Saturday, April 22, 2017


This second installment from Frank Barrett is shorter than the first (posted 26 March 2017) but just as interesting - for the all too few people in the world who care about the Richmond to Kurrajong railway. The line was closed in 1952 so if these photos are from that location - and I think they probably are - I am guessing they were taken shortly before its closure.

The photos show 2024 arriving and then ready to leave the terminus. 

I love many things about both photos, including the driver who appears in both, the timber load in the yard, the beaten look of 2024, the panelled carriages and the imperious stance of the station master. But nothing beats the bloke in the white shirt looking into the camera as 2024 arrives.  The mixture of bemusement and seeming annoyance that someone would waste scarce camera film on such a mundane scene is as apparent now as it was when Frank got the original shot developed nearly seven decades ago. 

And sadly that is all we have of Kurrajong.  Next installment we head north.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Footscray, a rejoinder

Still digging through those photos from 1974.  Actually found that we did break the rule of not bothering to photograph sparks.  Here is a couple from West Footscray - a Tait and a Harris set. Modest, unadorned affairs.

A here is one for GlennofFootscray - I have long admired your blog. As a token of appreciation, here's a modest contribution to night tram photography from a bitterly cold week night in May 1974. The telltale lines show that the tram moved mid time lapse.

Certainly not much was happening that night!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

South of the border, down Footscray way

When I was a nipper in the early 1970s the family's white Cortina 440 was pointed south to Melbourne on a couple of school holidays.  Its destination was Geelong Road, Footscray - a gritty place in the 1970s but within a couple of blocks of the mainline (surprise surprise).

You have never experienced cold weather until you too have stood on a pedestrian overpass at Footscray on a May evening waiting for the night trains to come out of Spencer Street. And they were always running late so you ended up just being frozen and Dad would get into trouble... 

It was only marginally warmer in the afternoons, even when the sun was shining.  On Saturday afternoons you could stand at a certain point on the bridge and look westward through a gap between two grandstands to watch the Footscray Bulldogs getting their weekly whipping. That started another passion which went unrequited until last September when they rewarded me with a premiership. But that is another story.

On the upside locos I had never seen before trundled by - along with prehistoric red suburban Tait sets which we never photographed because they were suburbans!   Here's a couple of blurry Agfa images that we did manage to keep from those days (May 1973). Lets start with a W249 with a few four wheelers.

More serious horsepower was caught in nearly the same spot when double Ss came through on the broad gauge.

I do remember the 1974 holidays as being sunnier. And it brought out X37 and GM34 (GM24?) on an interstate freight.

Triple Ts, including T409, were caught the same afternoon... evidence of the third T is circumstantial...

And this T nearly snuck past us the other way...

And I think I'll finish with something that probably nearly didnt make the cut because it was a railmotor but I am kinda glad the trigger was pressed.

Happy Easter all!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Remembering Frank

Frank Barrett was an old family friend who passed away more than 30 years ago. While that is a fair time ago I still clearly remember his 'announcing' cough and knock at the back door. He was one of those laconic and upbeat sorts of people who we need more of on this planet.

A cup of tea was never far from Frank's hand, and a cigarette was usually close by the other hand.  Here is a shot of Frank enjoying one of the former whilst ensconced in the lounge car of the Indian Pacific.

Frank was active in the Illawarra Model Railway Association during 1970s where his big Rivarossi steam locomotives would monster those little Lima 44s on the next track.  But he loved the big stuff too, having been a guard for the Queensland Railways at one stage. I don't know when he started taking photographs or why, but I am very glad he did - and that he generously handed over a selection of his photographs to the Senior Train Hunter.

I'll start with a few of his shots taken on the Blue Mountains, pre-electrification. Lets start with 5712 appearing to be in full cry. 

Frank did his own film developing. I love the way he slightly over-exposed this next shot of a headlightless 5420 leading another 57 across the hill.

I am not sure this next shot is on the Mountains, but it is of 3635 as a round-top Pig so it goes in! The crew has apparently absconded. 

And I will finish this installment of the Frank Barrett series with my personal favourite - and a shot that is so clear it looks like a 21st century SLR camera has nabbed it. 3258 sits at the head of end-platform carriages. We (Tom and I - see below - thanks Tom) think that this location is Mount Vic. It sort of ties in with the location of the other shots too.  

Back soon with more from Frank and others!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rail cars over the back fence

Just a short one tonight as I am digging for other stuff but I did come across a few shots of diesel rail cars providing passenger services through North Wollongong.

This first one - I think - comes from the early 1980s.  It is a north-bound morning service.

Around the same time the repainted versions were appearing. This 4 car set carries the white ' reverse 7' logos, which made them go faster and not break down.

Once done with the reverse 7s, some sets got the 'reverse' paints job.  These ones went even faster.

Finally, the painters went for the fastest colours in their tins - red and orange. 

Sadly this did not further improve their speed or longevity.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Double headers

A Facebook group that has graciously permitted me to join has been running a theme for December 2016 which involves double-headed steam, or a double header involving a steam loco to be more precise.  It has been a very good month! The better half has commented a couple of times about how much time I seem to be spending on Facebook.

Anyway, I have dug a few up which I am about to post. Thought I would pop them up here too so I can have a bit more of a ramble on about them.  First up is 5395 and 5593 just south of Wollongong on a tour train around 1965. 

It is on the short north that our photo collection seems to have most of the steam era double headers. Here is 3509 and a 36 at Gosford in 1965 - appearing to be refuged to permit a 44 to pass.

The next photo comes from a location a few hundred yards further north.  It is of 3532 and a 60 on what appears to be W44 April 1967.

A third one from the short north - 3654 and a Garratt on Hawkemount around 1969.

Then t the west for the final two shots this year - and both are black & white so please do not adjust your monitors. It is 1965 and 3653 and 3825 are approaching the climb on Tumulla Bank with gusto. 

Further west still, 3652 and another pig are climbing away from Molong.

So folks, that was 2016 in a blog.  I still managed a post a fortnight, even after blowing up a computer and managing to lock myself out of Blogger for a couple of months. Thanks for reading and commenting on my posts throughout the year. I will be back (in 2017)!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Well kept Alcos

There are presently a fair few 48 class locos getting around in a fairly tatty state.  We can all understand the rationale - paint subtracts from the bottom line. Still, it does set a tone. I am no expert but it feels like we are in one of those periods when there are more well worn than pristine locos floating around. The last time I felt like this was the early 1990s - just before a great number of venerable locomotives were retired and/or scrapped.  Perhaps 2017 will be another 1994, with many locos coming out of service once this harvest is over?

Anyway, during that last great period of weather-beaten liveries, I happened upon 4539 shunting around Acacia Ridge yard.  It was on 21 October 1990 to be precise.

Here is the old Alco lifting a load of loaded container flats...

Different gauges, different owners... QR's shunter looks on...

Not all 45s were in a shabby condition - the comparison with 4502 is stark...

It at least showed some foresight not to give the old girl a lick of paint. 4539 was scrapped in 1994 after Sims Metal Recyclers paid a handsome $18,000 for its carcass. 4502 has survived another 20+ years and now rests just inside the western edge of NSW, at Broken Hill.

Merry Christmas all!