Friday, August 28, 2015

Picton Hill

When looking for  the shots which composed the last blog I also came across a short set from April 1989 of a weekday afternoon at a location we called 'Picton Hill' - . So at the risk of getting a reputation for hanging out at Picton, here is another few from that location.

This first shot is of 8150 headed to Sydney with an interstate freight. Already the autumnal shadows were encroaching.


Headed the other way are 48152 and 4808 on a ballast.

 This is wahat we came over for - to see a C.  
In this case, C504. Of course a bloody 81 had to be in front of it!
Then the up Riverina XPT rattled past, off to Sydney Town.

Told you it was a short collection of photos. No doubt everything went through 10 minutes after we left.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Saturday on the South

I am overjoyed.  I finally found a scrap of paper amongst my many other scraps of paper which explains a series of photos I have been hanging onto for years - 28 years to be precise.

On Saturday, 11 March 1987, we headed off early to Douglas Park on the main south line - it lies between Campbelltown and Picton. We just pulled up on the side of the freeway, as the line parallels the road for about five kilometres.  In those days one could just pull off the freeway for a couple of hours without getting the attention of the authorities.

The special part about these photos is that I didn't for once use a telephoto lens so the photos aren't a series of trains looking like sliced loaves of bread.  What we got that morning was just the then usual parade of local, intrastate and interstate services, stretched out against the background. 

When I scanned these shots in the late 1990s pixels were at a premium, so I scanned the section of the print with the train on it.  This produced a rather elongated and small scan.  I apologise if the photo is too hard to see on this blog - you should be able to just click on the photo to load a hopefully larger version if necessary.

Anyway, enough prose. Instead of putting a rose-coloured commentary to that morning, I am just going to reproduce the notes I took that day along with the photos (apart from the bracketed comments).  

7:15am       44 and five cars up service (No photo of this one - dunno what happened here!)

7:20am       G518 up containers (looks like this was the last photo on the reel from the discoloration on the right hand side of the print)

7:25am       8156/G up containers (couldn't resist a close up)

7:47am       Double 81s – up Sydney Express (this is worth snaps of each end of the train)

8:16am       4468 up passenger ex Picton (another close up)

8:26am       Double 81s and 38 wheaties (another bloody close up)

8:35am       Down 7 car DEB set on the Canberra Monaro

8:45am       42201 Down Intercapital Daylight Express (five cars and Spirit dining car)


8:50am       44/4481 up wheaty (worth two shots for the close up of the first 44)

9:35am       42204 Two FGs, BN and MFH on a Goulburn passenger

9:45am       42208 in reverse Indian Red on a five car interurban set

10:25am     Up Canberra XPT

And that was it - 12 trains in 3 hours; a typical Saturday morning 28 years ago.

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

59s aplenty

Just a short, contemporary one today. 5917 is steaming away at platform 1 at Sydney Terminal station right now, for the second time this week.

It is off to Tamworth this weekend, Wauchope next weekend and then Coffs the weekend after. LVR sure punches above its weight.

Snuggled at the #1 buffers is an even more rare visitor to the station, a 47 class.

But the rarest beast for platform 1 today must be this little KHG off for the ride.
Ciao for now!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting out of Mexico

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about the Melbourne Express, otherwise known as the MEX. The counterpart service was called the Sydney Express, but it was rarely described in the shortened form.  

As with all journeys, there had to be a start.  For the Sydney Express, it was alawys Spencer Street Station in Melbourne.  Here are two shots taken from August 1993 showing the two options in motive power.


I have a lot more photos of the Sydney Express than its counterpart due to geography. Saturday mornings could involve trips to Maldon or Picton to see the Express, numerous other Southern Highlands passengers and the Superfreighters. On 9 October 1993 G520 did the honours through Picton.

When the Express started it was a much larger train than its 1990s version.  Here it is stretched out through Wilton in 1986 with double 81s up front.

Enough of the static representations!  Here is a link to a short and jerky video of 8171 on the up Sydney Express at Maldon on 16 October 1993.


It wasn't all sunshine out there.  On a foggy 20 November 1993, the third last loco-hauled Sydney Express cantered through Maldon with 8172 at the front.

Here's evdence of why this train needed to go.  At least there was one other patron at breakfast on this day.

And now to where it finished, the buffer stops at platform 1 (or 2) at Sydney Terminal. G527 made it there on 20 January 1993.

Here is 8177 arriving at the same location on 29 January 1993.

Even at the end, on Saturdays decent loadings required double heading. Here is 8170 and G518 having done the work overnight and into the morning of 15 August 1993.

As the end neared, platform 2 became the preferred destination.  Here are two shots from November 1993 recording such arrivals.

Finally it was over.  The last service on 22 November 1993 had 4463  leading 8174 into the shade.

If you want to watch a slow moving G514 arrive at Central in November 1992, do no more than press this button!

Ciao for now!