Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rail posters at Central.

Hi, this is just a quick heads up to anyone going through Central station this Easter. On the main concourse near platforms 1 to 4 there is a small green exhibition paying tribute to rail posters. Well worth checking out; here's a few snaps to give you an idea of what its about...

The exhibition implicitly and explicitly makes a case for recognising Reg Winsor as one of the best rail administrators this country ever produced.

Enfield's staging roads

Last month I started a short series on Enfield's loco depot, from the 1960s through to its demise around 1975.  In collating the photographs from this location I gathered a small bunch which dont really fit with other collections, because in these snaps you actually get to see a working depot!

Not sure if they were actually called the staging roads, but the area to the western side of the roundhouses at Enfield was where the steam locos were fuelled and received light maintenance.  Loco transfers journeyed through this part of the yard.  In the first photograph, depot shunter 3127T hauls a dead 36 class through the area, possibly headed to drop the mainliner off for scrapping.

This next photograph is from 1969 and has 3651 and 5224 being readied for a shift.


Around the same year, 5413 sits at the northern-most end of the loco line up, which also includes two 30s and two 60s.

Finally, possibly as late as 1970s, this area was still quite busy. Here 3055T sits rather alone.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday afternoon special

Came across one of my favourite all time photographs earlier this afternoon when looking for something else.  There is a bit of a back story so I'll keep most of this trip for another time but in October 1991 the Senior Train Hunter and I were in the New England, hoping to get as many 44s and 45s as still existed to wander past the lens.

We really did get lucky at Willow Tree one afternoon, when we found 3505, 3515 and 3527 about to commence banking duties.

And this brings me to the moment of one of my favourite photographs - with setting sun and an approaching wheatie with 8106 and 8130 in need of banking. 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

North Gong coalies

It is time for another installment in 'What went past the back fence at North Wollongong?' - this time covering diesel-hauled coal trains. My 4 January 2014 post carries a swag of photographs covering steam-hauled coalies, and you electric-loving fiends will not be left out as I have a few snaps of electric-hauled coalies too, just waiting for a future post.

But now, to bust the myth that coal on the Coast meant double 48s (though 99% of the time from 1964 to 1994 it did!), here goes with a smattering of battered and torn slides and prints of (mainly) other types of diesels hauling the black diamond.

Before 48s there were 70s.. and in the early 1960s 7001 and 7009 got to tread the mainline with one such service.

Then this was no doubt a complete surprise - a trialling 49 and the class leader no less.  No wonder the shot is framed crookedly.  Thought to be around September 1963.

The late 1970s was not a period of  high fashion in Wollongong. If there was colour in anything, it was likely to be the wrong hue.  This partially explains the colour combination in the next train, led by double BHP D class locos. Just why anyone would bother painting a CHS coal wagon in gloss is beyond me.  It looks rather dandy in the afternoon sun.

Sorry if you got the idea that this would be a 48 free zone.  Here's a couple, with 4847 leading 48159 in the first shot and two 48s on the Coalcliff coalie in the second. Both are morning shots from 1980 or so, which suggests that I was too scared of the bull in the paddock on the sunny side to cross the lines (using the underpass at the creek of course) with my then-new Practika camera.

It wasn't all double 48s. Sometimes a mainlner would be conscripted - such as on this evening in 1980ish when 4419 got the 2nd loco job.

Around the 1980s a series of terrific NSW rail photography books emerged, like Units in Focus. Cracking photography by real pros with serious lenses. They all told stories of big lash-ups, even quad workings over the Liverpool Ranges.  Stuff almost unheard of on the Coast on those days and now, of course, routine to the point of mundane. 

The closest we seemed to get to the big locos in the Illawarra was on weekends, when some serious coalies ran in from the west on Sunday afternoons - at least that is when I saw them.  So here are three, and the first is triple 80s - 41, 23 and 34on a down coal headed to the Inner Harbour.

Next up is another all-Alco offering - this time an 80 and a 44 lead 44212 back to the big smoke.

And the third offering from that period involes 8027, 8016 and 8032. I have great memories of these trains passing, as they usually were working up into the higher notches.  Whereas 48s burbled along, these mainliners made time.

By the late 1980s we were into well into the candy era.  Just didn't sit well at the front of a coal train, as shown by these double 81s.

While things then got fairly boring for a while, by the 1990s variety crept into loco workings once more.  On 9 May 1993 I managed to get 8027 leading 42204, 8148 and 8182 northward on a coal.

And finally, near to times present.  These days its a steady diet of 82s - believe me, they rumble past my residence with alarming frequency.  One coal working I have yet to mention is the Metro Colliery working - usually with a 82 top and tail these days.  On the 14th day of 2005 8257 one on the end of one such service... Someone needed to do a spot of mowing by then - its starting to interfere with the photography!