Saturday, April 15, 2017

South of the border, down Footscray way

When I was a nipper in the early 1970s the family's white Cortina 440 was pointed south to Melbourne on a couple of school holidays.  Its destination was Geelong Road, Footscray - a gritty place in the 1970s but within a couple of blocks of the mainline (surprise surprise).

You have never experienced cold weather until you too have stood on a pedestrian overpass at Footscray on a May evening waiting for the night trains to come out of Spencer Street. And they were always running late so you ended up just being frozen and Dad would get into trouble... 

It was only marginally warmer in the afternoons, even when the sun was shining.  On Saturday afternoons you could stand at a certain point on the bridge and look westward through a gap between two grandstands to watch the Footscray Bulldogs getting their weekly whipping. That started another passion which went unrequited until last September when they rewarded me with a premiership. But that is another story.

On the upside locos I had never seen before trundled by - along with prehistoric red suburban Tait sets which we never photographed because they were suburbans!   Here's a couple of blurry Agfa images that we did manage to keep from those days (May 1973). Lets start with a W249 with a few four wheelers.

More serious horsepower was caught in nearly the same spot when double Ss came through on the broad gauge.

I do remember the 1974 holidays as being sunnier. And it brought out X37 and GM34 (GM24?) on an interstate freight.

Triple Ts, including T409, were caught the same afternoon... evidence of the third T is circumstantial...

And this T nearly snuck past us the other way...

And I think I'll finish with something that probably nearly didnt make the cut because it was a railmotor but I am kinda glad the trigger was pressed.

Happy Easter all!



  1. These are cracking photos, by the way we won the flag on the 1st of October, and yes it was massive around here, sadly the footbridge was demolished to make way for the extra two tracks for the regional rail link south of the suburban lines.

    Regards Glenn.

  2. Thanks Glenn! Sad to hear that the bridge has gone - always thought it was going to give way under me, even as a 9 year old. I can remember looking out at what was left of the Westgate Bridge in the distance - talking of bridge collapses.

    I have just posted a shot you may know more about in my next blog.