Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bomen fuel trains

I haven't posted for so long I had forgotten my password, so apologies for those who check this site regularly for updates. This update is particularly for those of you who are KGB spies checking Australian rail fan sites (thanks Google Analytics for help with my target audience).

Anyway, I thought a reflection on a particular train that no longer runs with stuff that the railways don't cart so I can't be accused of being disloyal to the monarch. It will also give me a chance to test whether I can successfully link videos out of my Flickr site into blog posts.

Lets start with a couple of snaps...

The Junior Hunter and yours truly took a couple of days in October 2002 in Bundanoon.  Here's the train absolutely flat out on 9 October, with 8129, 8125, 48151 and 4887 up front.

And in a flash it was gone...

 And here is (hopefully) a link to the same train:

The next day it was still 8129 & 8125 up front, but 8046 had replaced the little Alcos. Still going like the clappers.  We did manage to interrupt eating our cream buns for morning tea to get these shot, so please excuse the (signal) pole.

 And the link for the train...

I have a few other shots and videos of this train on my Flickr site for those who want to hunt them down, but I suspect even my KGB friends don't have the patience or overtime budget for that task.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Skillion roof stations

It takes a special sort of person, called an architect, to come up with a design for a railway station building that shields intending passengers from the elements until that moment when the rain overwhelms the gutters just as the train pulls into the station. 

Even I think I can spot a design flaw there somewhere here...I think I particularly like the way a skillion roof can take water from the building's entire surface area and tip it over the only side needed for the building's purpose.  But they do look nice and are easier to model so lets have a look at a few I have passed by over the years.

And lets start with Gilmore as its a place that gets a fair amount of rain - I think this example wasn't far from getting the bulldozer when I snapped it around 1981.

I think I took this one of Stroud Road in 1984 or 1985. It took me a fair while to line the pole up in the middle of the photograph, so I hope you appreciate it.

Stocky has always been a favourite of mine... four skillion roofs, at four different angles.

Eumungerie is home base for my paternal line... which explains the persons lurking in this 1963 photo.

But the example I liked the best was Gulgong.  I think the building has since been restored but in 1995 it was ruggedly dilapidated.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Few Hours on the River

The River Hawkesbury, that is.  In this second installment from Ian Brady there is a selection of action shots from 24 November 1956.  In my humble opinion just about every one of them is brilliant, even if they may have seemed a bit prosaic at the time to him. Read my previous post if you want to know more about how and why I am presenting another photographer's efforts, but lets get on with the action.

I have no way of knowing what order these are supposed to be so lets start with the start or the end of the journey.  It is labelled as the 'Chips' which seems reasonable.  What I didn't know is that the Railways Administration were guilty of inflicting FGs on the good citizens of the Blue Mountains.  Thought only the southern highlanders and south coasters were that unlucky.  Anyway, here's 4607 at the head of the Chips.

Now, up to the River.  In the hope that someone recognises Ian or whoever this person is, here's a partially obscured tender from 5611. The tender lettering looks like one of my decalling efforts.

Onto the steam action.  Ian may have reflected that he hit the button a fraction early on this shot of a 59 leading a Garratt down Cowan Bank, but I love the result. Poles are up, but no wires at this stage.

Anyone who wants to guess the number of this 38, you are welcome to post your guess in the comments below. Guessing its the Midday Flyer. I reckon its number is somewhere between 06 and 30 (inclusive) and not 13. Yes, I am being a smarty pants.

Better job on working out this one - 3816 also moving a seven car Flyer service at great speed.

And Ian wrapped up his photography that day with snagging 4014 as it emerged from the tunnel. Might even be a greenie?

More to come at a later time.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

A lucky find

Through the generous efforts of my mate, Mad Dog, I have received a collection of photographs from the mid 1950s.  These photographs appear to have been taken by a member of the Australian Railway Historical Society, who could have been a Mr Ian Brady.  

I am probably never going to find out how these photos went out of Mr Brady's possession (or his family's possession) and into mine, but I will be eternally grateful for the diligence and awareness that Mad Dog showed in snaffling these packets for photos at Rozelle Markets a couple of months ago. If any one knows more about Mr Brady or these photos, I would appreciate comments on this post.

Anyway, Mad Dog sent me the following photo a couple of months ago out of the blue.  It shows 3501 at Zig Zag at the head of the 1954 ARHS Annual Outing - as rail tours were called in those days.

Its funny what the brain stores away.  It took about 10 minutes to discover nearly the identical photograph leading the January 1955 ARHS Bulletin, with the credit going to Ian Brady. 

It was only yesterday when I got the full batch of photos (which I will paste here in due course and over on my Flickr page (Don5617) that it we were able to confirm that there shots were from the same person.  

So, I never met you Mr Ian Brady but you were a fine photographer and, as the following and other posts will show, had a sense of getting into the right spot to get something a bit special. I have started scanning a few in low res, as its the scanner most accessible at the moment. At some stage I will re-scan them to the level they deserve.  

So, lets have a look at just a few more from that day - which was 14 November 1954, incidentally. Sneaking a shot from platform 16 at the start of the day caught the sunny side of the loco, along with the crew setting up the headboard.

 I think this next shot is taking water at Lawson. The report in the Bulletin lists this as the location where this occurred. The Bulletin noted that the train did not stop at Valley Heights for an assistant engine which meant the Nanny 'put her back into it' on the climb up the Hill.

Leaning out of the carriage, Mr Brady almost pulls off a ripper of a 58 at the landmark - near Katoomba.

And leaving Katoomba, headed west. Apologies for the wonky scan.

Then at Zig Zag where the tour stopped for a 2 hour picnic.

The loco worked into Lithgow for a spin on the table.

It wasn't all 3501 - 2608 got snapped.

Double standard goods locos worked east with a fast goods.

Then the last shots of the day from the Zig Zag where the train is approaching to collect the 207 happy picnickers.

The Bulletin article finishes with a full half page of thank yous, as outings in those days were run with the full co-operation and grace of the railway administration. I am going to conclude in a similar vein.  Thank you, Mr Ian Brady, for your efforts nearly 63 years ago. And thank you Mad Dog for being on the spot and thinking of your railway nut mate.

Many more great shots to come!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Preservation is not for ever

Was cruising through some shots from 2007 this morning and was just surprised by how much things have changed in the 'heritage' or 'preservation' scene in NSW.

It has to be said. I miss the Cocky. A regular heritage train, keeping the momentum of preservation alive. 4908 and 4833 on the Cocky on 14 March 2007.

A few from Koolewong on 14 April 2007 as positioning runs were made for the Maitland Steam Festival that year. Will start with 01 doing what it had done for 60+ years.

Thankfully (at least one) 01 is still going. And looks better than ever.

3112 is a terrific little loco. Hope it runs once more.

While we are in Koolewong, here's a resplendent 4918 on 4 August 2007.

Some other things were different in 2007 - like the cameras in mobile phones were truly crap. Here a night shot of MZ1432 at Gosford on tour on 7 May 2007 tested my phone's capabilities and found them wanting. 

So, jut like the 'real thing', photograph the preservation scene before it too has gone.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jumbos in Govt Service

I have about 10 minutes before I head to bed but I thought I should just keep the blogger-verse populated with a few more rail shots.  I do like 442s of all hues so here is a few...

As delivered - 44237 on a down wheat at Bundanoon at the end of a very hot day in January 1981.

By 1985 when the following shot was taken, the high visibility 'reverse' livery was just looking a bit daggy and drab.

The candy era looked good on Jumbos - 44208 and 44211 are about to take me south from Brisbane on the Limited in April 1989.

I also thought the FreightCorp/FreightRail Blue looked good on these locos.

These fine beasties have worn many a hue since leaving Government service.  I'l leave those to another time. Will leave you with one more original from January 1981 - this time its 44223 on the Southern Highlands Express at Bundanoon. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stanwell Park

I have been digging around the family photo archive once more, looking for locations which would have imperiled the photographer.  My mob aren't great tree climbers so I am indebted to my ground-hogging father, grandfather and uncle who decided to set off one Sunday morning to tackle the black snakes of Stanwell Park.

Their courage/stupidity enabled them to snap a shot of a 50 heading away from the coast with a full load of Port Kembla fertiliser, bound for some lucky farmers.

Sadly, because it was a Sunday, the Railways used spare diesel loco capacity rather than steam locos.  It resulted in this rather glorious shot of a 44 headed south with what looks like the South Coast Daylight Express (in the form of a 6 car L set), top and tailed with a few additional cars of varying vintage. While its a great shot I can't help thinking what it would have looked like with a black pig up front.

Next up - same type of loco, different train.

Steam was seen on another date at this location, in the form of 3801 on a tour. Do not adjust your monitors - it is black and white.

As is this one of a five car Budd set

Back to colour and across the other side of the viaduct, another 44 on a Sydney-bound five-car set of heavies.  An independent 6th car was tucked in behind the Alco.

And though there were three photographers, there was only one camera - so the shots from this day are few.  I will leave you with just one more - a 44 snout shot.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Junior's efforts Part II

I just came across a small pile of digital files (if digital can be stacked) from Junior's rail travels about a decade ago.  Damn child always had a better eye for things - and a better camera - so these are a standard above the usual shown on this blog.   

First up a couple of West Ryde visitors.  Silverton's 442s6 leads 4872 and 442s3 on 1441 up containers at West Ryde on 23 January 2006.

A bit later on on the same day the pleasing combination of JL404, 4472, 4458 and 4488, passed through the same location with 4168 up LVRF containers. Good to note that all bar 4472 are still trawling around pretty regularly.

Over to Marrickville now to find 4833 coming up the grade with an XPT carriage in tow on 1 May 2006.

Down south to Maldon for the afternoon steelie with NR7 and NR113 up front on 13 July 2006.

Further south to Werai this time NR113 is leading another NR and another on 27 April 2006.

Over to the coast for 2204, 2208 and semi-obscured 3102 on a down ARG flour at Scarborough on 13 December 2007.

Moving over the border and forward two years to April 2008 the lad was track side at Tottenham to get NR79.

And NR75 around the same area.

And then he started photography of ballast - which led him ultimately to a science degree with a geology major, but that is another story.

More ballast - at night - at Goobang Junction.

I will sign off with his shot of the crossing arm at Koolewong crossing going up or down.