Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Yeah I know it has some new fancy name and a new design that looks, at best, like a tragic accident between a B-Double and a Mini Cooper, however we are reminiscing back in 1987.
Yeah, its hard to imagine that once this lovely station actually looked like a railway station. Back in the days before the current sort of trash was considered acceptable and used to litter the landscape where once nice structures stood.
Anyway, we are here to talk about trains.
Oh and what a great place Spencer Street was for trains. As a young foamer I used to always salivate in anticipation of the Overland consists. Any combinations of S and X class could be found, however more importantly, those awesome 930s also put in a regular appearance.
Having not got to South Australia by this time, something I still regret, I was only able to witness the 930 class in use around Melbourne. Their use normally limited to the Overland or interstate freights, think they often called them 'Jets', between here and Adelaide.
Back issues of Newsrail are littered with more interesting workings they were involved in while camped out in Victoria. One that, for some reason, always aroused was a trip to Bendigo Racecourse. I think a shot of this movement even made the front cover.
Anyway, a boredom type decision on the 3rd of March 1987 saw me walk from the Victoria Hotel to Spencer Street station to see what was around. It was the middle of the day and at best I was likely to see a N class or a DRC (as opposed to DFC, plenty of which still hang around this station).
So it was that I slowly bollocked my way across to one of the platforms to photograph N456 preparing to depart for Ballarat with a less than exciting rake of passenger cars. The driver hung out the loco and yelled out something that was less than audible over the noise created by Y113 shunting nearby.
The reason for the yelling was soon revealed as 939 chundered up a huge plume of classic ALCo smoke and made her way through the track maze to join the N for her journey westward.
Never did ask the reason why the 930 was there, I was to busy satisfying my carnal railfan desires photographing and checking the loco out.
Obviously I was so excited I never considered a run to the opposite platform for a more sunny side shot.
Still it is one of my favourite 'EARLY' shots in a hobby that still continues to this day, more or less.
What of the locos today!
N456: Well she is still busy hauling passenger trains out of Spencer Street. Hard to believe they are well over 20 years old now. Never really had an appreciation for them back then, though I suppose I have in more recent years.
939: Probably now a Hyundai in Brisbane, having been scrapped back in Adelaide many years ago.
Y113: This unit, along with sisters Y102, 104, 108, 121, 125, 138 and 143, is now owned by the 'Victorian Department of Infrastructure'. They have been in storage around Dynon for as long as I can remember and no word has been mentioned about the future plans for them.
Anyway, can't prattle on here all day, have a party to get to and free Tanduay is on the cards, along with suitably drunken women.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Now I feel I must risk causing readers a major foam excreting moment by admitting something very worrisome . While it is not usually publically advertised, the 'Semi-Retired Foamer' does get a throsby over those tram things, not to mention a very slight tingling when it comes to older buses.
I do hope you will tolerate any wanderings in these direction on the odd occasion and I would appreciate no offers of marriage from DFCs of the bus variety.
Trams, or if you must, Light Rail, have long been an icon of Melbourne. They are as much a part of everyday life in that city as the harbour bridge is in Sydney, or railfan fights in Brisbane.
The cities foresight in keeping them, while all other Aussie cities went down the bus path, has proved in more recent times to have been the wiser ones. While Sydney, the Gold Coast and other cities constantly bollock on with light rail ideas that will never actually happen, Melbourne regularly expands its terrific system.
Indeed Melbournites have cracked extreme wobblies at any suggestion that they should be removed and replaced by, eeekkkk, buses.
In our next installment we shall take a look at the choo choos around Melbourne, including some on trackage no longer served by heavy rail.
Thanks for joining me for an early journey down to Victoria, more specifically Melbourne.
Contrary to what many believe, Melbourne is not actually in Mexico, however regular shuttle flights depart regularly for those stupid enough to make the mistake. There is also some Mexican food and beverage outlets should you have an extended wait for the next plane.
1987 saw my second trip to Melbourne, one that would lead to yearly adventures down there and even, for a short period, a desire to become a resident. To think that I would have actually moved there thinking that trains were a good enough excuse. What a Foamer!!!!!!
This was also in my earlier photographic days so the selection to choose from is not the best. It didn't help that I was in my prime gunzel days and as such needed to capture as much as possible, be damned with the quality.
We departed a very wet and miserable Sydney early on March 2nd on the now deceased 'Intercapital Daylight Express'. Not sure why I chose the train, afterall I was driving by this time, perhaps it was a desire to see what trains would be past enroute.
It was quite likely that I was less than impressed, with the only notes here showing 86??+8603 at Sydney Terminal having arrived from Brisbane, 4808 shunting at Cootumundra and a couple of rubber tyred railmotors at the same location. I do seem to remember 4842 at Harden as well, perhaps my lack of notes was due to not photographing the subjects seen.
Anyway, arrival in Melbourne was after dark so a hasty retreat, past some local derelicts, to the Victoria Hotel in Little Collins Street (does it still exist?) was in order.
PHOTOS: All on 2-3-1987!
Friday, January 18, 2008
Starting with some of my earliest, and most bodgy, photos. All were uncovered recently during the endless cataloguing operation that is going on.
Am told the weather is cold, so best pack a poncho.
See ya all next week.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The collection of tickets shown here are sadly not from my collection (although I am will to accept give aways :-) ) but have been shared by others who thought you may be interested.
All are from the 'South Maitland Railway', which, by now, you would be coming to realise I have a fetish for.
No idea about what dates they were issued, but perhaps some knowledgeable ticket gunzel will be able to enlighten us.
We are exhausted (see photo) after a hard night on the computer.
Unless your suffering sight damage caused by years of personal habits, you will no doubt have noticed that the blog site has changed.
I have long been unhappy with the narrow layout originally used, especially when you have a number of extended articles which seem to go on downwards forever.
While most of you were likely in bed cuddled up and enjoying some sleep, the 'Semi-Retired Foamer' was hard at it redesigning the site, just for the benefit of my readers when they awoke this morning.
It was a long process, but presents are not necessary, however financial gifts will not be declined.
Hopefully we now have a more readable site.
These changes have also been made to my Philippine Railways and Aussie Donks blogsites.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Woken at 7am by a Colonel heading for the throne, I slowly became aware of my location and reason for being there. A greatly relieved, and significantly lighter, Colonel soon returned, along with the custom grunt, and notifies me that the second Pelton (Austar) rake had passed by around 3.30am bound for the mine.
Still half asleep one slowly carried out ones morning duties in slow motion fashion, I mean five hours sleep just don't cut it, and we packed everything back in the car before heading up to the local servo in search of breakfast material.
As always, the little Indian servos hot food section was not open and we decided that it may be best to transplant our bott botts down to Neath station, guessing that the train could not be to far from returning.
In a stroke of luck, far removed from usual gunzel way, our arrival at the station was greeted with a PL class headlight ablaze in the distance. The great length of straight back in the Caledonia direction, coupled with the slow speeds, mean't we still had a good five minutes to run around like dogs on heat looking for the perfect location.
PL3 48120 134 143 up coal Neath 07.54
As always, the passing of the train resulted in a mad rush back to the care in order to set chase.
After briefly sussing out a new location at Abermain for later in the day, we got ahead of our quarry as it aproached Kurri North. Quick shot and it was off to East Greta station (as opposed to junction) where I hightailed it across the ruins of the former mine and reached an elevated location I have long wished to use.
Again the slow speeds were of great benefit, allowing us to negotiate some road work and still be there with five minutes to spare. This all proved even more handy given the huge amount of speed traps deposited by recently resident bovine.
Again it was time for a location change with The Colonel desiring some North Coast action, and me a bit of the long awaited breakfast. Headed to a small shopping centre in Telarah and negotiated a sea of western type hornbags in order to obtain breakie. Hmmm bacon and egg sandwiches, only marred by the drowning in, what had to have been, a whole bottle of BBQ sauce.
A brief check of the board at Paterson revealed nothing so we moved on the Martins Creek so the Colonel could partake in some sunny shots of the station (hands up those who thoughts I was going to say alcohol!!!!) which had eluded him in the past.
On arrival we were greated by a green on the up, again it was panic mode as a crane was blocking the usual location and we really had no idea of where it was.
NR18 NR21 up conts Martins Creek 09.09
Huntercar dn pass Martins Creek
A quick pie stop at Paterson for the Colonel before more green signals were noted on the down.
2015 2014 dn XPT Paterson 10.23
Finally the SMS start rolling in. Alec and friend going to check out relics of the SMR, while MrNathan is up for meeting us at East Maitland, an overused hack spot, but with a nice bend and lots of trains.
8211 8140 8249 8216 up coal 11.44
** My 8216 has again hunted me down and well away from the usual south coal stamping ground.
8205 8183 8251 dn mt coal 11.57
NR22 NR121 up conts 12.23
5011 5007 up coal 12.31
8224 8227 8137 up coal 12.38
** 8137 having replaced the 48 class from the mega combo the day before.
NR77 NR34 dn conts 12.44
9025 9018 9005 dn mt coal 13.02
Then it was RED ALERT time again!!
PL3 48120 48134 48143 dn mt coal to Austar 13.12
Another run back to the cars for a chase to the East Greta bridge hack spot, followed by a dash to Abermain to try out the location found earlier in the day. A last shot was got on a S bend in the area approaching Austar.
My theory that the second set would be at the loader was checked and proved correct. So it was we decided to head back for Bellbird and do the long walk along the deep cutting to reach the former Kalingo line bridge.
PHOTO: MrNathan on the former Kalingo line bridge at Bellbird.
It would be our only chance for a shot of this train, but as we were needing to return to Sydney (impatient wife) we thought it to be worth it. Indeed it has been many years since I last used it, back when car access was possible.
Despite the long walk we still had about ten minutes to wait. Time well spent photographing both the bridge and the former railway formations in the area.Eventually the train was seen passing the relics of Bellbird Colliery before entering the deep and narrow cutting. Today, as one watches the ALCos and coal hoppers sway to and fro, its hard to imagine that once upon a time two tracks passed through here.
Gradually PL2 PL5 48129 PL7 passed underneath and disappeared off into the distance, rounding a curve that would aim them in the direction of the former Bellbird Junction.
The day was ended with another visit to the 'Grumpy Chinese Woman Takeaway' for some lunch. He we said farewell to MrNathan before driving back to Sydney, me taking the wheel as the Colonel was suffering heavily the effects of 'NO' alcohol all morning.
Another great Hunter trip was complete.
Thanks to Colonel for making his car available for the trip, as well as the great company along the way. Thanks also to MrNathan, Alec/Friend, Timmaayy and the SinCity couple for ensuring it was one of the best trips yet.
Looking forward to the next time we all converge at the Neath Hotel.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Failed to mention in 'Part 1' that our little stopover for a photo at East Greta led us to meet Victoria's 'Peter Sweeten" and local identity, Brian Atkin.
It was pure coincidence they were there and a pleasant surprise. Sadly neither were able to make it to the Neath night, but, quite possibly, it was fortunate for Pete's wife :-)
Anyway on with the report.
Ahhhhh road repairs, the nightmare of many a motorcading foamer. Alas this was what we found for the first few kilometres out of Cessnock on the road to Branxton. What should have been a reasonably quick trip turned into a bit of a slow nightmare, resulting in the missing of one train while approaching our destination station.
Hardly a spirit busting disappointment though, just another 'Pacific National' coalie with a selection of 82/90 class up front. Not as if they are a huge rarity in these parts afterall.
The 'Foamer Convoy' all soon arrived at a previously quiet Branxton station and set about picking a location in order to get the approaching empty coalie with 9026 9033 9004 at the 'point' (a irritating term initiated, it seems, by mags in the USA and grabbed by at least one railway publication out here). The afternoon sun making this quite a nice location at this time of year, even if the heat prevented us from a stroll on down to a location on the Ayrefield branch that was preferred.
The Colonel, who had previously sunk three VB tallies, filled the subsequent train movement void with educational material he had prepared earlier. His 'Burwood Bullfrog' impersonation has to be heard to be believed, while the following mating call of the 'Kearsley Moose' almost had us believe that a pack of randy wilderbeast would soon be at our doorstep.
Alas it all soon became to much and the Colonel decided to retire to the platform surface for some well earned rest.
The arrival of Timmaayy Gray (Portlink refugee and Railway Digest extraordinaire) broke a quiet moment where we all started pondering the meaning of railfan life and why we bother with it.
9026 33 04 dn mt coal 16.29
9030 06 8225 dn mt coal 16.35
9014 15 02 up coal 16.46
** 9015 was coated in a thick layer of oil that would rival any former LVRF 44 class!
8243 42 8138 8210* dn mt coal 16.56
With all attendees hankering for a good drink or ten, it was now that we decided to retire to the Neath Hotel for one of our customary railfan nights there. Right on queue with our arrival was the passing of 48134 120 137 PL3 on their return from the mine.
Now the Neath Hotel is a very historic and friendly location, more info on which can be found HERE! The owners are always happy to welcome fellow dribbly foamers and their accommodation rates are great.
The occasional railfan nights are arranged here, further information on upcoming events can be gained by emailing the 'Semi-Retired Foamer' at the address on our front page.
Food and booze, alongside a historic and operational coal line. What could possibly be better? Well perhaps the latest rail news chat, railfan gossip and endless jokes. Even Mrs Sincity seemed accustomed to the, shall we say spicy, conversation topics.
It went on for hours, broken only for 30 minutes when, along with MrNathan, we headed south along the track from Neath station in search of an abandoned junction.The approaching darkness saw us dump the search for now and hed back to, ahhhmmmmm, some even more unsavoury gossip as to what we went off to actually do. PERVERRRRRRRTS!
Alas all to soon it was time for the young Timmaayy to head on home, followed soon after by the Sincity party. Eventually it was left to just Alec, the Colonel and myself to witness the 00.30 passing of PL2 PL5 48129 PL7 with another rake of empty hoppers headed back to Austar.
With the second set still hours away we to decided to call it a night and head off to bed. SEPERATELY OF COURSE! Deviants :-)
Day two and thus the end of our report to be done in coming days!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Continuing the '48 Class Weekathon' we take a look at 4896 during the very early 90s.
Nowdays 4896 is in the old blue Freightcorp livery and owned by Pacific National. However back in the good ol government owned days she wore two other liveries, the original Indian red livery and the shortlived 'Red Terror'.
Both shots here were taken at Port Botany, at the site of the former Beauchamp Road level crossing. The original livery shot was taken in 1990, with the red one being December 1991.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
4841 ALLCO, stored Broken Hill
4842 ALLCO, stored Parkes
4843 ALLCO, 48s35
4846 Pacific National, stored Parkes
4847 CFCLA, stored Islington (SA)
4848 Pacific National PL1
4849 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4850 Pacific National, in service
4851 Pacific National, in service
4852 Pacific National, stored Lithgow
4853 Pacific National, in service
4854 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4855 Pacific National, stored Delec
4856 Pacific National PL7
4857 CFCLA, stored Islington (SA)
4859 Pacific National, stored Port Augusta
4860 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4861 Pacific National, stored Delec
4862 Pacific National, stored Delec
4864 Pacific National, stored Port Augusta
4865 Pacific National, in service
4866 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4867 Pacific National PL6
4868 Pacific National PL4
4869 Pacific National, in service
4870 Pacific National PL3
4871 Pacific National PL2
4872 Pacific National, stored Port Augusta
4873 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4874 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4875 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4876 Pacific National, in service
4877 Pacific National, stored Werris Creek
4878 Pacific National, stored Port Augusta
4879 Pacific National, stored Delec
4880 Pacific National, stored Delec
Again not much in the way of dates as none of these have been catalogued. All from during the 90s.
4877 4876 4871 48?? on an empty coal train passing Millerbung Creek headed for Pelton on the 'South Maitland Railway. 90s.
4843 4907 4912 4911 passes through Gelco with a load of oil wagons from Botany. Nov 91.
4849 4804 pass Wongawilli Junction (Brownsville) with an up gravel. 1991
4848 4852 48140 3505 negotiate Maldon Curve with a down empty wheat. The 3505 was enroute to Junee where she rots to this day.
Hope you like your 48 class! Following on from Stuart's 'Model Trains and Things' blogsite weekend 48othon, we will be having a 48 weekathon showcasing these great little locomotives that have served NSW so well, for so long!
For even more shots, check out Stuarts site. It will be permanently linked to this blogsite for easy future access by our readers.
Photo: 4846 is seen departing ANL at Port Botany on the 15th of May 1992. Anyone able to pick something wrong with the livery?
Saturday, January 5, 2008
No real theme, just a few items from the the collection that have been dredged up in recent days.
Used to get a Dayrover every weekend. There was many differing designs over the years, however, as yet, I have been unable to locate a strange wide cardboard variety I once got in Newcastle.
One of the more common locations that I can be found is Belfield on the goods lines. While it dosen't get an incredible amount of use nowdays, the overhead still exists here. However one can get around this bollocks to achieve a half decent shot.
1427 (Push/Pull) containers from Port Botany to Minto pass through Belfield with 4703 coming up the rear. Hmmmmm sounds a little unsavoury. These fugly locos imported second hand from Denmark are making their presence felt around Sydney nowdays.
K206 (English Electric) passes through earlier in the day with the Mannway trains from Leightonfield to Port Botany. This service is run by 'South Spur Rail', you can click HERE for an earlier rant about this company.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Whats this amazing class of ALCo branchliners up to as we enter 2008?
4801-4840 Compiled: January 4th 2008 Brad Peadon
4801 Stored for preservation, Redfern.
4803 Operational, Rail Transport Museum
4805 Stored for preservation, Redfern.
4806 PN, stored at Delec.
4807 Operations, ARHS ACT (from Junee Roundhouse)
4809 ALLCO, Stored and decrepit at Chullora
4811 ALLCO 48s36 (stored Parkes?)
4812 Recently sold as CAR1 to Junee Railway Wksp from Graincorp.
4813 Operational, Genessee & Wyoming Austraia as 906.
4814 Operational, Junee Railway Workshops
4815 ALLCO 48s34
4816 Operational, Junee Railway Workshops
4818 Stored, Pacific National, Werris Creek.
4819 Operational, Railcorp
4820 Junee Railway Workshop, half rebuilt.
4821 Operational, Goulburn Roundhouse
4822 Preserved, Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum.
4825 ALLCO 48s32
4827 Operational, Railcorp
4828 ALLCO, stored Broken Hill
4829 ALLCO 48s33
4832 CFCLA, stored Islington (SA)
4833 Operational, Privately owned, Goodwin ALCo Pty Ltd
4834 CFCLA, stored Islington (SA)
4836 Operational, Junee Railway Workshop
4837 ALLCO, stored Broken Hill
4838 ALLCO 48s37
4806 4825 sit at Cootamundra on the 3rd of January, 1988.
4806 'BRUCE' at Delec.
4807 leaves Botany for the former AMPOL branch. In the foreground is the old Chinese market gardens which have long since been replaced with three extra tracks.
4836 4811 arrive at Cooks River on the 25th of January 1992. 4836 is seen in a special livery to mark the 125th anniversary of NSW railways.
Sources: LocoPage, The_NSWGR_48_class_fans Yahoogroup and personal records. Brad Coulter