Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trams at Railway Square - 1958

Second post in a day!!! 

Actually just sitting here waiting for interminable downloads to happen when I remembered the packs of photographs given to me recently by a mate (see my post on 12 and 26 October last year).  The following photographs were taken on 17 or 18 November 1958 by Mr Ian Brady, who was an accomplished photographer of both trains and trams.

I won't add a commentary, except to say, check out those neons and cars!




Cheers! - There won't be a third installment today!!


Dubbo, from the platform

The beaut thing about Dubbo is that the station platform gave and gives an excellent viewing platform for whatever was in the yard. Although it was on the southern side of the railway, some good shots could be had. So here is a few, though I suspect the photographers shuffled off the platform to trespass down the yard at time. 

First up, 3815 is on the up Through Mail around 1964. A 36 class sits opposite.

A year later, Dubbo's small loco shed was found hosting two garratts, two 32s and 3818.

Lets move to some colour fillum! A cleaned up slide of 3237 (we suspect) and 3144T, themselves spruced up in front of the shed which needed a little sprucing itself. It was 10 April 1966.

Finally, for this installment, its January 1967 and 3649 and 3328 are residents at Dubbo loco depot.
That's enough for now!


Friday, April 20, 2018

38s on the south

I think its about time to unleash a few more 38s on the populace.  In 1969 the Esteemed Eldest Paternal Uncle pointed his Mini Cooper S in the direction of the southern highlands to capture the beasts in the final days of working passenger trains in that area.  He came back with shots of 3811 and the sublime '13, so lets get into them...

First,3811.  I am not 100% on where these photos were taken and therefore their order so I'll post them and leave it at that.  I am not even sure this all happened on the same day. Anyway, here's a departure from Bargo.

Then at speed...

On the curve at Maldon.

And Menangle.

Now, to 3813.

And again at Menangle Bridge.

I try not to be too sentimental about life but its difficult to make an argument that progress has delivered a better result for those in the highlands in the current rollingstock offering...


Saturday, April 14, 2018

A very special pig

This weekend appears to be the last hurrah for 3642, as it is due to be retired once more. I say once more because it has retired in 1969, 1973 and 1996. So never say 'never', but I suspect its probably the last time that I'll see it run around unless I get to be a very grumpy old man.

Wikipedia tells me that 'locomotive 3642 is two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, coal-fired superheated, 4-6-0... express passenger steam locomotive built for the NSW Government Railways in 1926 by Clyde engineering'. I had the great pleasure of being primed all over by '42 last Friday on my last trip behind her, but before I get to that shot, here's a few others from years past...

While still in Government service - at Wollongong on a Port Kembla Inner Harbour tour on 3 September 1967. 

 The following year as a Rail Transport Museum loco - also at Wollongong.

Coupling up to 3651 for a trip up the Hill at Unanderra on 22 June 1969.

At the 'reopening' of Central Station on 28 November 1982.

Back in Wollongong on a Beach Tour in 1983.

On Wentworth Park Viaduct on 31 August 1991.

Heading off to the Southern Highlands for the RTM on 18 September 1994.

On a down Steamfest shuttle at Beresfield on 19 April 2009.

Same even, in 2011, at Maitland.

Shuttling off to Clyde on 11 June 2011.

Off on a Southern Highlander tour, via the Coast: 27 July 2013.

Through Redfern on a shuttle around the suburbs on 28 July 2013.

At rest in Central on 6 June 2014.

Off to Maitland Steamfest on 8 April 2016.

And now, the present... the beginning and the end of my trip last Friday, 13 April 2018.

So, here's to a loco that has spent more time in preservation than in revenue service, and nearly as much time in green as in black... one last look at a very special locomotive, once again in Wollongong in the late 1960s, being admired by the locals.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Sidings. I have known a few. I am just returned from three weeks in the southern USA, largely not train watching (in fact, I had a remarkable ability to only maintenance work being undertaken) and the rear end of trains disappearing into the distance.

From the little I saw I was reminded just how much industry was still served by rail sidings, compared to what I have become accustomed to here on the eastern seaboard of Australia. It rubs against my preconceived ideas of the lean, highly competitive stripped-back US rail freight business, with big, long unit trains. In the southern US states (at least) most towns had at least one operating siding. Lots of tanker (oil and gas) and ‘box car’ loadings.  This brought with it a fair smattering of what I call conglomerate trains – that is, not a uniform or unit loading.  This traffic was not the sole province of short line operators either – I managed to see BNSF, UP and Norfolk Southern operating trains which carried grain, auto-racks, flats, boxcars and gondola traffic, all in the single train. It was most refreshing!

Sadly, in New South Wales, this sort of traffic has gone to road and it unlikely to ever return due to our predilection to rip up infrastructure and to straight-rail sidings. Even the trains we classify as ‘shunts’ like the Harefield shuttle and the Grafton/Coffs Harbour cement are trains carrying one or two types of commodity (containers and sugar/cement, respectively).

Bringing this ramble back home, it got me thinking about sidings.  I didn’t make a practice of photographing sidings as a youngster and I kick myself now, for the Illawarra was rich with them.  Apart from colliery and quarry sidings, there were coke sidings, co-op sidings, milk sidings, general goods, fuel depots and probably others I can’t recall. Anyway, I have gathered a few snaps from around the State of NSW where the focus wasn’t on the main line. So here goes…

Here's a siding I photographed deliberately - the United Dairies siding at Lithgow 3 October 2002. 

Sticking with the milky theme - Tumut in 1981.

Another sort of dairy siding (I love milk) - Gloucester 12 February 1993.


A siding for another sort of liquid - Armidale fuel siding on 9 July 1994.

Happy to be corrected but I think Unanderra had the only cattle race in the Illawarra by the 1980s. Not the finest shot!

Further south, Bomaderry had 48127 attending some wagons in one of its sidings on 28 July 1993.
 Back up north, 48140 and 4475 are about to leave Ardglen's ballast quarry siding on 25 October 1991.

 And then to Barraba, where 4861 was heading a container train out of its siding in 1977.

 And lets wrap up with a black & white photograph of a loco that did its best work in a siding... X202 at a busy Yass Town in early the 1970s.



Saturday, March 3, 2018

Its a mystery to me

So sang Roy Orbison... and I found myself humming that very tune as I wandered through a few photos this Sunday afternoon. Why, I know you ask? Well, I have come across two in locations which are mysteries to me.  

This first one has a 45 and a 48 in a small loco depot, taken probably in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I had thought Cooma, but it could be Armidale for all I know.

This second one really has done my head in.  I would love it to be somewhere exotic like Batlow, but it could be Lithgow or somewhere out west.  This latter guess is based upon the cloud formation!

Any better guesses folks?


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Albury town

A Wednesday lunchtime contribution... working from home has its advantages/distractions. 

As another distraction,I thought I would start an occasional series of location reviews, using an alphabetical sequence.  You can look forward to Zig Zag appearing on this blog - but not yet as I am staring at the other end. If I have them, I will post up to 5 shots of the particular location... might need to be a few roughies so bear with me.

So, A for Albury. The next five shots have one thing in common - they leave the viewer with the impression that Albury was a busy and crowded yard once.

I am going to start in black and white from one of Dad's Nurail trips he took while he left me in primary school around 1975 (thanks Dad, that extra 2 weeks of education certainly paid dividends).  This is an early morning shot of 4416 (or 4418) with what passed for the Riverina Express that day - it looks like 3 cars was considered sufficient to manage the patronage that day. A 421 is ready to follow the Riv north, while an interstater is ready to cross the border.

Now, three shots, all from 1983 I think, if memories and notes are accurate. Here is a basking 42105 and 4894.

(From memory) the following day  42202 and X44 rumbled by Albury signal box.

One the same day, the 40s appeared - X40 and a freshly candied 44240 sharing the platform roads.

And finally, never let it be said big engines don't shunt. Here's 8133, a shunter's float and van, going about their daily duties around 1985.

Will be back with the Bs soon (I hope).