YEP!!!! We have arrived at the second part of this important, well marginally important, report.
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!