Sunday, April 30, 2017

View from the Hill

We always knew it as Lithgow Hill growing up. Unless there was a flat tyre, an overheated engine or a passenger requiring medical treatment, this was the first stop on our sojourns to points west for family-related purposes. Others know the location as the PoW Memorial on Chifley Road. 

The best part about getting to the Hill was the chance to sus out what was in Lithgow loco. In the mid-60s this was easy as deforestation was a civic virtue. Over the last 50 years vegetation has taken back the Hill, as the following shots show.  Hardly worth stopping these days, unless you are prepared to climb a gummy.

These first two shots are (I think) from 1964/65 or so.  The first shows a garratt in the garratt siding, and the second has a couple of 36s arriving from the west.

While the roundhouse lasted another 20 years it was usually stuffed with brown diesels so we didn't photograph it (grrrr). By July 1986 it was gone and replaced with this shiny facility. Triple 85s can be seen getting away for a run up to Zig Zag.

In the following October it was looking a bit more lived in - with a few vintage Alcos taking up residence.  The first fronds also make an appearance.

By the early 1990s the disturbing practice of kneecapping 46s was underway. The following shot from 4 October 1993 shows 48s, 80s, a 73, 46s and an 86 in the shed nearest the Hill.

By January 1996 the trees were growing, the shed seemed emptier and the list of 46s awaiting their fate had grown past 20.

This final shot was also from January 1996. It was very much a sneak through the branches. On the upside it showed Alcos.

These days I don't even stop and I reckon the area might have just a few snakes waiting for the next photographer.


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