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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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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fiji's Newest & Most Different Forum!

*** DO YOU LOVE THE FIJI ***
AND ITS RAILWAYS?


Does the sight of the flag make you swell with pride?


Does the taste of Kava make you drool uncontrollably?

Then join us at the newest web-based, Fiji specific, forum, meet friends and
discuss all things Fiji both there and in Australia.
For anyone who seriously loves the Fiji - but likes to have some fun as well!

ADOBO DOWNUNDER
its far more than just trains.

We look forward to chatting with you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kava-2fts-Hornbags: Lets Bollock Around Fiji A While! (Pt3)

Man can't dribble over trains alone!
Fiji has much to offer the foamer photographer, apart from just that which is just rail based.
For the Bunzel the country is a mecca of old vehicles of types long since retired or turned into brothel tour buses within Australia. The good ol Leyland still rules the road and will likely do so for many years to come.
That they still operate after so many years, on many rural roads that are more rock than dirt, is testimony to their 'can't kill them with a stick' builder.
But it ain't only buses, there is the local populous, the ever friendly hornbags, buildings and ancient machinery rotting away in various locations.
Lets take a look at some random shots from 2006.

For the closet Bunzel!

CW430 accelerates after picking up more passengers on a Lautoka to Nadi run.
The 'Sleeping Giant' forms the background.


Some of the rural roads these buses endure are appalling, however this one on the approach to Ba was in very good condition.
The bus is approaching a long wooden road/rail bridge and is about 15 minutes from Ba Township.

Some farmers bring the loaded trucks to the nearest pick up point by tractor.
They
use rail mounted trailers that can fit only one at a time.
It is also common practice to use a tractor to rip a rake of cane trucks off the line and drag them down the road for loading. Strangely enough, despite doing this, there is still bulk complaining about the constant derailment and condition of the rollingstock. Go figure.
This shot was taken near Nadi airport.


Near the end of the long wait at Rarawai Mill. These two cane truck drivers have moved up the queue gradually and are next in line at the gates.
It is not unknown for these guys to wait over 20 hours when the mill experiences problems.

OK back to the trains!

This is the lovely Tavua loco depot, which is situated in a yard near the
town of the same name.

Tavua is an out depot of Rarawai Mill (in Ba) and is situated on the other side of a spectacular run across the Macqere Ranges, a ride
over which is greatly recommended.


Lautoka fuel bay, just outside the south end of the mill.
#10 is about to have a drink.


More Fiji fun coming shortly. Meanwhile check out the related forums below.

Kava-2fts-Hornbags: Lets Bollock Around Fiji A While! (Pt2)

G'day,
Again we take a look at Fiji.
There is not an incredible amount around the internet for the fan of Fiji trains and buses, however a few forums do exist for those with an interest.
I list some of these below.

A brand new web based forum consisting of mostly of Philippine and Fiji topics, including special sections for the gunzel that burns within.

All the latest news on the FSC and the railways that it operates. Includes much industry news.

LocoShed Yahoogroup
Both have occasional reports and information on Fiji railways.

A wealth of information and chat covering buses on all the Pacific Island nations.
A large amount of content is based on Fiji.

Wheels On Steel
A web based forum with a difference. While primarily Australian in content, Fijian railways do appear from time to time, especially after members have done a trip.

A free ezine with occasional content on Fiji railways.

Hopefully some of these will be of interest to you, I am regularly on all these groups and hope to see you there soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kava-2fts-Hornbags: Lets Bollock Around Fiji A While! (Pt1)

** Kava-2fts-Hornbags **
Lets Bollock Around Fiji A While!

G'day,
Or if we wish to all appear like a wanky tourists, then 'Bulla' be the word.
Lets dump the Aussie coverage for a while and head to a more pleasurable place, a location where life be far more civilized and enjoyable (unless you were part of a deposed former government) or someone trying to make a quid out of growing sugarcane.
Fiji, a small island nation some distance of our eastern coast has long been a destination for tourists into swimming, diving and just lazying around in general. I can say without hesitation that I have never met a nation of more friendly people.
The friendliness never ends, indeed for someone who has spent most of their life in this shallow and empty existence that we call a modern society, it can cause great suspicion. It often takes some to learn that people can actually be nice and not want something out of it (well except for that lovely Indian lady at Nadi who was offering a private tour of her house with bonus services).
Thankfully I drew on all my years experience of being a dribbly foamer and managed to hide the obvious excitement at being given such an offer, something that comes so easy to so many others, or so it would seem.
Sadly, being the dedicated railfan that I am, my main reason for heading to this country was rail based, along with more than a passing interest in the wealth of old Leyland buses that cover the island like old aged western men cover the newest employee of a Pattaya girliebar.
On the eve of another possible trip to Fiji, I thought we would take a wander back and check out some of what I saw back in 2007, while train hunting the main island with John Browning, Neville Condor and the world famous Colonel (very occasionally known as David Phillips).
I hope the delights shared in coming weeks will entice you to want to travel there yourself one day. The trains are very interesting, the buses equally so, and despite what the average dribbly will have you believe, the hornbags wont give you "Icky Girl Germs'.

Shunters in Fiji.
These 0-4L-0 units are widely utilized in the fields around Fiji for shunting purposes. Although single ended, thus requiring turning between uses, they are far more economical than diesel powered types, getting
an average of 1 kilometre to a handful of hay.



Lautoka #20 is seen heading south through the town of Korovuto with a rake of empties bound for locations around Sigatoka. While the distance itself is not huge, the condition of the system means a long journey lays
ahead with a good prospect of a few derailments.