Loco Coal and Water Facilities

T207 rests in the loco depot at Minnipa in January 1963. The 15 ton coaling gantry towers over the scene, and the two makeshift coal stages (each consisting of two modified C type wagons on blocks) can be seen clearly. Photo: Graeme Westwood

The original coaling facilities at Minnipa consisted of an elevated coal stage. It is believed that this survived until around 1950. Plans of this structure are shown at the foot of the page.

At some stage two makeshift coal stages were put together using redundant C type open wagons. Pairs of wagons were mounted on either an earth bank or simply on pigstied timbers. Their inner ends were removed and the space in between decked over. Extended sides and ends completed the remarkable job of local ingenuity.

A new 15 ton coaling gantry was provided in the 1951-55 period, to a design used at a number of locations across the State. Cummins, Thevenard and Kimba also received gantries at this time. An electrically-powered hoist housed in an adjacent shed made short work of filling the hopper with coal.

The water tower and coaling gantry at Minnipa in May 1969. 850 is shunting. Photo: Roger Wheeler

One of the makeshift coal stages at Minnipa in the 1960s. The shed on the right houses the hoist for the coal gantry, while an 830 lurks in the background. Photo: Ron Coney, Phil Curnow collection

The nineteenth-century cast iron water column which survived at Minnipa at least until 1974, when this photo was taken. The engine shed was located just beyond where the X wagon is standing. Photo: Alex Grunbach

A downloadable file of HO scale plans can be found here.