I grew up in the pre-analog world. Slide nights were 'technology'. Paper timetables and semaphore signals, operated from 'manned' signal boxes. News about the NSW Government Railways arrived in monthly bursts, courtesy of the Railway Digest or less frequently through the Schools Railway Magazine.
Things certainly sped up when the Internet arrived. Things went from monthly to near real time. Emails proliferated through groups though now these 'chat groups' appear to be on the wane. But basically emails had rendered my consumption of railway magazines to viewing the pictures. The news in those magazines seemed stale.
More recently I started blogging. Now most of the stuff I write is rubbish but others' posts aren't. And so I started getting news and seeing good photographs on blogs everywhere. And it was free!
A little while ago I plunged into Fickr. Why? I could hunt out particular photographers and collections around the world, as well as uploading my family collection into a free cloud - sorting, dating and geo-tagging it.
And then I got into Instagram and Pinterest. More photos. Fabulous photos.
Never really did catch onto Twitter - but it is good when the trains are running late.
And then there is Facebook. I have used it for a few years to post dog and family photos but only recently did I join a few Facebook groups. And they have been, most of the time anyway, wonderful. One group in particular declared April to be 30/30T month. As of last Friday there had been hundreds of photos covering 70+ different members of the class. As I managed to find a few of the missing members in the family collection I posted them as a first time poster.
The value of Facebook can be shown in just one photo, this one.
Its worth pointing out that the slide was labelled '3044 MV (Moss Vale) squirt 28-4-66 - 50 years ago this week.
I posted it last night and went to bed. This morning I got a helpful correction that 3044 was a tank loco. The numbers are indistinct and throughout today other locos were proposed and then discounted, leaving 3014 as the likely suspect.
And it turned out to be 3014T, after all. How do I know? I went back to the paper - the Digest this evening (albeit the digitised version). 3076 was the regular loco but had failed for the umpteenth time in early April 1966. 3025 and 3137 were sent south. 3025 had a small bunker and no headlight so was unsuitable and sent straight back. 3014T joined 3137 on 18 April 1966 and stayed until 2 May 1966.
So, technology? Always good to have at least a couple of sources I suppose. In this case, my latest (Facebook) and my oldest (paper) combined to clear things up. The readers of this blog have at other times sorted me out, for which I am truly appreciative.
So, to end, I 'll post a few others of the 30s and 30Ts that I loaded up onto Facebook last night. I'll start with 3076, the apparently unreliable tank engine, at Wollongong.
Here's a series of four from Enfield, all awaiting their demise. In order of appearance, 3007, 3035,3039 and 3094T.
And here is another photo Facebook has helped with. I had 3065T but not much else. Turns out its on a tour with 3224 at Glenee, thanks to the folks at Facebook.
I also posted this one of 3004T at Eumungerie with an up stock train. I thought few would appreciate it but it does have its rural charm.
And finally, one of my favourite 30Ts - 3127, again at Enfield, hauling a lifeless 36.
So it is a bit of a pain having to run all these 'channels' but it does make for a richer experience, in my humble opinion.