This weekend appears to be the last hurrah for 3642, as it is due to be retired once more. I say once more because it has retired in 1969, 1973 and 1996. So never say 'never', but I suspect its probably the last time that I'll see it run around unless I get to be a very grumpy old man.
Wikipedia tells me that 'locomotive 3642 is two-cylinder, simple, non-condensing, coal-fired superheated, 4-6-0... express passenger steam locomotive built for the NSW Government Railways in 1926 by Clyde engineering'. I had the great pleasure of being primed all over by '42 last Friday on my last trip behind her, but before I get to that shot, here's a few others from years past...
While still in Government service - at Wollongong on a Port Kembla Inner Harbour tour on 3 September 1967.
The following year as a Rail Transport Museum loco - also at Wollongong.
Coupling up to 3651 for a trip up the Hill at Unanderra on 22 June 1969.
At the 'reopening' of Central Station on 28 November 1982.
Back in Wollongong on a Beach Tour in 1983.
On Wentworth Park Viaduct on 31 August 1991.
Heading off to the Southern Highlands for the RTM on 18 September 1994.
On a down Steamfest shuttle at Beresfield on 19 April 2009.
Same even, in 2011, at Maitland.
Shuttling off to Clyde on 11 June 2011.
Off on a Southern Highlander tour, via the Coast: 27 July 2013.
Through Redfern on a shuttle around the suburbs on 28 July 2013.
At rest in Central on 6 June 2014.
Off to Maitland Steamfest on 8 April 2016.
And now, the present... the beginning and the end of my trip last Friday, 13 April 2018.
So, here's to a loco that has spent more time in preservation than in revenue service, and nearly as much time in green as in black... one last look at a very special locomotive, once again in Wollongong in the late 1960s, being admired by the locals.