Monday, June 9, 2014


My first record was a seven inch recording of steam engines ascending Hawkemount, which means that I never had much of a chance.

Hawkemount is located between Dora Creek and Awaba, on the NSWGR's mainline, otherwise known as the Short North.   It is a brutal and lengthy grade, the sort of stretch of permanent way that limits loadings on this State's rail infrastructure.

I was too young to camp out at Hawkemount in those final days of steam, though I was lucky enough to be taken there for a few hours one family holiday.  My mother and sister must have been the luckiest women in NSW that day.  However they were a bit unlucky, as nothing came by during our sojourn.

Enough of these reminiscences,  time for some photos.  Lets start with a green 3813 in a black and white photo...

Film was also wasted on diesels, thankfully... here's a 44 headed down the hill with a short wheatie.

Now for some colourful steam... here, 6022 trundles a collection of 4 wheelers along the mainline.

The epitome of steam power... 3822 in full flight on an evening Flyer

3820 leads a quiet life these days at Thirlmere.  Hopefully one day it can be put back to work like it is seen here.

Now, here is a big photo of a big train... 6001 leads another Garratt to Newcastle.

Synomous with the short north were 59s.  Here 5902 leads a Garratt around the bend.

Once 35s had been withdrawn, 36 class locos became more frequent visitors to Hawkemount.

And finally, to the digs which provided comfort and amenity to many - Hotel Hawkemount. Looks inviting!

Ciao for now!

Friday, June 6, 2014

In Central, tonight!

When I was a kid Central on the Friday of  a long weekend was a very special place, full of trains made up by locos and carriages got from every corner of the system. Tonight you could swing the proverbial cat along most platforms, as the following photograph shows...

Central is still a special place, or it is tonight.  Out of the gloom its possible to find a purple P, a green pig and LVR's mikado.  Enjoy!

Looks like a good long weekend will be had!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Through runnin'

According to my incomplete and inaccurate memory, 32 years ago this week ‘through running' of Southern Aurora and the Spirit of Progress commenced, with X54 and 42219 doing the honours northward on the first trip...  7 June 1982 to be precise.  Can't miss this milestone without a little commemoration.

Through running simply meant that each system's locomotives weren't swapped at Albury, but worked the entire journey on these two named trains. For just over four years until these trains were 'amalgamated' in August 1986, Sydneysiders like myself could find exotic blue Victorian locos at Central.  Of course, most of the times I bothered to get to platform 1 in time to see either train, there were only ever brown boxes on the front end.

Anyway, one day in 1982 just after through running started, I did capture 44225 and X51 coming off Southern Aurora.

A little while later X46 arrived on the up Spirit of Progress.

Ciao for now!