Given I have been photographing since the early 80s, it is inevitable that many of the sights I once knew to be common are now long gone.
Quite possibly one of my largest regrets, other than not going to asia before I was married, is ignoring the use of double 73 class on metro goods trains around Sydney.
Yep, those things were everywhere, I mean, who needs to go out of their way to get photos of this dreary everyday operation that, no doubt, everyone else is covering? Besides the 73 class would not be got rid of, they were here to stay.
Hmmmmmmmm, yes well time was to prove otherwise and thus I found myself outside the, then, ANL terminal at Port Botany on the 16th of December, 1989, waiting for what was to be my last sighting of double 73 class on container trains, well at least for 17 or so more years.
Standing next to each other were 7341+7343 (both resplendant in clean red terror livery), while next to them, at the other end of the livery scale, were 7350+7306.
The crossing lights are activated and out they come, both trains close behind each other, with the featured pair above being second.
Well time marches on and the 73s became useless in this day and age of heavier trains requiring heavier locomotives. Yet 18 years on both locomotives have managed to survive being scrapped or conversion to sugarfield locomotives.
7306 was eventually purchased by Mackay Sugar and remains stored at North Eton (outside Mackay in Queensland). Many of her sisters have been converted for cane haulage work on 2ft gauge, however further conversions are not considered viable at the moment.
7350 now resides at Rothbury in the care of the 'Hunter Valley Railway Trust'. It is not currently know if it is in an operational condition or not. Talk is that this museum will be moving to East Greta Junction in the near future and it would be expected that 7350 will follow them, the first 73 there since 7307 was sold to Patrick Rail.
Ahhhh yes, speaking of 7307. Both her and 7321, another locomotive previously stored at North Eton (even more earlier preserved at Goulburn) were purchased by Patrick Rail and were restored to service in that companies lovely red livery.
Ironically they are now based at Port Botany again and yep, shunting container trains around the wharves.
Last thing I would have ever guessed when taking this shot.