Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gosford in steam

One of my earliest memories is a dull, wet day where the all-pervading ambience was grey. Them, in amongst all the drabness, a patch of life... green. I was about four years of age. 

What am I describing? None other than a family holiday in the rain to Gosford, and our arrival at the railway yard.  All these years later the photo taken of that very scene still startles me with its verdant contrast.

The beautiful 3813, having come off an up passenger service, rests in all its finery.

Welcome to Gosford, a haven for train hunters (steam loco hunters in particular), in the sixties. The following photos were all taken by members of the previous generation of my family during that decade, usually whilst en route to Hawkmount (a story for another day).

I am not going to wax lyrical with words in this post; just let the photos do justice to the variety and activity of railway scenes which could be found at Gosford in those years. Lets start with Nanny 3524, at rest.

That nanny is no longer with us, as is this one... 3509.

A third Nanny found at this location was 3532...

35 class locos did actually run, as evidenced in the following yard shot. Here one heads a 36 class loco on a fright, waiting to follow the 44 class diesel which is coming up though the yard.

And here is what looks like 3532 hooked up to the front of a Garratt, ready to head north on W44 ore.

Enough of the English stuff... Here is US imported 5911, courtesy of Lima Locomotive Works by Baldwin, taking a rest in the sun.

And in near to the same position, a home grown 38 Pacific.

I am going to finish up with a bit of modern steam power... A copy of a deteriorating slide of a refurbished 6037 leading 6042 on a northbound freight.

Then, as a precursor to the next instalment on this city, diesel power in the form of 4008 having worked north with electric loco 4631.

Until next time!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nurail travels Part 3

This third installment of our 14 day tour of NSW using State Rail's Nurail pass. It covers two journeys, to the northwest and the south.

I had arrived into Sydney from Tamworth at 6:30 on the morning of Thursday 23 June 1988. After a brisk day I met the old man for a late dinner and then jumped on the then-titled 'North Mail'. On this occasion it was headed by electric loco 8602, which was to tow two sleepers (both BAMs), then six sitting cars and a LHO guards van.
We scored a couple of seats in car 7 and settled in for a pretty uncomfortable night after our 10pm departure from the capital.  At Broadmeadow, well after midnight, 4428 and 4483 replaced the 86 class. Our first glimpse of these steeds came much further north around breakfast. I think this next photo was grabbed at Armidale.

Friday afternoon approached as we drew closer to the end of the line, Tenterfield. We made it just before noon, about 30 minutes late.
By this time, assorted shunting measures, we had been reduced in total to a sleeper, two sitting card and a van. This was to be the consist for our return journey, four and a half hours later.  This interregnum gave us a chance to walk the mile into town and back, and to get a couple of shots of the train basking in the afternoon sun.

And from behind...

It wasn't all trains... We admired the well preserved barracks and goods shed.

As it was extremely cold we boarded the train, as the only sleeping car passengers  more than an hour before our 4:25pm departure. When we did leave, it was a stuttering affair. The trailing 44 kept cutting out, so after several stops in the middle of nowhere the crew simply cut it out. This meant for a slower trip but I am not sure time mattered much for the North Mail anyway. It didn't worry us, sleeping soundly in our berths in a very cosy BAM. They were good sleepers.

It was another gawd awful hour when we got to Sydney on Saturday, well before 6:00. Although I had plans for a weekend jaunt west I chose a better option - study for approaching exams.

Sunday was another rest day of sorts. it wasn't until 7:00pm we gathered at Central for a departure on the 8:00pm Melbourne Express. I don't have a record of the locos or the train, probably because I was pretty over things by this stage.  Once again, we had opted for a sitter rather than sleeper, just for further punishment.

By Monday, 27 June, my bum had been moulded into a NSWGR seat pattern. At the gloriously early hour of 4:50am we tumbled out onto Albury station. 

It's funny how the mundane of the moment becomes a bit special later in life. Here is an ordinary shot off the footbridge.

A slightly less ordinary shot could be achieved towards the south. Here was a pristine 4458, the first red terror 44 as far as I recall, lurking in the yard.

By 12:20pm we were well and truly thankful to see an on-time S66 up Inter-Capital Daylight XPT, with 7 cars, pull into the station to carry us northwards. A mere nine hours later it arrived at Central, which meant my odyssey was over. Of course the Senior Train Hunter still had to return to the Illawarra, which he did by the means of a four car V set. At the end of that trip, 18 minutes before our tickets expired, our travels were complete.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bathurst, the prequel...

In October 2012 I posted a shots on this blog around Bathurst in the diesel era. Today's posting shifts the form of locomotion from diesel to steam.  

Here is a small selection of shots taken mainly by the Senior Train Hunter and your scribe from the last years of steam through to the present.

Lets start with a typical shunting scene, being 2606 rumbling around the yard.

Then its across to the loco shed for a mikado, believed to be 5914 or more likely, 5910.

Staying at the depot, this time it is a very grubby 3112.

And coming right forward in time to 1994, here is the incomparable 3801 being watered in the east dock on its return from Dubbo.

And now its time to show a selection of shots of 5112, the loco which has made its home in the Carillon City. First up it is stored at the station in 1975, having been rescued for preservation.

Then someone from the Council got to it with some cheap garish paint. To their credit, it was put undercover.

And now as it is today, in a magnificent shed and having undergone a very comprehensive and flattering cosmetic restoration.

The rather amazing thing about this range of photos is that, if it really is 5910, then everyone of the locos shown have survived in preservation to this day. It seems visiting Bathurst may be good for your longevity!

To finish up, here is 5917 in preservation at Bathurst in the early 1980s.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Forbes special

Popped past Forbes railway station around noon today to find 1432 and 8044 ready to depart with 8116.

And from the other angle...

A nice looking combination. So nice that I wasn't looking where I was walking and nearly ended up eating a nice mouthful of Forbes dirt.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's been a while...

Yes, indeed. Apologies for the disappearance of posts. It helps when you finally remember your password. 

Anyway, its time to test a mobile application posting.  Here is former NSWGR 4907, now heralded as MM01, shunting today at Manildra in central western NSW.

This afternoon we arrived at a chilly Forbes to find a lonesome Danish lass called Helga 1432 facing a setting sun. The shot would have been closer if there hadn't been billy goats in the intervening paddock.

So that is the first post for 6 months or so. If I can remember my password, it won't be the last for 2013, hopefully!