The Semi-Retired Foamer has been a railfan since he was around 5 years old, a very young age when one really should avoid being involved with the gunzel community to any great extent. After a few decades of train chasing one decided to break with protocol and get married, thus leading to a severe cut in railfan activity. Subsequent dealings with social misfits, loonatics, mental defectives and self appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation. However things have changed thanks our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learnt to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'..Oh the irony that lays behind that term. _ _
During the week we received news of the upcoming scrapping of numerous steelworks English Electric locomotives down at Port Kembla. It has been a while since I last visited the area, so took the opportunity to travel on down there with Mr Brad Coulter as suss out the current situation with the fleet. During the week, one of the PB class hauled D39, D44, D43, D33, D30 and D41 out of the works and into the Cringila Exchange Sidings. All are due to be hauled to a siding around Outer Harbour, where they will be scrapped. Today, April 15th, we arrived at Cringila and, following some time, we notice D39 had been moved already, with the others remaining in the sidings. The remaining ones are expected to follow shortly, however we tracked D39 too the final siding she will ever visit.
What is particularly upsetting/infuriating about all this, is the fact that some of these locos could have had a new home in a museum. It was not a case of "you cannot preserve everything", these were actually wanted. However, Pacific National, treated the requests with the usual disinterest they show for this sort of thing. The locomotives have little mainline use, so are hardly likely to be used in competition to them. Pacific National insists that they are unable to sell them due to asbestos. Yet former staff of BHP's rail division will tell you how it was all removed. Bringing this up with PN finds a response of deathly silence.
So, for now it seems that the future is grim and, in all likelihood, none of this important Illawarra, and steelworks, history will be saved for future generations. Surely a huge loss. Thank you Pacific National (for nothing)
D39 was the first to be hauled to the killing grounds, either being moved there late Thursday, or during Good Friday. The other five (see photo at bottom) are expected to be moved this week and scrapping to occur soon after.
It had been six years since I last step foot in the Philippines, a combination of a few things leading to the break. Like the last run, it was to be only short. Eight days was my limit and much had to be packed into this time. A 20th anniversary party, catching up with many friends (new and old) and time out photographing the transport. Transport wise, not a huge amount has changed over the past six years. The national railways (PNR) struggle on with little government funding and the overhead systems struggle to cope with patronage well beyond that which they were designed for. Services to Calamba, touted by PNR back in 2011, have still yet to eventuate. As does the return of the Bicol Express. LRT1 and MRT3 are still not connected, either direct or through a common station. While a whole fleet of Chinese vehicles mean't for the MRT3, still langish at the north end of the system, awaiting the day they can be laced in service to assist with the ridiculous peak hour crowds. Point to Point (P2P) buses have become a popular part of the Philippine transport scene, but they are subject to the same horrid traffic problems as the normal services are.
I am currently working of a trip report, a link for which will appear here. However, over the coming weeks the Semi-Retired Foamer will be showing many of the shots taken during this momentous event.
We start with Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport prior to departure.
Welcome to the first of a multi part series looking at Australia Day in Sydney. The day started with the customary look at the heritage buses operated by the Sydney Bus Museum, followed by a journey on the, soon to be withdrawn, Lady Class ferries to Taronga Zoo wharf. Buses and ferries are where my transport interests started decades ago. It was refreshing to spend a day back in that world, well away from the hatred of the railfan hobby. It is intended to spend another day on the Harbour Lady's again soon.
Leylands - Surely the best looking buses to ever ply Sydney roads.
David Oaten was more popular than the buses when it came to photos.
Mr Whippy was a trial build of a bus.
Ladies were over from South Korea purposely to take part in Australia Day.
Jo from Germany turned out to be quite the fan of shipping worldwide. One of about three requests for photos to be emailed.
A Lady that will soon disappear from the harbour.
This guy had me quite fascinated. Thought he trip he had a number of people photograph him holding this sign with a Sydney icon behind him. Asked to take a shot of this going on. Of course it came with a promise to send a copy of the shot again.
The Semi-Retired Foamer and S*M*U*T Modellers Group would like to thank ALCoWorld for all their support over the years. Visit ALCoWorld for all your modelling, book, DVD, magazine, souvenier and other railway hobby news.
For Filipino food, freight and services, we recommend Manila Sunset outside Narwee railway station. Open 7 days.
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Welcome to the Semi_Retired Foamers Blog!
Over the years one builds up an extensive library of train related photos, timetables, documents and other stuff which basically does buggar all other than gather dust. In recent times I have wondered what to do both with these, and all the more current shots, locomotive news and other bollocks I come across while conducting my foamer business. Through this blog I hope to share a lot of this stuff and bore you senseless in the process. Along the way one hopes you will put up with my somewhat unusual sense of humour. Years of putting up with many in the hobby who, well, hmmmmm I suppose you could say lunatic fringe members, has given me more of a view of the hobby as something that is quite a joke. Certainly not the serious thing it once was. Hope you enjoy the bollocks conveyed hearin.