Thursday, September 26, 2013

Koolewong, part III

Folks, its time to cover off some of the types of passenger services which frequented Koolewong in the recent past.

One of the things I like most about this location is the super-elevation placed on the right of way, to allow trains to traverse the location at relatively high speed.  So even if the trains aren't exotic, the angles are somewhat.

Nothing could be less exotic than a V set,  but this one starting to lean into a curve, heading north, gets marginally more interesting.

Stopping services on the return pose issues for guards, who must check that passengers have joined or left the train safely. Here, one such guard does that.

Time to acknowledge the banal. A Tangara. Enough said.

Express services race through at 80kph, which is far too quick for my little camera.

Eight long distance services pass through daily. Six involve XPTs, like this Brisbane-bound service.

The other service is the North West Xplorer.

Apart from the regularly scheduled passenger services, Koolewong gets its fair share of tourist and heritage operations. First up, the Cockie headed north!

Then the sublime... 3801 doing what it did best, going as fast as it was allowed.

On another sunny day, the RTM's 4201 headed north on its way to Maitland Steamfest.

On the same weekend as shown in part 1 of this series 3112 was caught ad it worked through to Gosford.

All trains heading out of the big smoke have to return... Here 3642 does just that in the gloom.

Finally, its back to electric traction, but preserved electrics. What was once probably mundane... double 86s... is now no more, or very rare.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Koolewong freights

In part II of this trilogy, I thought we would move a bit closer to the rail action at Koolewong. 

The staple of intrastate freight is coal, usually hauled by triple or quad 82 class locomotives. Over the past decade interlopers like DL, G and 81 class locos have been sighted in the shafts. On one such day, 8218 led two sisters plus an 81 on a coal heading north.

81s regularly get a run up front on grain trains, on this occasion with a couple of 48s trundling behind.

If 82s and 81s have intrastate freight tied up, the same could be said until recently for NRs with interstate freight. Coming the other way on dusk are two members of that class.

Now, a few more unusual 'items'. First up, a former Victorian government X class loco working south for the Queensland government.

And now two Western Australian government K class locos trailed by a native NSW loco on a ballast.

Now for a couple of RL class locos which entered service in the era of private operators, without possessing a State heritage.

And back to the old warhorse, a former NSWGR 442 class wearing privateer colours. Behind it a sister 442 and an Alco cousin, 45s1.

And finally, when it gets quiet late at night, peace does come to Koolewong.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

From the water's edge

For those unfamiliar with the NSW Central Coast, between Woy Woy and Gosford the railway line hugs the shoreline of a body of water known as Brisbane Waters. The first stop north of Woy Woy is Koolewong, which has morphed from a fishing outpost to a commuter suburb.

Koolewong has a wharf and a park, right on the water. From here one can watch trains to the south as they curve past Murphy's Point.  A more committed photographer can do a lot with framing and composure, but you are just getting my lazy attempts to capture services as part of a larger landscape.  First up, a Tangara.

Now for a XPT, heading to Grafton.

The other ubiquitous sight are V set interurbans.

Now, completely out of left field, 3112 on a 3801 Ltd tour.

And now its time for a few freights. Firstly, the standard 2+1 combo- two NRs and a DL on a Pacific National freight. Somewhat uncommonly, the DL is not marshalled between the NRs.

Headed the other way are two GLs on a freight out of Newcastle.

Perhaps my favourite is the following, a classic combo of back to back CLPs or CLFs... Operated by QR National at the time, off to Brisvegas.

And now to finish on an arty shot by Junior, across the water at night.

I have a couple more sets of Koolewong shots to come, so please stay tuned and thanks for sticking around.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another Central situation...

Just took a very early lunch today to catch the Munro private tour train at Central.

Up front is 4403, looking glorious as usual.

On the tail of the train is a rare visitor to Central, a member of the EL class. EL58 to be precise.

Here is the entire train, just for posterity.

I had a chat to John about these goings on. As usual he was just a bit glum and worried.

Don't rush down here if you are rading this in real time, as the 44 is now making its way down the yard.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Loop lining with a P

These days we are pretty spoilt with 3237 and 3265 appearing regularly or semi-regularly around NSW. Going back 30 years it was another two P classes performing the backbone of work for the NSW rail preservation movement, 3203 and 3214.

3214 was always a bit of a fave of mine because it was painted purple (ok, maroon) and purple was big in the 70s and I was a kid, so purple was cool.

By the 80s it had been returned to black and half banished to the RTM's loop line as the Public Transport Commission attempted to pretend it was a modern administrator.

So it was that you could often find 14 plying the rails between Picton and Buxton. One winter in the 80s I made a few trips over there to capture those workings.

On one such bleak day, 3214 was found at Thirlmere.

Here is your standard 3/4 pose, which always framed a P class on a passenger nicely.

Now, for a sequence. Someone must have tipped the crew as there was quite a show....

Another place to get a series was Picton itself.  Here, on the last trip of the day, 14  works up over the viaduct and under the gantry, with the obligatory glint shot.

I didn't just go to watch, always had at least one ride. On a very rainy day, usually! Here is a rare sunny day in Picton in winter 1983.

And to finish, a couple of snaps showing that Australian film makers didn't mind casting English designed locos in German historical pieces. It did mean the P losing its headlamp.

And the FO passenger cars got some signage. Now my hopeless schoolboy German allowed me to interpret the following sign as you MUST ride on the end platforms. Apparently this wasn't quite right.

Guten tag!