Monday, August 20, 2012


Bombo is a lovely little railway crossing on the NSW south coast.  It is quiet, especially when the blasting stops at the local quarry. 

Until electrification was put through, it was a top location for viewing all the odds and sods that the south coast could throw up at you.  One of the more ubiquitous emanations of the coast was the two-car diesel, which formed the majority of local passenger services for the last two decades of the 20th century.

If 2 car diesels worked the majority of passenger services, then the 48s held the mantle of the stalwart of the goods (freight) services.

And if it wasn't one 48 on a goods, then it was likely to be two of them.  In the following case, it was two 48s heading north with a load of Bombo's finest export... ballast.

At the southern end of Bombo there was a terrific trestle bridge.  In 1986 one could catch  48128 racing north with a number of fuel tankers.

And for a very long time, if it wasn't a single 48 or double 48s, then it could only be... triple 48s, as shown here.

 And if it wasn't a single 2 car diesel, then it could only be two of them, coupled together.

And that was pretty much all you ever saw in the 1980s at Bombo.  Then, in the 1990s, things changed.  Coming over the hill one day the following sight was available... like two centipedes facing off, this day in 1994 brought 4845, 4834 and green 4836 arriving from the quarry, with 4818, 4916 and 4908 emerging from the south.

Safe-working activities completed, both trains departed.  It was the Alco with its two GM henchmen headed north.

All this light and colour disappeared in the early part of the 21st century.  The superannuated diesel sets were replaced by a new version which did not permit the opening of windows - a great disservice to passengers on this surf-lovers line.

And 48s have been largely replaced by larger mainline units, such as the 81 class.

Of course, the thing missing from those last two photographs is the wooden trestle bridge. Ah, the cost of progress!

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