With the new trike shed housing a good display of trikes we now had an empty shed to fill.
With quite a large amount of equipment at hand, the decision to create a Sleeper Cutting Display was made.
Local artist, Sue Jurd, with the help of Matthew Coker, painted a mural of a Sleeper Cutter's camp on the corrugated iron back wall and the volunteers started arranging the various items that had been donated or brought by the museum.
READ MORE ABOUT THE RAILWAY HISTORY
One of the many items that we have been lucky enough to receive as a donation was the swing saw.
These saws were not factory built, but as with this one, were designed and manufactured by the operator themselves.
Trees were sourced and cut down and the logs then cut into the desired length. A stringline, dusted in chalk, was used to outline the places to cut, obtaining the maximum amount of sleepers possible.
The area where the saw was to be used was a level site called the "Dump".
This was to give the sleeper cutter plenty of room as the saw was moved along and above the log to be cut.
The procedure was to start cutting from the end of the log, moving backwards, holding the hand piece at the end of the frame, behind the blade. Then the blade was moved up and down as it cut through the log.
Once the cuts were made along one side, the log was turned or rolled and the next lot of cuts made.
The sleepers were carted to an area past the Good Shed at the Tenterfield Railway Station, where once a month a "Sleeper Pass" was held, and they were inspected, passed (or declined), and purchased.
The swing saw in our display was kindly donated by the Butler family.
Les Butler had been cutting sleepers with a swing saw since the 1950s and was joined by his son, Ray in the 1960s.
They continued to cut sleepers until the NSW State Rail stopped using Tenterfield for the "Sleeper Passes".
The answer to the last question is: It would take the cleaners five minutes to mop the floor if they all worked together.
Today's question: After a rebate of 15 percent had been deducted, the Rail Division charged a company $731 freight. What was the amount of the rebate? Remember no calculators!
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