down Home Signals are removed.
June, 1908 - The siding is reduced from Caretaker to No-one-in-Charge conditions.
March, 1914 - Trains are authorised to shunt during darkness when traveling on the Train Staff.
September, 1922 - The siding is open for goods in truck loads only a/c V. A. Deane.
March, 1923 - The new Trench and Coy Siding (Down side of the line) is open for traffic. The points at each end are secured by Staff Lock.
August, 1926 - Deane's Siding is connected to the main line at Down end to form a loop. The points are secured by a Staff Lock.
September, 1933 - Trench and Coy Siding is disconnected, and the Staff Lock is removed.
July, 1934 - Trench and Coy Siding Siding is reopened, with the points again secured by Staff Lock.
May, 1939 - Deane's Siding and operations are transferred to Mr C. Snell.
December, 1940 - Trench and Co's Siding is dismantled.
September, 1958 - Ingham is announced as closed to all traffic.
November, 1958 - Closure is deferred.
December, 1958 - Ingham is finally closed to all traffic.
Weston Langford, in his 1957 hand-drawn diagram, shows only a loop siding on the north side of the line. This would be correct with the removal of the Trench's loop siding in 1940. Langford's drawing also shows 'Works' on the sole remaining siding. As it was Deane's Siding, that had been transferred to Snell (Weekly Notice), that was in this location, and the 'Works' remained in 1957, it would be safe to assume that the old crusher, still visible and used today as a washing plant, is situated over where the siding once existed and operated.
No other remnants of the siding itself are visible. However a 1943 Victorian Railways map shows the centre of the Quarry Road crossing at the up end at 86m. 31c. 84l., the Up end points at 86m. 32c. 32l., the start of the clear standing room at 86m. 35c. 04l., the Down end of the clear standing room at 86m. 41c. 14l., and the down end points at 86m. 43c. 36l. These dimensions, in the metric system, indicate that the siding commenced 55.5m on the Down side of the crossing, and ended at a point 231.8m in the Down direction.
Today's quarrying, currently Hanson Quarries, is a vast operation with kilometres of conveyor belts. As the operation progresses, more and more of the line, and its history, disappears. One day, there may be nothing to see but the quarry and a short railway reserve on private land nearer to the Campaspe River as Ingham Siding fades into history. Visual evidence has slowly disappeared in 'layers', aided and abetted by the passing of time as follows:
1: The closure and removal of the line and infrastructure.
2: The formation of the shared Knowsley Forest access road that is either on top of the road provided by the Commissioners, the original dead-end siding bed, the main running line, or a mixture of all three.
3: Any earthworks associated with the large dam which is probably a quarrying addition.
4: Earthworks associated with the subsequent building of the Trail.
5: What survived all that, the scattered ruins of an old house and broken fencing, was cleared in 2015, leaving no sign of what was once there. There is, however, a bluestone-lined well on the north side of the large dam. I managed to take some photographs of the house ruins in April, 2014. The photophotographs were subsequently thought missing until I re-discovered them in my collection in May, 2015. They are all included in the Image Gallery as part of the Ingham Siding history. They may be the only ones in existence and there is now nothing to photograph except the cleared ground.
My suggestion that bluestone blocks remaining on the cleared site be formed into a commemorative cairn in memory of Napthali Ingham, the man who, in 1873, wrote an article for the local newspaper, suggesting that a wooden tramway be laid from Sandhurst to Axedale, following, in 1883, with a suggestion for a railway line through Axedale to Heathcote and beyond, and the man behind Ingham Siding, was not adopted - or, at least, not up tothis point.
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