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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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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bellbird, Bundy and Bollocks! Another SMR Adventure. Pt2


With the end of the line fast approaching we followed another car into a location between Bellbird and Pelton for one last shot, a trailing one given the train was tailing us closer than a randy sheep in Wellington.
Again we found ourselves awaiting the departure of the South Spur coalie headed back to port, the whole reason we were in attendance during the day.
Colonel went on to discuss trains with the railfan in the other car, who, it turned out, was Peter Cousins. Peter is a local railfan who, despite many many Hunter sojourns, I had never met in the past.
Indeed given the many tales told, perhaps he wishes he had chosen another location to set up for the train. Sadly the unusual tales of disgraceful behaviour at Neath railfan nights has probably turned him off altogether, I mean even the local bull ants were seen running for cover from the fountain of smutty phrases being spurted forth.

Thankfully the sound of 48 class horns were heard from the Pelton direction and the train chugged its way towards us before any arrests were made.


4816 48s33 - up containerised coal

The panic again sets in. Where to next? Where will the sun be? Will we make Bee Siding and also East Greta? Did I take the cat out of the microwave?
For many years I have used what is commonly referred to as the usual SMR hack spots. Any fan knows them, Weston footbridge, Neath station, East Greta road bridge, just to name a few. Seems all the shots are taken in these places, myself being very guilty of this in the late 80s and through the 90s.

4816 48s33 departs Austar!

We decided to follow Peter to a new spot just out of Cessnock where the sun was stunning, then up to near Bellbird Junction which is one I have only began using more recently. Twas this later location where one set the camera wrong and ballsed up the shot to mammoth proportions.
While my fault, it gave me yet another convenient reason to swear profanities at the digital technology we are having rammed down our throats nowdays.
Give me my good ol film cameras any day. Rarely a hassle and results I continue to be more happy with. Digital however remains the camera type of choice for excessive hornbag photography where one must take many to get that special hornbag shot.

Now these few times the train past I did note the driver yelling out things. I thought he was being friendly until it was mentioned that it was actually abuse we were receiving.
It was quality abuse too, the words getting more fruity as time passed and more shots got. We had even reached 'F' words by the time Neath came around.
Perhaps at this point in time I should offer an apology for my years of hating FC and later PN train crews. Their attitudes had always been pathetic at best, the worst I had ever encountered, or it it then seemed.
South Spur crew attitudes make the worst of the old FC people seem like priests in comparison. While many a good people, it does seem that the vast majority do have pond scum type qualities.
The crew on this day were certainly from the more offensive end of humanity and probably as good a example as any as to why I dislike most dealings with them, indeed I dislike breathing the same air, living in the same country, existing on the same planet.
Oh what a pitiful life these blokes must lead outside work. Perhaps they should consider topping themselves! PLEASE!
Still, while leading the pack in rudeness, they do have competitors in Cityrail (Hunter region) who think nothing of sticking up the finger, or even screaming swear words at you in front of their customers.
It should be said though, that I can't recall one negative memory regarding the Pacific National Hunter Coal division. Nine times out of ten one will be exchanging friendly waves with passing crews.

4816 48s33 passes the location of Bee Siding!
Plus the crew member with the colourful array of words!

Christ, where was I?

Despite very inconvenient roadwork being conducted at Abermain, we managed further shots at Swamp Creek, Neath, Bee Siding (which MrNathan so kindly guided us to) and at East Greta, after a quick sprint over the old mine area.

4816 48s33 approaching East Greta station.

The distance from the car, and Colonel's urgent need to download 'Bundy Bottle #1' meant a slow departure from this final location and an inability to reach the junction in time to receive would final serving of good ol Scumbag's obscenities.

Oh what to do now? The choices came forth.
1) Chase it onwards to port and get it unloading.
2) Go to Warabrook - not many trains but plenty of hornbags.
3) Get lunch.
4) Head to the nearby road bridge over the main north for some coalies.

While negotiations took place, our now very jovial Colonel asked for permission to have a look inside the signal box, something I have long held a desire to do.

Signalman Terry at the ready!

Thankfully permission was gained and we all headed in just before a customary Maitland rain storm past overhead. Many photos were taken, most of which I am donating to John's SMR Website for anyone desiring a intimate look.

The signal box itself is chock full of interest, from the frame, to the old photos, diagrams and even timetables that are on display.
Standing in a manned signal box, controlling semaphore signals, old timber crossing gates and seeing the signalman hand over the staff. It reminds one of times past, times spent around rural Australia, back in the days when the railways were far more enjoyable, back when one didn't have to look to Asia for a genuinely fun and friendly railway experience.
It is an awesome mixture of feelings, feeling that one is back in time again to the railways I once knew, yet also sadness at what we have become, what the railways have become, what the attitudes of some like Mr South Spur have become.

After our brief trip back in time, it was on to more modern things. 90 class on the coal roads, those god awful Huntercars arriving and subsequently racking off from Telarah, and examples of human vermin driving past at high speed trying to impress us all with their supreme tosser abilities.

PL5 48143 48129 PL3 - down empty coal - Arrive East Greta Junction.
Waits at EGJ for the arrival of the now loaded triple chased earlier in the day.


PL5 48143 48129 PL3 wait at East Greta Junction for PL2 48134 48137 to arrive
with a loaded rake from Austar.

Here we bumped into one Bob Emson who was there with his wife to get some shots of the SMR coalies at East Greta Junction. Again a lasting impression was likely made.

It was getting late in the afternoon, MrNathan had prior engagements which saw him need to leave, Terry and myself were becoming increasingly worried about the spousal reception we were to recieve given our expected late arrival home, while Colonel was trying to keep standing up.
So it was thus decided that we shall follow the empty train back towards Cessnock and then cut across to the freeway for the journey home.


Alas you will have to wait for Part 3 of this spine tingling tale!
*** Coming In PART 3 *** # New Neath work and possible future developments! # Colonel gets a little help from his tree friends. # Final coalie shot in lovely Neath late afternoon sunshine! # Colonel's romantic midnight stroll along the Hawksbury River.

1 comment:

Huggies said...

Gee that Foaming Frenzy looks really sus especially in the area of the Colonel's buttocks.