Instead of waxing on about overtaxed locomotives straining to keep overloaded and over-length trains to overly ambitious timetables, its about time to celebrate the shorter freights in life. And in particular, cement trains, just because cement wagons are usually more interesting shapes than the locomotives hauling them.
So, whether you are a rail photographer searching for that quintessential iconic freight photograph, or a model rail aficionado seeking to capture the essence of a NSW freight train, consider for now the short cement train...
First up is our little friend 4833 on a very short cement, coming out of the Maldon Cement Works. The companion photograph has appeared earlier in this blog in the collection celebrating this little Alco’s 50th birthday. Here is another shot of the same train, showing it being monstered by a 7 car DEB set on Maldon Curve.
This next photograph is an inspiration to Alco-holics, and to people who hear a loco whistle while still in bed. Yes, in March 1992 I was bunked in a local Tamworth motel, only to hear a 48 class call to me. So it was up and at ‘em, in the words of Atom Ant. I caught 48136 and 48153 in glorious morning sunlight approaching Nemingha about ten minutes later. Thank you, Mr 48 Class Driver, for laying on the smoke too.
In 1983 the Senior Train Hunter captured 4609 and 8614 at Katoomba on a very lucrative freight run…. Well, it would have been lucrative if the wagon was full of gold flakes.
The next three photographs are from a short-lived and probably not all that profitable foray into southern NSW by Freight Victoria (later Freight Australia) during 2002. Still, it made for good train hunting. First up is EL61 and EL51 heading north through Werai in March 2002.
On another weekend in the dead of that winter, EL51 appeared once more – this time with T408 as a travelling companion. Thankfully it arrived at Moss Vale just after the sun did that morning.
And just as the sun left the Southern Highlands in October of that year, G535 stormed through Bundanoon at speed. It is getting a tad long to be described as a true short freight, I suppose…
So its back to the short stuff. On one of its first forays into the general view in its new and still current livery, in 2004 I braved the elements which always seem to appear whenever I reach for a camera. On this day 8113 paired with BL27 at Warrabrook.
And finally, the shortest of them all. Just don’t bother with a loco at all. Just get a tractor and shunt cement wagons up and down the track, as evidenced in the next photograph from Wauchope in 2006.
So folks, chase the small stuff in life!