Saturday, November 21, 2015

An afternoon's constitutional

About 30 years ago I lived adjacent to North Wollongong station for about six months. Despite nearly getting rattled out of bed every time something bigger than a CPH came through it was fine. It was in the last days of pre-electrification and everything was on the coast - 44s, 421s, 45s, 422s and 442s. Even the odd 80 and a myriad of 48s.  And the rolling stock - past condemnation. Squeaky, leaky and decrepit.

And I took nearly no photographs.

Except one afternoon when I should have been studying. And here are some of them.  It was probably early to mid 1985 and it was a dull, cloudy day. And the earthworks for the poles was complete so you knew everything was about to change.

I started my 'break' from study by hanging around the southern end of the down platform. Nipped off a few photos of a two car diesel headed north.

Keen eyed viewers will notice that the overhead pedestrian bridge has been lifted to accommodate the catenerary and that the poles have reached the station from the north.. 

Next through was 48101, a former Dubbo loco, with a four car suburban set.

I won't post two photos of every train, but I will post as many photos of that signal that I can. Its a ripper.

The final from this location was 4899 rolling with empty BHP BLXAs and Government CHs. It was probably headed off to Corrimal Colliery, from the look of the consist, The Gipps Road level crossing is still in operation, with a car scooting over the lines in the distance.

Then I took myself off to Victoria Street - after 30 years I can probably confess that I walked a direct line (if I could remember). It didn't seem like trespassing in those days. 

I had plonked myself on a bit of an embankment on the western side of the line near the old Federal Cokeworks but didn't get much passing traffic.  So after taking my life in my hands (by walking through the narrow Victoria Street road underpass) I ended up on the eastern side which had the original alignment for the Mount Keira coal mine tramway and the Shell fuel siding.  There was still an old water column still in evidence and the alignment can be made out, just.

Then it was back to photographing trains.  I didn't record the order and the negatives are gone, so here is just a selection. First, another two cr diesel set headed into Wollongong.

Candy 4808 on an up local passenger service. Its marker lights show how gloomy it really was.

4456 on a passenger service from Sydney. I love this shot as much for the semaphore signals as the train itself.

Another one of the signals, this time with 4860 on a local passenger.

Now for the last train - 4859 with a very short ballast.

I'll wrap things up with a final shot of the signals.

All in all, a very good walk.

Ciao for now!

1 comment:

  1. A very different picture then to the one I saw from the train window when I traveled to Kiama in February 2015 to research my book. Its funny how the things that appear normal today, become the memories we treasure tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing Don.