Monday, September 21, 2015

A little colour in life

And now for something completely different...

About 15 years ago when the Olympics were on in Sydney the railway authorities required freight operators to add horsepower to their trains in order to enable the trains to be moved even if one of the locos failed en route. This was the start of the exotic influx for me - locos from Victoria, South Australia and eventually WA all ended up in Sydney. It hasn't really stopped since.

It took this following photograph, or at least the bus ride home from Rozelle after taking it at dusk on a gloomy December evening in 2000, to get me thinking (more of that in a minute).  So here is the photograph - L251 in ATN Access livery, 845 in its AN livery, B74 in the hue worn by all locos of the Victorian Railways, B80 in Murraylander (hinting at a Union Pacific heritage) and then L270 also in ATN Access maroon and gold.

One train, five locos,three classes, and not a NSWGR loco among them, with Sydney's Centrepoint Tower in the background.

Around the same time a series of emails in the Ausloco Yahoo group ran through the locos and the liveries they wore.  I think, from memory Chris Walters who had penned many of the names of the liveries.  So I set myself a task - to keep a score of the liveries I saw and the locos wearing them.

I restricted recording my sightings to public railway standard gauge operations within a day's drive of Sydney - Bomaderry, Wagga Wagga, Parkes/Dubbo, Werris Creek and Coffs Habour.  I have been pretty careful about the definition of ‘a sighting’.  Usually it meant seeing- more recently I have mellowed to include photographs or videos by mates.   I deliberately excluded heritage steam locomotives and rail tractors, as well as private rail systems such as those operating at Bluescope at Port Kembla or in mines.

Even so, after 15 years I have tallied 114 liveries worn by 66 different classes of loco - for a total of 256 combinations.  

I appreciate everyone is going to have a different definition of where a colour or design variation stops and a new livery starts.  This is not meant to be the last word in liveries - just one privateer's personal obsession becoming public.

Anyway, for those still reading - here's my list of the 114 liveries and a total of the loco classes which have worn them.
Livery/Class Total Classes
1950 CR Maroon/Silver 1
1952 VR Blue & Yellow 2
1955 NSWR Indian Red 14
1979 NSW PTC Reverse Tuscan 5
1980 NSW 125 Years Green (amended) 1
1981 SRA Candy 8
1983 AN Green & Yellow 7
1983 V/Line Orange 1
1985 RTM Modified Maroon 1
1985 RTM Modified NSW Green 1
1988 Southern Cross Green/Cream 1
1988 SRA Red Terror 3
1989 SRA Green Frog 2
1989 SRA Marlborough 1
1990 BHP Light Blue 2
1990 FreightRail Blue 14
1991 Countrylink Blue 2
1991 FreightRail Light Blue 1
1993 AN Silver & Green 1
1993 SRA Austerity Blue 1
1994 GNRS Maroon & Red 2
1994 LVR Indian Red/Yellow 1
1994 NRC Grey & Orange 2
1994 NRC Seatrain Blue 1
1994 NRC SteelLink Grey 2
1994 NRC Trailerail Green 1
1995 Cargill Yellow & Black 1
1995 Manildra Blue & Yellow 2
1995 NRC Indigenous 1
1996 Austrac Maroon/Silver 3
1996 SR Yellow & Blue v2 2
1996 SR48 Yellow & Blue v1 1
1997 NRR Blue & Orange 4
1998 ARG Orange & Black 6
1998 CFCLA Elliptical Blue/Silver 13
1998 SR Yellow & Blue v3 5
1998 XP Olympic 1
1999 FV Green 1
1999 LVRF Green/White/Yellow 1
1999 NRC Charcoal/Marigold 4
1999 RSA Blue/Green 1
1999 RTM Modified Candy 1
2000 3801 Ltd Black/Red 1
2000 3801 Ltd Tuscan/Cream 1
2000 ACT ARHS Tuscan/Russet 1
2000 ATN Maroon & Gold 1
2000 CRT Light Blue 1
2000 EDI Royal Blue 1
2000 FA Green 6
2000 Murraylander Yellow 1
2000 Federation Orange 1
2001 AN Green Modified for FA 1
2001 Central Park Purple/White 1
2001 LVRF Castrol Grey 1
2001 LVRF Green/White 1
2001 R&H Transport Red/White 2
2001 RIC Butter Menthol 1
2002 CFCLA All Maroon 1
2002 CFCLA Blue/Yellow Whiskers 1
2002 CFCLA Green/Yellow Whiskers 1
2002 CFCLA Straight Blue/Silver 1
2002 LVRF Strawberry & Custard 1
2002 RTS All Blue 2
2003 PN Ghan Red 2
2003 PN Blue Cab 1
2003 PN Gold Cab 11
2003 ARG Dark Blue 1
2004 Patricks Big Red 4
2004 South Spur Two Blues 2
2004 SSR Yellow/Black 10
2005  PN Indian Pacific Blue 1
2005 Countrylink Blue 1
2005 QRN Ochre/Black 8
2008 CFCLA All Blue 2
2006 Danish Red/Black 1
2006 IRA Silver 2
2007 PN Southern Cross 2
2007 ARG All Orange 1
2007 Allco Blue & Yellow 1
2007 Auscision Orange/Silver 1
2008 LVR Modified Red Terror 1
2006 SCT Black, Red & White 3
2008 HVRT Silver/Yellow 1
2008 Coote Green/Yellow 7
2008 PN Southern Spirit Green 1
2008 El Zorro Orange/Grey 2
2008 EDI Blue & White 2
2008 ARG Yellow/Maroon 1
2007 PN Lifesaver 1
2010 Graincorp Sky Blue 1
2010 Whitehaven Blue/White 1
2010 Railpower Black 1
2010 Xstrata Grey/Blue & Yellow 1
2010 Freightliner Gold/Green 2
2010 QUBE Silver/Yelllow 4
2010 QRN Sun Yellow 4
2011 Weipa Orange 1
2010 RTM Royal Blue 1
2011 IP Yellow 1
2012 SSR Green/Yellow 1
2012 JRW Maroon/White 1
2012 QUBE Grey/Yelllow 1
2012 CRL Yellow, Red & Black 2
2012 Bradken Blue/White 1
2013 Black Caviar Salmon/Black 1
2013 NRE Gold/ Blue 1
2013 JHCRN White/Red 1
2014 SSR Yellow/Black 1
2014 MRL Red/Grey 1
2014 PN Revised IP Blue/Gold 1
2014 FIE Red White & Blue 1
2015 SSR IP Black/Yellow 1
2015 CFCLA/Freightliner mashup 1
2015 Regional Connect Green/Grey 1

Enough of this, I have a 15 year old spreadsheet to tend to!

Ciao for now,

Friday, September 18, 2015


This weekend the mighty LVR are running steam shuttles along the Richmond line.  Which got me thinking about when steam locos were king out that way. It looks like no one in my family was sufficiently motivated to ever head up that way to record the steady stream of C30 tanks and 32 class locos doing the commuter shuttles, but they did get there a couple of times. So its time to review snaps from a couple of those trips.

First up there is a slightly blurry offering of what looks like a flat out 3042 on one of those commuter trains.

 Next up is one of my favourite photos... what more could you want on a winter's afternoon in 1964 than a trip from Wollongong in a Hillman Minx to Richmond loco?

Another shot of 3313 in the winter sun...

And here is one of the few photos Dad took with a child obstructing the view of a loco. As I was only about 8 months old at the time, my uncle got the duty of holding yours truly.  Start of a lifelong love affair with 30 class locos.

Clearly this afternoon was so successful it would be another three years before we would venture that way again.  This time most of the locos were situated near the ancient loco shed.

The keen observers of the last photo would have picked up the little gem in the background and thankfully, someone walked down the yard to photograph it.Yep, a dreamboat 55 class.

And that is it for steam era photographs of Richmond yard in my possession.  I did head back up that way just as electrification was upon the land.  It was a less than speedy trip by two car diesel, but we made it.

I never got a run on CPHs on the Richmond line, those these specimens called Richmond home for a number of years whilst in the employ of the Macquarie Valley Railway.

Sun's out - hope I get to see good reports of 3237 and 5917 doing their stuff up Richmond way.

Ciao for now!


Saturday, September 5, 2015

North west Pacific

And now for something completely different to NSW... ten years ago this week I headed to the States with a group of non-railway enthusiasts.  It took them a while but eventually they got the meaning of 'hey! Pull over quick!'.  We started in San Fransisco.  It took the brightest of my traveling companions about 48 hours to work out what was going on... BART, MUNI, cable cars, Market Street trolleys... like this one... 

After a couple of days I snuck away to Sacramento to the Cal State Railroad Museum for the day. A particular favourite of mine is the Western Pacific F7A pictured here.

More modern locomotive power got me there and back again. Slightly larger loading gauge than your NSWGR profile!

If you ever get to Sacramento, stick around the downtown area as a steady diet of UP freights mingle with the passengers.

I took tons of very average phots that day. One I particularly liked shows a pretty decrepit Southern Pacific loco teamed with a Union Pacific sister on a fuel train. This was taken from the cafe car on the train I was riding... its good to spend time in the cafe cars.

The second half of the holiday was up north - Portland and thereabouts.  It was notable for three things... first I have no photos but UP Challenger 3985 was in town in steam for the weekend.  I saw it from a distance and heard it whistling every hour.  Absolutely sensational stuff.

The second memory is this...

What? Well it shows that the curse I have (coming upon the last half of a train or a train in a cutting) transcends continents.  I reckon I saw the back third or the top quarter of 30-odd trains that week.

Third, I went to Tillamook. If you ever get a chance, go there.  Its famed for cheese and beer, but it also has Tillamook Naval Air Station which contains a blimp hangar the largest wooden structure in the world built in 1942.  

If you are not impressed with the immense scale of the hangar, take another look at its floor. There are standard gauge tracks, used to tow the dirigibles in and out of the shed.

Just as impressive, just across the carpark was the open air servicing area for the Port of Tillamook shortline.  The loco I had been wanting to see all trip was there - it had been the subject of a Trains article and it deserved to by seen by this little tourist. so, here it is... a loco painted up like a cow.

For the slightly more historically inclined, I also hunted down this Baldwin logging Mikado (built in 1926 for the Polson Logging Company of Hoquiam, Washington State).  With 48 inch driving wheels it looked anything but a typical logging loco.

The Pacific north west is full of logging railroads, but I was unsuccessful in convincing the others to spend a day riding the rails. Instead we went to see an active volcano - probably a fair call. We did stop along the way to photograph railroad bridge signage.

Anyway, it was a marvelous trip. Travel broadens some minds, they say. Will return soon with some homegrown ramblings.

Ciao for now!