Saturday, November 12, 2011


Instead of a locomotive or a train, this time a location.  Having done a little spiel on Sydney's major railway station, its time to move down the line to little old Redfern.

Redfern station is a much unappreciated piece of railway and urban architecture.  Sure, the 'improvements' of the past two decades have done little to improve its aesthetics, but there is an underlying character almost impossible to rub out.

Instead of posting numerous shots of suburban and interurban electric trains, the following collection come from basically just one afternoon in November 1982.

The first is a snap of 3214, when it was the leading P class offering of the NSW Rail Transport Museum.  Here it is working a shuttle in honour of the re-opening of Central Railway Station, just a kilometre away.

If the loco or the stylish Pullman carriages is not your style, just revel in the advertising hoardings on the building in the background.  Some of these painted signs can still be seen 30 years later! 

The Southern Aurora passenger car in the western dock was a favourite place to park carriages which had received attention at the nearby Elstons sheds.  Sadly, I deemed it too unimportant to photograph these exhibits, though a DR carriage off the Silver City Comet caught the Senior Train Hunter's attention when it lay there around 1980.

While we are on the Senior Train Hunter, he is the suspect for the following classic, showing 3830 working its train towards Central.  This train probably emanated from Macdonaldtown
carriage sheds

To quote a phrase I hate... 'moving forward' its time to return to the 1980s and indeed the same day that 3214 had been photographed.  The first is 48160 trundling a milk pot and a louvre van towards Darling Harbour.

Shortly after, 4509 surprised yours truly by appearing from the north.  Surprised, because by this time Darling Harbour was basically dormant on weekends, and this was a Saturday from memory.  Check out the 80s fashions on the style-master on the stairs - this would still be acceptable in these parts today!

By the 1990s Darling Harbour railway yards had disappeared, so Redfern lost its supply of goods trains... almost.  The odd spoil train (well, its technically a goods train) still sneaks through, such as the one headed by 8007 in 1992.

Still, the 1990s were full of interesting trains passing through Redfern's platforms, even if they didn't stop.  Here a DEB rail car set sets off for the South Coast.

Freight locos still get the odd trip through Redfern, usually at the head of one of the few remaining locomotive-hauled passenger trains such as the Indian Pacific.  In 2004 NR70 and DL43 almost managed to nip by one Saturday afternoon.

As noted above, spoil trains are semi-regular visitors to and through Redfern.  In 2003 44206, then monickered as JL402, sat at the southern end of Redfern station for most of one weekend.

However, 99.9 per cent of the time, its sparks, sparks and more sparks...  here's just one from last year.  Pretty things, aren't they?

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