Saturday, January 30, 2016

The humble 600s

For my 150th post on this blog I thought I would once more return to the back fence of my grand parent's place in North Wollongong, and to the once mundane.  Here's a short collection of shots covering the 600 (620, 660) class railcars going about their business.

Starting with one which captures the grimy hue that typified these railcars - an all stations local morning service.

I am guessing that this next shot is from the late 1970s, and I am also guessing that its run through from Sydney.

Time for some fence. This one is dark and it difficult to see.  But it does show the differing liveries applied in the 1970s and it also captures a fair lump of back fence!

You deserve brightness after the drab in the last three shots so I've selected one from 1986 in the reverse scheme and a candy set from 1989 to finish thing off on a more colourful note.

Humble, utilitarian, reliable...  


Friday, January 22, 2016

Pig in the 'burbs

Well, more correctly, Steam in the Suburbs. The (former) Rail Transport Museum's 3642 is 90 years young this year and it has spent longer in captivity (preservation/heritage) than it did in revenue service, having been retired for the first time in September 1969.

3642 would have to be one of my most photographed NSWGR steam locomotives, which is only appropriate given that it is one of my favourites. It was black when we first met but I do think the green suits its stout appearance.

Anyway, nearly 25 years ago I took a ride behind it on the last day of August 1991 as it worked its way from Redfern, down to Darling Harbour, out through Glebe and Annandale to Rozelle, then back along the Metro line to Enfield, Flemo and then finally back to Sydney Terminal.  Here's a few shots of that great day.

The first series covers tracking across the Wentworth Park viaduct.

And then as it heads into the tunnel under Glebe.

 Out the other end into Jubilee Park and off to Rozelle.

A few trains snuck past the other way, but not 4903 which was on a sleeper train at Dulwich Hill.

And all too soon we were into the wide open spaces of Enfield. Count those 48s! 

 The odd GMs were lurking around too, like these two.

 As we scooted past Flemington car sheds I noticed two parcel vans - the very things I was hunting for a couple of blog posts ago.

So, it was a very good interlude with the old girl.


Tumulla - a rejoinder

About a fortnight ago I posted a series of photos of 3620 banking a couple of trains up Tumulla Bank on 17 January 1965. In the blog I mentioned that many of the salient details of that day - including the loco's number - came from a book.  Here is that book....

It is a cracker of a read - comes highly recommended if you see it in a secondhand bookshop. Published by Traction Publications in 1973.

Anyway, without permission (where do you start?) of the photographer Jim Coulson and the publisher, but with much gratitude that both took the time to do what they did, here is that photograph, complete with the trespassing other photographer tucked away on the tender...

Number 2 trespasser (a certain uncle of your scribe) can be seen in the cab.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Parcel vans

Every working day I travel past Mortuary Station twice. It hit me last week that it is an excellent modelling proposition for someone with more time, skills and patience than I have. 

I guess the main drawback is that unless you are determined to model pre-electrification then there is not a real lot of shunting interest on an in/out model.  On the positive side, only a fairly limited range of models needed and these are/were available commercially. And the building is still there.

Anyway I hit the family photo collection, expecting to find 100s of helpful shots.  As usual, there was just one.  But it did explode my assumption about the area being of limited interest. I had figured that there had only been three or four parcels vans, but in this photo from around 1980 I think I can make out six vans.  

And there is more diversity in liveries than I thought too. Apart from the Blue Spot and PTC Blue/White liveries shown in the previous photographs, this shot of a service at Lidcombe in 1992 has the original Indian Red and the reverse arrows.

So, modelling proposition #587 identified.  One of these days...  


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Climbing Tumulla Bank

Fifty one years ago this weekend my father left his heavily pregnant wife and his baby son at home to chase trains for a weekend. These photos are a bit diminished and at times blurry but each has a lovely little aspect.

Dad not only photographed a few trains but he somehow managed to convince the crew on the 36 class banker (3620 from memory) to let him ride on the back of the tender on at least two trips up the bank. 

The first train was a down goods, worked by two 36s and banked by the third.  
I have no idea what order the photos should be in so here they are.  I just love the collection of wagons in the train, including the fuel. While it is a much shorter train than the next, its loaded and would have been a slow haul up the hill.

The second train was a down empty grain with a Garratt up front and a long train of four wheel RUs, interspersed with BWH bogie wheat wagons and what could be a couple of tarped K wagons. I'm not sure what order the photos go in so here's the three in the order I think that they were taken on the basis of the coal pile in the tender.

At some stage during the day there was also a cab ride, which produced the following shot of 6041 crossing the down train.

Now, before I post the last snap I should point out that next to no photographs in the family collection are dated.  But I know these shots were taken on 17 January 1965 because Dad wasn't the only photographer out that day. In a certain publication there is dated photograph of the down goods being banked, complete with a certain youthful photographer trying his best but failing to get out of the shot!

So here is the banker in question, darkened by its own cloud of smoke.


Monday, January 4, 2016

In the act of shunting

I head to work for another year tomorrow and over the next 50 weeks I'll do a lot of shunting - of paper, from one side of the desk to the next. Slightly more interesting is the shunting of railway carriages and wagons. Slightly more dangrous too.

Anyway, I have posted quite a few shots of steam locos going about their shunting duties over the years.  Here's a few more to add to the collection.

Lets take Bathurst as the location - here's someone who looks to be happy shunting in a broody hen. Just love those marker lamps!

And here's 3112 going about shunting in the final years of steam.

Shunting Bathurst seemed to save your skin as a steam loco (or boiler cladding I suppose) - here's the RTM's 5910 at a location thought to be Bathurst.

While a little on the backlit side, 5427 needs to be included for the fluffy clouds and the fingerprint on the slide!

To complete the Bathurst shunters, here's 5212 on its way somewhere down or up the yard.

Enjoy your year at work!