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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.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bellbird, Bundy and Bollocks! Another SMR Adventure. Pt1

PL2 48134 48137 pass Neath with empties bound for Austar (Pelton)

The arrival of 4816 and 48s33 upon SMR metals has had me chomping at the bit to get up there for some photographic coverage.
Numerous days were planned, all of which were shot down due to someones work commitments. Finally all could agree on a day to head north and get that which has been a major cause of minor throsby movement for so very long.

God forbid, only four hours sleep and the alarm starts shrieking out its grotesque sound, a sound comparable to pulling a cat apart and so often cursed when signifying a long day of fun around Darling Harbour.
Once the usual wake up grogginess disappears, it dawns that this was the planned SMR trip and that Terry would soon drag his sorry butt up to the front door and telling me to get in the van.
Hmmm corn flakes or bacon and eggs on the way. Not a hard choice, so one quickly grabbed the usual foamer equipment (camera, note book, hat, frangers) and headed out the door in preparation for Tezza's arrival.
Being on Filipino time ol Tezza turns up 15 minutes late and soon enough we were off to the Burwood Brewery to pick up the 'World Famous Colonel' with his own bag of foamer equipment (alcohol, camera, alcohol).
The offer of Bundy (no thanks dude, I am driving) pretty much set the tone for the trip for the balance of that day and night.

Timing is everything in the gunzel hobby. North of the freeway Caltex we get word that the South Spur train to Pelton had already left Broadmeadow and was enroute to East Greta Junction and points south.
CRAP!!!!
Down on the accelerator, Cessnock exit, then a call to the crew as we approach Neath reveals "We are just arriving at Neath".
CRAP!!!!
A simultaneous arrival at Neath level crossing means buggar all in the way of a shot, so we head off to the Kearsley crossing (home of the famous moose and at least two inbreds) for a rather dark looking shot.
Did little better at Bellbird or Pelton, although much colourful language came forth on the missing of an awesome glint shot between these two locations.

4816 48s33 - dn empty coal - Neath/Bellbird/Pelton

The decision is made to wait for its return, the crew suggesting this would be in an hour.The Colonel was concerned about the wait and his now empty Bundy bottle. He got out of the car and subsequently fell into the boot while trying to get his cameras ready.

Whats wrong with my seat - what you mongrels done to it?

Locations were being tested for possible use when the train departed when we were assaulted from the rear by a surprise PN service coming out of the pit and headed for port.

PL5 48143 48129 PL3 - up coal - Pelton
This was then followed by a number of other interesting rail based movements.


PL5 48143 48129 PL3 catch us by surprise as they depart Austar yard and pass over the road bridge.

Closely following the coal train were two rail mounted vehicles heading north for more track work.

Despite an initial urge to set chase, we decided not to risk the South Spur train and continued waiting, despite knowing that this train in the section added over another hour to the waiting time.

Regular SMR visitors will know the hassles one can have getting
parking around Abermain.

Thankfully our local contact Nathan showed us a brand new undercover
carpark just recently opened at the station.


After another half hour wait two track machines departed the pit and information was sought from the 'Lords of South Spur'. The horrifying news being that the train wont be leaving for at least two hours, with the departing PN train to cross another at East Greta Junction. This second train having to get to Pelton before the sought after one departed.

In Tezza and Colonel time this translated into a 1 1/2 bottle of Bundy wait, so after notifying MrNathan (who was about to join us), we headed for the 'Grumpy Chinese Greasy Takeaway' joint in Cessnock, then Cessnock Cellars for some Colonel medicine and set forth to Abermain station where numerous relics, including ourselves, were inspected until the train arrived.

Finally PL2 48134 48137 arrive at Abermain with a load of empties marking the start, not only of our first serious chase for the day, but the departure of all Colonel's memories.

With breakfast consumed, and usual smutty comments on meeting Nathan dispensed with, we heard the distant a distant horn that could only be from a 48/PL class.
Happy chat turns into the usual panic as foamers bolt towards their earlier chosen photo location just in time to get PL2 48134 and 48137 rounding Abermain platform with the shortened rake of empties.
It has been many years since I saw triples on this line, but for some odd reason Pacific National finds they have a shortage of 48 class units (despite many being in storage) and have, in recent weeks, gone for the shortened consists.
Quick shots were had here, before all attendees set chase, managing to catch it at Neath, Caledonia, Bellbird and Pelton.

PL2 48134 48137 descend Caledonia Bank on the approach to the
former Bellbird Junction.


*** COMING IN PARTS 2 and 3 ***
# The South Spur Coalie!
# The South Spur crew with a pathetic attitude!
# A look inside East Greta Box!
# Colonel declines Bundy Bottle #3 as it is now Tallie time!

1 comment:

Trent said...

Always entertaining as usual Brad, looking forward to parts two and three :D

Trent