Monday, October 10, 2011

Chasing 48s

Every author and blogger over 30 years of age will have tales of when they didn't photograph 48 class locos, simply because they were so ubiquitous, only did the mundane jobs and were generally despised for being the loco most responsible for the dieselisation of NSW's branch-lines (read 30T killers).

Well, if you lived in the Illawarra in the 1970s, if you didn't photograph 48s you had lots of leftover film.  And, if you saved up all this film and went on holidays, just about everywhere you went you got to see... 48s.  But not the south coast 48s, so that was OK.

I was thinking about this earlier today when I was talking to the Senior Train Hunter (STH) about fuel tanks on 48s. Yes, life can be that exciting. Anyway, STH was holding forth about the differences in fuel tanks and their relative capacities.  To make this discussion a little more colourful, I thought I would post a couple of snaps of colourful 48s.

The first is from an excellent afternoon spent at North Wollongong station with STH in 1981, as we feared the effects of encroaching electrification and the demise of loco-hauled passenger trains.  

While we were there to see tuscan-liveried locos hauling tuscan-liveried trains (call them brown, maybe, but almost no-one knows what you are talking about when you call them Indian Red).  Then, along came 4836 - all decked out in its novel green livery in honour of the 125th anniversary of NSW Government Railways the previous year.

Yes, the photograph needs a Photoshop bath but when it gets it, I certainly won't be removing the pall of pollution gasped by this little bottler as it accelerates up to 25 mph away from North Wollongong.

The second comes from a decade later, and it features the last of the 165 48 class locos.  

Yes, it is a little over-exposed, but not as much as you would believe.  The Bicentennial livery did not wear well, and this particular day had that blinding white light which encouraged good photographers to put away their cameras. I was deputised by the STH to snap this shot from the door of a carriage as we sped past.  So I decided to add my signature touch - slightly lopping off the extremities of the No. 2 end.

So STH and all other readers, click on the photographs and study those fuel tanks up close.  I hope everyone gains the insights I gained today.

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