Ooldea

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 10:19
ThreadID: 135512 Views:4117 Replies:8 FollowUps:31
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It had been our intention to do Googs Track in October then follow the line to Ooldea. However ARTC has chucked a wobbly (Project update no 4) and are going to fence off and patrol the road. Does anyone know of any tracks running parallel to the line that would get us to Ooldea for the celebration.

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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 10:58

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 10:58
The ARTC road has been out of bounds for quite a while but idiots still drive on it and when they get into trouble they stop the trains. Thus the fence and as far as I know there is no close parallel road or track
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 11:02

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 11:02
I will add to this. The problem I have with EOTopo is it doesn't tell you that the track is closed. If you use Hema it tells you the track is off limits and there is a fine if you get caught on it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 12:16

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 12:16
Hi Ivan

You can ask 6 people and get 6 different stories.

We have driven it a number of times with no issues at all. One time when we were at Tarcoola, there were some railway maintenance trucks there and we asked them about the situation.

There answer was very simple, just stick to the well well made road and if you get trouble, do not under any situation try to stop a train for any help. There is full phone coverage along the entire length so you are able to call for for help that way.

The first time that we travelled it we were told that the actual road was a Telstra road and the actual railway road was the goat track that runs both sides of the railway line.

Another issue is the fact that many pastoral properties in that area use this road on a daily basis to get access to various parts of their stations.

Like many situations it is a real pitty that it will be closed as it is a great drive.



Cheers



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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 14:17

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 14:17
From ARTC website as directed to from ExploreOz and has been there at least a year as we went to do this last year.
"The ARTC Access Road between Malbooma SA and Rawlinna WA is not available to other than Government entities, Utililties or users under the Mining Act and at ARTC’s discretion, with fees to be assessed.The minimum fee payable is $2,860" And the fines are substantial.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 16:03

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 16:03
Hi Ivan

No Problems as it has been over 3 years since we were last out on the track.



Cheers


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Follow Up By: Dion - Monday, Sep 04, 2017 at 12:27

Monday, Sep 04, 2017 at 12:27
The Railway maintenance workers on site at Tarcoola or any other camp along the way are not authorised to make comments about access, other than it is not allowed, they're blue collar workers (not that there is anything wrong with that). It's a ARTC Property Management decission.
Just the same as I cannot say that it is alright to travel alongside the track from Northgate along the Central Australia Railway, although being an employee of GWA, I cannot give any one permission to travel on the access roads.
I'd bet when it all turns pear shaped and you stop a train or maintenance workers for 'your emergency', the employee who supposingly gave you permission will be no-where to be found, or if identified, will be in complete denial he gave you permission.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 17:25

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 17:25
Ivan - EOTopo is a topographic mapset and like its predecessor NATMAP250 it does not contain textual overlays which most mapping publishers add to target their maps to their specific user-base. Topographic maps are designed to be generic and not to provide travel advice which can date/change.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 17:38

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 17:38
Hi again Ivan, your ARTC quote referred to as sourced from ExplorOz is correct and I can add to this. This statement has been published by ExplorOz since 2000. This particular quote was made by phone directly to Michelle from the Director of the ARTC who explained at length how important it was that the public were made aware that NONE of the tracks alongside the railway were to be used by the public. There is no defined set of wheel tracks that fall outside this ruling - ALL tracks in presence now, or in the future, that follow alongside the course of the railway are considered theirs and are private and cannot be used by members of the public AT ALL. Interference with the running of the train is a major problem for them with a mix of use between the Indian Pacific and Freight Trains being critical to operate. It's more than just a safety issue, but a cost issue, so its commercial logistics and they have a justifiable right to protect those commercial interests.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 09:15

Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 09:15
ARTC are not just driven by commercial interest, they are driven by lawyers.

ARTC have a major interest in not becoming involved in vehicular traffic lawsuits, vehicle accidents, or traffic control.

Everything is safety-driven in todays corporate world. Corporate employees go through constant safety training, education, and inductions.

If private vehicles use rail access roads, they need to be educated in the particular safety angles associated with the corporate operations.

This means more expense and effort on the part of the company for no real benefit, apart from avoiding lawsuits, avoiding unplanned private vehicle recoveries and assistance, and interference with their everyday operations.

If a train derails (not an uncommon occurrence), the amount of repair equipment and vehicles required to reach the derailment site is substantial.
All these vehicles and heavy equipment doesn't want to have to cope with vehicular traffic that is not supposed to be on their rail access road.

There's the increased potential of collision, interference in work to be carried out, motorists becoming stuck trying to cross tracks where there is no dedicated crossing - and even the potential of motorists being hit by debris or carriages from a derailment that happens just as they are passing a train.

A study of the vehicles using the rail access roads in the Pilbara (where private motorists are allowed to use the access road after obtaining a permit and watching a safety video), found the following;

6% of the private vehicles using the rail access road were speeding by a significant amount -
8% didn't have headlights on, as required under company regulations -
0.5% weren't wearing seatbelts -
and 31% didn't have the required permit to use the access road.

Increased numbers of private motorists using a rail access road, means more road maintenance - and the expectation of some motorists that they are being provided with a road that doesn't contain motoring hazards.

You could well imagine some people incurring vehicle damage, or having an accident on the rail access road, who would then sue ARTC for not maintaining the road to an expected standard.

So you start to see the potential problems for the company, once private traffic is allowed on rail access roads, even in low numbers .
They just don't want the hassle of controlling and managing private traffic on their rail access roads.

Cheers, Ron
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 11:51

Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 11:51
You're probably right Ron.
Australia's risk adverse mindset these days is propelling us at 1000mph backward in competitiveness as a result. We're in a race to the bottom with ourselves on being uncompetitive; and winning.

Funny though. I am allowed to stand 1m from an express train at a railway crossing in my suburb, or 300mm at a station, but not be 50m away from a train in the middle of nowhere. I know where I'd rather be if they derail.

Or I am allow to travel the same road, in the same conditions and same distance from the track between Googs track and Coondambo, but not further West. Even though there is no sign, no warning, no hint of a closure, and some in ARTC who say that they don't even own the outer, usable track, just the ones 5m either side of the rail line like all the other ARTC maintenance tracks across Australia.

Anyway the publicity will ensure it is closed off now.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 12:28

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 12:28
To clear up any confusion as to what is Railway land, and what isn't, the Transcontinental Railway reserve (also called the "corridor"), outside of built-up areas, consists of a width of land, one mile (1609 metres) wide - with an even wider reserve around some Transcontinental stations.

So, the Transcontinental Railway Reserve extends for over 800 metres each side of the line, and ARTC have full control over that Railway Reserve.

In built up areas, the normal Railway Reserve width is 15 metres each side of the tracks, measured from the outermost part of the rail track.

All railway operators are highly tuned towards trespassing on rail corridors, and train drivers are obliged to report all trespassing - and they report with urgency, any trespassing that carries a danger towards train operations or personal safety.

Remember that all locos are fitted with cameras, and they record all activity both in the cabin and in the rail corridor area.

The rail operators have a huge problem with something as simple as rail and train photography, with many trespassers trying to get "good shots", being hit by trains, as virtually a weekly event.

Few people understand that even what you are wearing, within the sightline of train drivers, can have a serious effect on them.
They are trained to respond to the primary warning indicator colours - red, green and yellow - so be very careful as to what bright, outstanding colour you're wearing, if you are in train drivers sightlines.

My SD's boyfriend is a train controller with the PTA in Perth, and you would hardly believe the complete idiocy in human behaviour, around train tracks, that he shows us weekly, taken from train cabin cameras.

The information is never revealed in full, but most train drivers have hit and killed people, and it psychologically impacts the bulk of them, very profoundly.
Most are given an extended period off work after hitting and killing careless (or suicidal) people, to try and settle their nerves.

ARTC - Think about the Track before you Snap

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 14:07

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 14:07
Ron, I am definitely not a lawyer but I think you woudl have to argue the corridor with SA lands department.

Everything 147m south of the railway is the boundary of the Yellabinna Regional Reserve.in the area around Wynbring to Ooldea, then west of there it is the Nullabor Regional Reserve.

Approximately 35m north of the Railway between about Barton and Tarcoola is private property.

I'd be interested in where the 1 mile corridor figure came from.

Check for yourself with the SA Lands database.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 14:30

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 14:30
Well, unless the corridor boundary has been changed since WW1 (it is possible), the original corridor width through the unsettled areas of the states of S.A. and W.A., was set at half a mile each side of the tracks, in 1911.

Trove - The Transcontinental Line - 19th May 1911

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 16:27

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 16:27
Ron, follow up 10 of 12 at 0258.
Was all going good until the lies told in the paragraph beginning with "Remember". All loco's traversing the Trans do NOT have camera's recording both external and internal activity of the cab. That is factual.
A train controller controlling horizontal escalators in suburban Perth is not a train controller controlling the DIRN of which the Trans is part of.
Lets keep things factual to maintain credibility here hey.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 16:54

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 16:54
Dion - O.K., I may have made a small error, in that a number of freight locos don't have cameras recording inside the cabin, as a number of passenger trains do - but the photo on page 2 of the following ATSB investigation into a derailment at Rawlinna, clearly shows an image of the track and rail corridor, from the GE LocoCAM.

ATSB investigation - Derailment, Rawlinna

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 18:28

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 18:28
Hi Ron

Here is one that puts a bug in their half mile either side of the railway line.....

The general public have full access from Haig through to Kalgoolie.

So why is this section of road any different to the rest of the road that falls into the other category?

Also in 1911 there was no railway across Australia and WW1 never started until 1914.

Also another one .....we had full access to the Dog Fence through private pastoral country, with full approval from the Dept of Defence from Yerda Outstation, right through to Dingo Flat Gate.

Part of our re access was through Wynbring, which as you know, is well west of Tarcoola? How can they stop people if they had permission like we did?


Cheers




Stephen


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 18:58

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 18:58
I think I've had enough of the pissing contest. I put up the link to the 1911 article, where the planning for the Transcontinental was well under way.
If you don't care to read it, well, there's nothing I can do about that.

Nowhere did I say WW1 started before 1914. You just love twisting things around that I've written. As a war veteran, I'm fully aware of the exact dates every Australian War started.

As for Dion, if you wish to refer to someone you don't even know - a train controller, as I stated - and like to call him a escalator camera watcher - well, that speak volumes for your own character and inferiority complex.

I'm out of this conversation, as every local smart-arse knows more than I've posted, and wants to assume superior knowledge.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 19:14

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 19:14
Horizontal Escalators, aka suburban metro trains, as different from freight trains.
A metro train controller is different to a DIRN train controller, as I am different to a suburban metro train driver.

It's not about assuming superior knowledge, just reporting what is factual versus what isn't factual.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 21:31

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 21:31
Ron, I worked for the Railway in Queensland for 40 years and have seen a few accidents and read some investigation reports over that time.
The one set out in the link you gave would have to be one of the better ones I have read.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 22:09

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 22:09
ATSB do excellent reports Blue.
I've read ATSB reports and the other body in NSW that do reports for incidents, the other body aren't even in the hunt compared to the ATSB standard.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 06:41

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 06:41
Ron, search Transcontinental Land Grant System on Trove. Lots of reading.

The article you referred to was an opening gambit from the Commonwealth to the states. The fight over the corridor went on for years and was still going on well into the 1920's, Well after the line was built and trains were running.

Typical inter government fighting. They should have shut down the states there and then. Australia could have saved Trillions of Dollars.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 13:04

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 13:04
Hi Rustygq

We are just home from our recent one month away.

Sorry that I have not replied to your MM, but in the short answer, there are no other main tracks that will get you to Ooldea from the east.

I can not see how they can fence the road, but being what they are, they must be a power unto themselves.


All the Best



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Follow Up By: Member - Rustygq - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:59

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:59
thanks Stephen
Like others I know its supposed to be out of bounds but have used the whole or sections going back to 1990 many times and spoken many times to workers out there and on one occasion train drivers stopped at a siding. The train drivers must have kept track of us as they always gave us a big toot and wave as we slogged our way across.

We will make ooldea and maybe do Googs on the way home and head east from the top of Googs. Its the only plan B we can come up with at this stage.
thanks & Cheers. Russ

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 17:31

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 17:31
Pity,
My group has decided not to go to the Centenary as a result. That road is always a highlight.

An ARTC head office guy told me that it's a Telstra road a few years ago. The ARTC tracks are the ones in poor condition about 5m either side of the railway according to him.

Hmmm. I wonder if they really will fence off THAT road.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott & Sally - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 19:23

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 19:23
I spoke to ARTC about 4 years ago on this subject and they were quite specific about the public on these tracks. No one without permission is allowed on their tracks out there. When I pressed further about the extent of ARTC's corridor I was reluctantly told that their corridor only exists 150 mtrs either side of the permanent way (rail track)
How about we all make a new track out there, I'm sure enough vehicles using the same wheel tracks over a period of time would make a defined track outside of the rail corridor, it would be slow going but hell were on holidays who cares. There is also the Telstra optical fibre cable line outside the rail corridor which with a bit of traffic and boulder dodging possibly could be a legal access out there.
Enough of this country is shut off to the public through the permit system without bloody corporations getting in on the act.
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 23:11

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 23:11
You're right Tony, as you advised it is really a fantastic drive - we had no problems at all in June this year and I'm really wondering if ARTC are just talking about their tracks right next to the line?
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Rustygq - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:05

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:05
Boobook Know how you feel, took the stuffing right out of our plans but we are working on plan B.
If you do arrive make yourself know, we might have a beer.
Cheers Russ

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:53

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:53
Will do Rusty, we have a few casual rail buffs in the group. At the end of the day, the Centenary was a good excuse to go back to the GVD. A couple of the die hards will probably still go, via the highway, and continue on to Perth with a new trip plan, while the others, including myself will probably stay away from the spotlight now.

I'm afraid the focus will now make the closure more permanent. There is some mining exploration in the area, and I read an ARTC submission to the government on the WPA that ARTC has an interest in developing that area for additional rail traffic if mining takes off. I suspect the road issue relates to blocking the road to mining trucks which may compete with ARTC. The poor travelers are the sufferers of that game.

ARTC submission to Defence

It's not clear who "owns the road", but for sure parts, like crossings, would be owned by ARTC and I guess that gives them enough authority to close the end to end journey if they desire. The proposed works on signalling upgrades, rail capacity upgrades, and loop lengthening means a lot of rail works and construction traffic for many years to come. More reason to close the road in the future.

I was told by ARTC that the road was built by Telstra, in the last 3 - 4 years there have been no "road closed signs", and I have frequently chatted to drivers at the rail crossover loops without any mention of reporting or should not be there. In fact as the drivers return days later with us still camped in the same spot, they inevitably toot as they go past.

I think that's all about to change. Fencing the road for this anniversary is the first shot above the bow.

I'm just glad I've had the privilege to travel on that wonderful road several times.
With the Emu to Maralinga rd being closed, blocking a reasonable track down from the ABH, now this, the only practical way to the Centenary ( From Melbourne) is on the highway then up the Ooldea Rd. That's a lot of highway and main dirt roads for a 1 hour ceremony. :-(
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Sep 04, 2017 at 20:58

Monday, Sep 04, 2017 at 20:58
To my knowledge, nobody has ever been fined for using the track.
Steer clear of trains and don't bother them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rustygq - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 11:45

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 11:45
Yeah same here. Ive been out there heaps of times. Just glad I did it back then. Of course even if they have a crack down now while the centenary is on I cant see them patroling it after that. And, theres only a few die hards that go out there. Only ever come across other travelers twice. A troopy and on another trip a bloke on a postie bike.
Cheers Rusty

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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 17:23

Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 17:23
We are intending to attend the centenary event with 3 vehicles coming from Kalgoorlie via the Eyre Hwy to the border, then the old Eyre Hwy to Nullarbor and then the track NNE to Watson & into the centenary site that way.

Anyone been on these tracks recently to be able to report on their condition. I'm assuming they'll be your regular limestony 40-50kph track???
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 23:50

Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 at 23:50
Cook to Watson and on to Ooldea in June was just that - regular limestoney track, but in parts a bit less than 40-50km.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:10

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:10
Thanks, anyone been on the track from Nullarbor (on the Eyre Hwy) to Watson this year?
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Rustygq - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 20:28

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 20:28
Paul
Keep an eye out for us at Nullarbor. Our plan B is to leave Nullarbor a couple of days prior to the celebration and head to Watson. If we cant use the telecome track to Ooldea we will prob just go overland and make our own track outside this supposed corridor
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 09:31

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 09:31
Thanks Rusty, I don't think we'll be at Nullarbor until the day before, and if there's going to be 500 people at Ooldea, we will probably just get there for the ceremony and move on fairly quickly - we'll suck it and see I guess.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 16:44

Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 at 16:44
Hopefully this isn't hijacking your thread Rusty.

I hear that about 300 people have registered, in about 180 vehicles.

There will be no open fires other than 3 fires set up for 3 camp groups of about 100 people each. Wood will be supplied for the 3 fires.

They expect around 500 people total including locals, the local community etc.

Are many people planning to to Googs on the way?
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Follow Up By: Member - Rustygq - Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 11:54

Friday, Sep 08, 2017 at 11:54
Hi Boobook
Not at all mate, that's what forums are for. We have revised our plans somewhat and will do Googs, sth to nrth then east to Kingoonya on the way home. Instead of a couple of days at Ooldea we will only be there overnight, May even camp out and just be there for the ceremony then bugga off and camp out again. Not real fussed about being there with the multitude. My thoughts were that it would only be a small group who were interested but its got bigger than Ben hur and the various departments are all now having their two bobs worth. Oh Bugga
Cheers Rusty

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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 19:32

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 19:32
This is the reason why tracks are being closed. Even it is pointed out by multiple sources that it is illegal people are still openly arguing the point and will openly defy the rules. Wont be long and we will be locked out of everything. :(
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 at 16:38

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 at 16:38
There is an "archived thread" (possibly more than one) on this topic...for those with an interest.

ARTC Access Track

It is a pleasant drive, but it would appear the ARTC is going to exercise its right to prevent access west of Malbooma, where the northern exit of the Goog track intersects.

Access to this track, or tracks in the vicinity, have been debated on many occasions on EO, my take is the ARTC wouldn't argue the toss if they didn't have the legal right to do so. And whilst I have travelled it in the past, I did so on imperfect knowledge and advice and would avoid doing so in the future. If not for the simple reason that the ARTC will have deeper pockets than me if they mount a legal challenge...

Perhaps for this event though arrangements could have been made for some form of "escort" along the access route - but perhaps the logistics and legal ramifications were too great for it to be given any consideration...

For those going to the Centenary; enjoy!


Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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