Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rozelle's railway museum (of sorts)

One of my previous posts covered the range of shunting locomotives available at Rozelle during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Even when these locos ‘went home’ to Chullora in the middle of Saturday afternoon, the railway yard was still an interesting place to visit.  Indeed, some wagons found it so interesting that they never left either.  And these wagons are the focus of this posting.  Yes, I now present the weird and wonderful collection of stored wagons of Rozelle…

Lets start with a couple of location shots.  The first is looking east from the Victoria Road overpass.  I never was really game to get too close to the wagons at this end of the yard it possessed some of the fiercest looking seagulls known to Sydney.  Still, when this photograph was taken around 1990, there was a nice collection of NSW and interstate rolling stock.

Facing west from nearly the same location, the rolling stock goodies just kept revealing themselves.  Even the container wagons are fairly vintage these days!

A seemingly permanent resident of Rozelle yard was Wire Train No. 4.  It was nothing more than an assemblage of withdrawn L-type passenger carriages, with their insides stripped and a thin veneer of ply nailed across at least some of the windows. 

As and when necessary, Wire Train No. 4 was dragged at low speed around Sydney’s electrified area (presumably sometimes meeting its brethren - Wire Trains Nos. 1, 2 and 3?).  Once in the required location, railway workers ran along the roofs of each carriage, tending to the electrified overhead wires and supports.  The following three photographs show Wire Train No. 4 at rest in Rozelle.

A real curiosity was shunting wagon L 37, built upon an S wagon underframe.  It had obviously seen many days, and many of them had probably been better days.6

A very long way from Junee was a former HGM wagon L948, which had ended up within a spoil train for its final days of duty.  I just love its patina.

Nearby was a former BSV bogie sheep wagon.  The years of carting sheep around the state had impregnated the wagon with that familiar smell of livestock, which was faintly unsettling in this urban setting.

This bogied beastie was also parked nearby.    After consulting the learned papers of others, I believe to to be a representative of the NFG family which were built to haul particleboard around the country.

One of my favourite wagons is the S wagon. Apart from being incredibly versatile and ubiquitous, it is also damned cute.  Nearly a decade after withdrawal from revenue service, these wagons were still fairly commonly used for refuse. 

These S wagon photographs tell a great story.  Yes, both S 8604 and S 6058 were required to be confined to Rozelle yard.  If, however, they somehow escaped from the precinct they were to be returned to the yard.  A pretty strict way to treat venerable four wheelers!

The next three relics to be observed were guards vans.  Once at the end of every train in NSW, by this time they were being used by inner west vagrants as pretty decent weather-proof housing stock.  This is one of the reasons I have no internal shots of these vans.

Finally, its time for bogie.  And not just any type of bogie – a 2AA bogie (though I am no bogie expert).  I suspect that this bogie had been donated from a wire train of unknown provenance.

And now its really time to go… look, the signal says so.  This relic stood sentinel for decades and so deserves recognition as part of the weird and wonderful collection of Rozelle.  On a windy day, it probably moved more than many of the wagons did anyway.


  1. It looks to me that L37 is built on a LCH underframe not an S truck underframe.

  2. Jason, I think you are spot on! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Cheers, Don.

  3. Don these shots of Rozelle are fascinating mate. Are you a part of any Facebook groups like Australian Railway Photography etc?

  4. Hi Don, Can i use some of these Rozelle photos in my NSWHRSI newsletters please? Thanks Phil

  5. Hi Phil, yep, no problems with that.

    Thanks for asking.