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, lunatics, mental defectives and self-appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation.
However things have changed thanks to our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learned to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'.
.Oh the irony that lays behind that group name and the person who set it up..
We occasionally publish information on the locomotives, and rollingstock, from railways in Australia and the Philippines.
All are available for

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bulldogs! Why the obsession?

Bulldogs! Its the nickname given to EMD locomotives with those huge big round noses at the front.

They have certainly built up a large legion of fans who develop strange tingles on hearing their bark coming up a steep grade or roaring out of a yard.

Its a fetish I have never been able to understand, afterall we have the lovely 44 class, but none the less much foam is dropped at the site of them. Indeed some magazines have made a living out of them.

Still as dribblers we are lucky to have such old derelicts in the country and must appreciate them while we do.

Sadly one day they will be all worn out and be good for little more than melting down to make more cr, ahhmmm quality Korean car products.

Of course I am just talking about the Bulldogs. We all know ALCos never wear out.

7-7-2007 GM22 GM27 Port Botany

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Toronto Station

Ahhhh Toronto, the terminus station of a closed branchline which opened in 1891 and connected with the main Sydney to Newcastle at Fassifern.

The Hunter region once had 'MANY' interesting branchlines that have been raped and pillaged over the years. It was always the place of choice to head when this little foamer had a day to spare and much film to trash.

Toronto was usually the first port of call on a Hunter day trip. It not only provided a virtually guaranteed shot of a railcar (on this occasion the now withdrawn 669/769), it was also convenient to a morning worth of coal train chasing along the, also now closed, line to the Lambton and John Darling collieries on the former line to Belmont.

Alas another of lifes joys was destroyed due to the usual arrogant disinterest of the New South Wales government when the line was closed during 1990, the usual bollocks and crying about their not being able to afford to upkeep a line that our taxes pay for anyway.

Arrival at Toronto station on the last night found quite a party atmosphere taking place as people came out to say goodbye to their bloved train and to express their unhappiness with the decision.

While the transport minister was probably curled up in bed dreaming of other branchlines to violate, a four car set turned up to cover the huge amount of passengers now expected to ride the last service. A decision which proved to be a wise one as the night continued and more people ventured on down to their station

With the final train about to depart a local who had fought hard to save the line clambered up on to front of the rear car and started screaming out to all the attendees. It took an extended amount of time to convince him to remove himself and come aboard for the sad last run.

The run back to Fassifern was a very strange mixture of fun and sadness. It was to be the last time I would ever have such a chance, each time the wheels turned it brought me ever closer to a closing chapter in my life, yet how could you not have fun with the party going on? This wasn't a dribbly special, this was a party that would not be forgetten as long as I have breath in me.
The trip was thankfully lengthened by the regular activation of the emergency brakes (not by myself I should point out).

The end came when passengers left the train at Fassifern. It was all over, there would never be the chance to ride back to Toronto.

It was indeed fitting in many minds, if not in expected social standards, that as the train left many lined the platform and urinated on the side as the train headed for Broadmeadow.

There were plans to operate the line as a tourist ype railway but this seems to have fallen through and a cycleway has now been layed along the ROW, in most cases to the side of the rails in case it should ever reopen (surely a pipe dream).

The photo here shows 669/769 after arrival at Toronto in the lines final year. The station building still exists as a museum.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cudgewa Before Human Vermin Move In!

Back in 1988-89 I was at the peak of foamerdom and had joined the many others endeavouring to cover as much of the Flying Scotsman as possible. While I was unable to get the coverage of such gunzel icons as Mad Phil, I did get around to some of the more major occasions.

A extended trip of the Scotman from Melbourne to Alice Springs (I think) was the catalyst for a planned long weekend of gunzelling from Albury to Parkes. A trip subsequently caught short at Bethungra by a misbehaving fuel pump on the old Coronabox.

Despite a long overnight journey from Sydney to Albury (via Cootamundra) we decided to fill in a few hours before hotel check in (I had yet to discover the time passing benefits of Tanduay Rum) by following the old branchline from Wodonga to Cudgewa.

This was a rather hilly and extremely scenic line, virtually guaranteeing a railfan throsby back in the days when trains once travelled to and fro.
An initial stop was made at Huon to check out the rotting remains of the ill-fated museum that was to operate out of here. The project, lke so many others, did not reach fruition and the collection has been scattered elsewhere.

Unike NSW it was interesting to see all tracks had been removed but so many structures still remained, at least they did back then.

The terminus turned out to be a dribblers delight with most structures still intact with just the trackage removed. Many photos were taken prior to heading back the way we had come for a day of sleeping before chasing the Scotsman to Wagga and points north.

I've recently been told that this lovely station building has subsquently been destroyed along with most other structures along the line.


The mysterious tittie loco!

Ahhhh yes, the mysterious tittie loco as apearing in my first blog turned up around Sydney lately.

What these strange pictures on the side of 4497 mean has been a source of great concern for the local railfans who have never seen such things. Is Independant Rail selling watermelons? Are they supposed to be pillows?

Ahhh yes much confusion has been unleashed on the local gunzel community!

Perhaps one of the gunzel rags will hold the answer to this greatest of mysteries, a mystery equal in the railfan universe to the best Fox and Scully ever had to deal with. Perhaps the answer lays with your mum and the earliest days of your existence.

The Semi-Retired Foamer sensed the urgency of this mystery and hunted the offending locomotive down. It was found hiding, not extremely well, at the Chullora railway workshops. The strange scribings have been hidden from passing traffic and are only availale to the very fortunate few railway workers who frequent this location.


Welcome to the LocoShed BLOG!

Hello all,

I admit that I am a former foamer. I know, 'railfan' is the more accepted terminology, however looking at what the hobby is producing nowdays you can't help but wonder if 'foamer' is far more descriptive.

After more than 25 of being a foamer I find myself with thousands of photos sitting in albums and doing just about buggar all. Oh what to do with these gems of the past, so long forgotten and seemingly of little use to the dribbly magazines thrown at us nowdays.

The result of all this effort is this blog. It will not be based on any particular topic, it will just cover many random topics (info and photos) from my past years as a foamer and those times I get out nowdays.

For the modern day foamer I shall put up some of the latest news happening in the more interesting locomotive fleets and perhaps even the occasional fleetlist if I can be bothered.

So sit back with your box of tissues and try to enjoy my regular bollocking on about the railways of Australia, with the occasional extensions to exotic locations like the Philippines and Fiji.