Saturday, March 15, 2014

Budds on the coast

I have the pleasure of a rail bus ride on a crappy 30 year old bus which smells like it was parked at a tip overnight, so am thinking fondly of those days when one could jump on the Budd cars forming a South Coast Daylight Express service, maybe get a pie or at least Paul's ice cream bucket, and free chilled water.

Actually its just a chance to expose a few marginal shots of Budds in their glory days and long decline. Throughout this period, their ride characteristics were sublime. Perhaps V sets provided superior comfort, but they didn't have a lady in uniform selling ice creams.

First up, I think this shot dates from 1963. It shows a passenger service and a bridge in much more aesthetically pleasing condition than today's aspect.

Next up is a shot of an up passenger service on a dark day at Sutherland. It's from a grotty slide but the feeling of being close to Mordor is conveyed even though its just the Shire.

Time for a few late period snaps. Here's a Alco cross - 4461brings the down morning SCD into Kiama with its complement of depowered Budds trailing a power van and a Tulloch carriage, while   4474 is about to take its similarly-composed train north.

And here is pretty much where I lost interest in passenger trains on the coast... 42214 hauling the last loco-hauled SCD as it approaches Wollongong. 

And here is what the SCD turned into (figuratively) when it got to Sydney... A locoless service.

I can't leave this post at this point so it is time for one more. Regular readers of this blog may recall my incomplete series on trains passing through North Wollongong. So to finish, a Budd set in its heyday, looking marvellous and sounding better as it really warms up to the task of being an express passenger service.

Its amazing how the Railways managed to run these trains at top speed, 7 days a week until they fell apart, without the need to routinely close large lengths of railway line for weekend track maintenance. The modern trains must really pound the rails in a way the Budd cars never did. Just saying...

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