Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Up the hill, once more

Apologies to anyone who watched the video of Bob climbing Farmborough Heights in my last post.  Through a version control issue I managed to post 30 seconds of delightful birdsong, then the old boiler bursts into view.

As recompense, may I offer a bonus? In September 1989 the RTM attempted to run a triple header up the hill, using 3642, 5910 and 3801. Unfortunately 3801 was failed before the event so 3001T stepped in.

Keen observers will notice the 'adjustment' to 3001T's number, alongside the headboard using Australia Post's slogan of the time.

Two years later the RTM managed to get all three mainliners on the same train. This time there was a video camera handy...

Ciao once more!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Up the hill

I have posted a fair few shots on this blog taken from the overhead bridge at Farmborough Heights, usually of steam working up the hill to Dombarton and onto Moss Vegas. 

Having now spent a fair bit of time converting DVDs which had been originally shot on tape back into a digital format I have collected a range of locos tackling the hill in the late 1990s. And as I haven't been particularly thrilled about the results of loading videos direct onto the blog I am now trying to link to my YouTube channel.  So, here goes...

Lets start with 3801 on the Cocky...

And on film...

Might as well throw in another video of 01 - this time with 7344 hitching a ride. Must have been fun for the crew inside the cab of the 73.

While we are doing 38s, might as well do 3830. Here it is so fresh from overhaul it is yet to painted.

And here is how she looked after a coat of paint.

And now it is time to finish up with SMR's 18 - Bob to the locals - on the Cocky on a wet day.

And then on a dry day, with 4833 pushing hard.

Ciao for now!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter in Cowra - 1994

I am such an old coot. Can't believe its 21 Easters ago that 3801 Ltd and LVR combined to give me one of the best Easters since childhood. It all started where it should - at Central behind 3801 early on Good Friday morning.

From memory the 38 performed magnificently throughout the trip (it was off to Dubbo). We got a tow from Penriff to Katoomba from a pretty decrepit 4472.

We hopped out at Blayney for my first ever ride behind a 47 class. LVR provided the class leader and a couple of carriages for a trip I hope to have the chance to do once more, soon. And yes, this was a photo-stop. Something else I haven't done for 21 years.

The next two days were a blur of rail motor and 30T trips. Here's a couple I didn't catch.

As part of the tour we were billeted in sleeping cars in the loco yard. I forgot just how cold those carriages could get.  But it did give us the run of the loco depot, including after hours.  So please forgive the following self-indulgent 'atmospheric' shots.


I wasn't too good at getting up early for the start of days...

But the afternoons weren't bad to be around...

By Easter Sunday night my then girlfriend packed it in for a motel in the town. I stuck it out in the sleeping car until about 2am and then made a lonely little trudge into town to seek a bed with an electric blanket.  Best of intentions!

Anyway Easter Monday came too soon, like it always does.  4701 was strapped onto the front of our Blayney-bound train.

And at Blayney the big Pacific turned up to return us to Sydney.

Again it was a terrific trip. I remember being struck by the numbers of people out to see the 38 steam through. Apart from the usual train chasers (see next photo) it was just Joe and Jane Public with their kids.  I remember in particular Newbridge. Its platform was chock-a-block with the whole village.

So, its been 21 years but it doesn't feel like it. I really hope the Blayney to Demondrille cross country line is reopened this year so LVR may again flourish at Cowra. The experience offered by LVR at a country railway depot is unique and tantalising. And it hooked me. LVR scored themselves a (admittedly passive) member on the basis of this trip.

So I will finish up with a snap of what that weekend meant to me.

Happy Easter!