Sunday, June 23, 2019

More orange stuff - this time out in the wild

Time for yet another instalment of 'things that went past the back fence' in North Wollongong. In this series I dredge up dead and damaged slides from the 1970s, just to show that if you stand in one place long enough the whole world will pass you by.

And so it was with locomotives owned by the company I knew as Australian Iron & Steel - AIS for short.

Lets start with a lesson in physics. Here is two photos of D44 on a short down goods, taken at a time when it was on hire to the NSW Railways in the late 1970s.  The time elapsing between the two photographs can be measured by the time taken to wind on a Praktika ML3, and then reset the focus. There is a little bit of nearly everything in the load.

Another going away shot, this time with double AIS locos nose to nose. Photos taken in this location generally meant that the photographer wasn't paying enough attention to what was happening over the fence, or was too busy having morning tea to get the money shot.

This time the photographer had been on his game, getting a lovely shot of a coke working.  The Victorian and South Australian railway commissioners' wagons add to the character of this working - there is nothing NSWGR about it, apart from the railway lines.. 

I will finish up with the following late afternoon shot, which I may have posted previously but the fresh-painted CHS wagon is so nice it deserves republishing.

Cheers all!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A couple from Cowan (& not from me)

Just  quick one to clean out another selection from the camera of Mr Ian Brady.  These two shots apparently date from 24 November 1956 (the alternative offered date is 15 December 1956), and what great photos they are!

This first photo shows 3606 hauling a 4 car Pullman set up Cowan Bank, with what appears to be an EHO trundling behind.  I am always happy for esteemed readers to correct or add to this caption... going out on a limb to guess this could be the up Kempsey Day Train?  Just a stab in the dark but I seem to remember these carriages being used on this service prior to being condemned in 1960.  Glorious shot of a pig in its prime though.

This next shot perhaps eclipses the first? Here we have 3818 on an up Newcastle Flyer service. Gee it would have been something special to be line-side as it passed.

Anyway, this nearly ends my little cache of gems from the lens of Mr Brady.  There are a few more trams around Glebe to sort through, then a special collection of industrial locos in operation around Port Kembla in August 1955.  Will get them sorted and up here as fast as I can.


PS for details on why I am displaying another man's (remarkable) efforts, please read my post from 12 October 2017.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Orange was the new black

I have just been digging through the family archives to find a small bunch of photos that I think I may have skipped over previously... and only because the majority are an unsightly orange hue.  I was never much of a fan of the orange locos scuttling around Port Kembla, as they had:
(a) replaced those cute Porters 
(b) orange was everywhere in the 60s and 70s when I was growing up 
(c) their Port Kembla abode just stank of sulphur throughout the 60s and 70s and 
(d) the head of the household was always cursing their radios (I am led to believe his electrical skills were the only thing keeping the radios on those locos working!).

But, now, looking back, they were sooo much better than those PB things now scuttling around the works..  So, here's a few snaps... not sure of the dates at all so I am just going to stick them up without a commentary. Lets start with D11 and D36, maybe around 1981.

D6 got into a bingle at some stage, which bent its frame nicely. This was worth two photographs.

In February 2016 I posted a blog showing one side of D6.  Here is the companion shot - showing the other side.

And here is D6 and its slightly younger sister, D7.

Its not all about D6 folks.... here's one of D10 visiting the deceased remains of S 9131.

Class leader had its privileges, like dragging tourists around in near-condemned NSWGR rollingstock. I think this was from 1985 - quite possibly the slowest train chase I ever did.

Five years after that last shot it was D40's turn, with similarly superannuated carriages and no orange paint (we had been through the 80s, after all).

And then everything got painted blue, buildings, locos, certain workers who didn't move fast enough...

Time to sign off!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The lost children of Wollongong

The last two posts have been rather sombre affairs so I thought I would take it up a notch before the month is out... this time covering the motley collection of vehicles which seemed to congregate on the eastern (down) side of Wollongong station.  

I had started planning this post with a question - which wagon or carriage are you aware of that stayed in (some sort of) service but remained in the same place for the longest.  I had been thinking the diner parked near platform 15 at Sydney Terminal - it always seemed to be there in the 1970s and 1980s.  I have surprised myself by apparently taking a photo of it (AB91 methinks) in 1981, and then being able to find it for this post.

But I digress, Wollongong. This next shot was taken sometime between March 1961 when the Budds were introduced to the Illawarra, and mid-1965 when steam had disappeared.  The photo was taken from one of Dad's favourite family-dinner-out locations, the top floor of the Sydney Wide Discount store on the corner of Crown Street and Gladstone Avenue.  We got hundreds of chip dinners on the top level of this store, so Dad could snap shots like the following.

From the shadows, I am guessing this was a midday sojourn.  My interest is only for the three vans in the left of the picture, but I guess other readers may be interested in what was squatting around the turntable.  This next shot gives you a better view of its inhabitants.

But I digress once more... back to the vans.  Rolling into 1966, 3014T did a week or so of relief work in the Illawarra whilst the usual 30 tank was serviced.  On dusk on 28 April 1966, 3014T can be seen pulling past one of the more unusual vehicles in the collection.

One day I will Photoshop that slide.  OK, by 1969 when the NMRA visited rainy Wollongong and points south in CPH19, the line up may have changed somewhat.

I have nothing from the seventies to add right now, but the following snap from the favoured location in 1980 shows the collection of vans had been joined by an FO-type carriage.  And yes, not ot digress again but those orange things in the yard are AIS diesels.

It only took me two years to get around to it, but I did manage to photograph that carriage.  I could be totally wrong but I think it was carrying the title of L875 at the time.

And here is L875 with its collection of six runty orphans.

I suspect the line-up didn't stay together for long.  By December 1983 L875 had been joined by a number of cream-coloured vehicles.

And then the great leveler, electrification, came.  This final shot show Wollongong yard under transformation.  The little collection of vehicles have gone - most likely trundled at a slow speed to the back of Port Kembla, then torched. Oh dear, ending a blog on another sad note.

I will try to devise a cheery post over the next week or so.


Monday, April 22, 2019

1965 Liverpool railway accident

On 31 October 1965 a goods train collided with a suburban train at Liverpool station.  As the accident occurred at 1:15am there was only 15 or so people on the passenger train. Unfortunately, one of those passengers passed away at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the collision.

One of our family members, who lived nearby, went to see the result of the accident the next day.  The following two photos were taken, and show the devastation caused by the accident.  I have debated whether to ever post these photos, given their nature.  On balance I have decided to publish them to illustrate the lack of safety design in earlier rolling stock.  I will be on this blog at some stage in the future complaining about the crappy seats in Waratah trains, but I think I would prefer to be in a modern suburban carriage than what was on offer in 1965.

The poor lad who lost his life that morning (he was 19 years of age) was in one of the rear carriages of the train. Those carriages received the brunt of the impact from the Albury-bound freight train, which was travelling at 60 mph (100kph) at the time of the accident.

Back next time with a cheerier installment.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Vale Phil Clarke

Earlier this week the sad news arrived that Phil Clarke, long time rail fan from the Illawarra, had passed away.  I wrote a short piece on Ausloco - Phil's favourite online medium - but its also appropriate to acknowledge his great friendship on this blog.  It also gives me a chance to run a few photos and (hopefully) his videos.

Phil (aka PVC) was a habitual rail photographer.  He had his favourite spots and trains, Cowan, Rhodes, Canterbury, Dulwich Hill, Picton and Werai curve. So regular were his visits to some of these locations he would be invited to share a cuppa with the station staff while videoing the passing trains.  He has left a rich tapestry of the changing nature of NSW railways over the past two decades.  Here is the quintessential, steady-from-the-shoulder, Phil the Video-er shot, from 1998.

I have realised I have more photos of Phil's back than his front, and for once I have a shot of him not videoing.

Phil was not just a rail fan - legend has it he served the warmest muffins on the Cockatoo Run when it operated out of Port Kembla. He was also a long time member of the RTM’s Illawarra Group and the Illawarra Model Railway Association. During a period where he sported a dashing mo, Phil (left of picture) rests in the cab of 3801 after another arduous muffin run.

Phil’s railway modelling reflected his taste for the contemporary. No sooner had a piece of new rolling stock entered service than Phil would use his considerable skills and his former employer’s considerable resources to create a HO model. If delays occurred to a loco’s release in real life, Phil would sometimes beat the prototype into existence (such as the Silverton Cs). One of those Cs is lurking in the background of this shot of his now demolished layout.

Outside of railways, Phil was an accomplished football (he called it soccer) referee and administrator. He was an active volunteer, driving elderly people to medical appointments and participating in his local church. He was devoted to his wife Joyce, his extended family and his wide circle of friends. 

Phil loved a yarn, especially when trackside. He was an avid video recorder, who has left a rich legacy of rail videos. These were spread far and wide as he was generous in sending his videos freely to anyone who asked. His videos grew to be really professional affairs, with annotations and printed discs.

So, time for a couple of Phil's video efforts.  This first one of 4468 and GM27 on a trippy at Canterbury c2003-04 comes from one of the first DVDs he made.  I picked this one because Canterbury was pretty much home base for him for many years.  He would be there by 8:00am and not leave until 4168 had rolled through, usually just before 2:30pm.

And now for one of his last efforts - from late November 2018. This one is from Dulwich Hill, where the station staff were magnanimous and friendly, and Phil could avoid using the steps to get across platforms.  I picked this snap of a track inspection vehicle because Phil loved the new stuff as much as the old, and he had a keen appreciation for the technical side of railways (which he would patiently explain to this knucklehead).

If you are lucky enough to have a PVC rail video or one of Phil’s trains (he divested his collection a few years ago), please give them a run in memory of Phil. If you have a Toohey’s Old handy, Phil would reckon you have the making of a good night.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

3137 on the Loop

Just found another series of shots of 3137 on the Loop Line in the late 1970s.  A bit more pork barrelling is needed from the upcoming State election so that 3137 plies its trade honourably along those rails once more.  If we in NSW are to get a railway to Eden surely it can go via Hill Top?