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, lunatics, mental defectives and self-appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation.
However things have changed thanks to our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learned to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'.
.Oh the irony that lays behind that group name and the person who set it up..
We occasionally publish information on the locomotives, and rollingstock, from railways in Australia and the Philippines.
All are available for

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wingello September 18th - A Virtual Railfanning Experience

Wingello, in the beautiful Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, was once a prime locale of attendance by the 'Semi-Retired Foamer'.
Our almost monthly pilgrimage to Cootamundra would not be complete without a stopover at Wingello to photograph (or watch if in the middle of night) trains, speak bollocks to the friendly station master that once resided there, or generally rabbit on with those endless amounts of useless trivial bits of information that us railfans tend to spurt forth.

Last week I found myself spending significant amounts of time in throbbing metropolis of Canberra, the capital of fun, excitement and the pornography industry in Australia.
While it is almost impossible to detect any grundy (Aussie slang for ones under garments, specifically underpants. See also Underdurps and Bogcatchers) type stirrings at the thought of spending time in our Nations capital, it is at least out of Sydney and the trip is usually much enjoyed.

It was on my second run during the week I found myself able to have a sleep in and still have a very easy schedule for getting down there.
So it was to be that I decided to dump the highway for a leisurely drive through the nipple hardening rural towns of Exeter, Penrose and Bundanoon (home of yet another model railway club of some name) as I made my way to a much changed Wingello.
Gone was the lovely semaphore signals, as was the friendly station master, replaced by an unmanned station, a selection of those less than inspiring coloured light signals and a selection of track workers with dirty glances to offer every few moments or so.

After brief consideration as to location, I decided to park under a tree where I used to sit so many times before. Not a good view to the north, the sun was the dogs poop in that direction anyway, but a nice shot to be had for trains approaching from the south.

First thing one noticed was the disappearance of the old signal which would have been to the right of the above photo, come to think of it, the siding it once protected also looks to have buggared off with it.
The wait commences with the occasional noise making me look up in anticipation.

Track work was occuring just south of Wingello so trains in both directions were using the up line. The appearance of flagmen before each train certainly making it easier to be well prepared for any southbound movements.
Finally, after just over 20 minutes, there is movement, with a Melbourne bound XPT passing by slowly with XP2001 and 2003 in charge.

With that excitement over, one grabs ones issue of Model Rail, sits back in the seat and awaits the next installment of train action.

40 minutes later a loud noise to the south causes me to stir. Magazine down and I prick the old ears listening for further noise to help identify what gem of rail action may be coming.
I didn't have to wait long, the noise growing louder as it slowly climbs up over the hill into Wingello, a road based grader returning from some of the work.


The day was warming up and I had been sitting near the crossing for well over an hour since the XPT.
Finally the flagmen walk across the platform and over to the level crossing again.
Frothing excitement builds as one groans (or swear words regarding the wait) in pleasure as these two less than happy gents walk down the ramp and on to the level crossing, before moving onwards to the store across the road for some lunch.


Another 30 minutes pass with the heat, lack of activity and a now severe bum cramp (sitting in Commodore seats for too long is a pain) becoming to much to take.
As I go to start the car, an unmistakeable NR horn is hear in the distance and soon we find our old mates walking quickly back to the the crossing with their full bellies, flags and suspicious stares.
It takes a while with the up steel train moving slowly through the worksite, but soon enough the engine noise is clearly heard and NR55 BL28 NR1 make a very colourful site as round the corner and slowly approach my location.

As the train passes I start to consider whether or not to stay here for the extra hour I still had remaining before departure was needed.


Headed off to Goulburn soon after to check what loco delights would be slumming it up around the yard. I mean Goulburn always had something to look at hey.
Hmmm apart from some of those things locos pull around the state, there was little else to look at besides a platform devoid of passengers and something dead on the tracks which may have been a cat, or some other feral creature that had wandered into town from the bush on its hapless last journey.

Hope you all enjoyed you 'Virtual Railfanning of Wingello' adventure.


Wingelo September 18th - A Virtual Railfanning Experience


A typical three hours railfanning at Wingelo.

Experience the excitment!

Experience the thrills!

Immerse yourself in the experience!

Virtual railfanning with the Semi-Retired Foamer


WARNING: Actual content may not actually contain any excitment, thrills, you may feel somewhat let down by the immersion of ones self in the experience.

Monday, September 15, 2008

East Botany - September 12th

Spent an all to rare day lineside with Chris Miller last week.
The trains, while irregular, were certainly worth the wait.

4463 was first cab off the rank with 4717 pushing up the rear with containers from the port.

Pride of the fleet - a very respectable looking 4463 powers away from the Page Street overbridge making a beautiful ALCo sound as it heads towards Mascot.


Yep the rest of the time spent there was a Bulldogfest-but please don't let that deter you from looking at the rest of the shots.

GM22 and GM27 with yet another rake of containers slowly make their way out of the yard and up towards Page Street.
Kelloggs is the large building in the background.

Last but not least was the passing of S300 and B76 on, yep, more containers. The train came up shortly before my due departure to pick up
'she who must be obeyed'.

Thanks be to Chris for filling in the gaps between trains with some good conversation.

Will ferret through my stuff for some more historical stuff to post shortly.


Yeah Yeah Yeah! I know I have been bleedin quiet for a while.

It isn't because of a lack of interest, just a lack of time doing many other things, most notably my work setting up an Australian division of the 'Railways and Industrial Heritage Society Phils Inc' and also building a new website called Philippine-Fleetlist, devoted to, hardly surprisingly, the rollingstock used in the Philippines.

Yes the bulk of my interest is aimed at the Philippines nowdays, but that is not to say I can't get a dribble up lineside over Aussie trains, or a full on foam when rooting through the archives in search of some railway tidbit or another.
The ol 'Semi-Retired Foamer' still likes nothing more than a day out bush and lineside with the mates, swapping smutty stories, telling stupid jokes and, well, I suppose watch some trains scream by with their endless array boring flat cabbed locos up front.
Indeed just the other day I was out around the Botany line with my good mate Chris Miller and that report forms my next post.
" Surely but Spadge - Philippine trains can't have kept you THAT busy for so many weeks!"

Yes you are right, they didn't.


Oh heck, it was that milestone very few of us wishes to achieve. It marks the exact moment we go from being alive, to just awaiting death.
Old mate Grim Reaper appears to be lurking around all corners, just waiting for us to make that wrong turn. You see mates who have made that wrong turn leave forever and now start to consider when will it be my time.
I have heard time and time and time again that "Life begins at 40".


It it the pinnacle of a mountain and now it is time to come back down.
I look back on my life as a foamer and see so many times that have changed, railway things that were once daily and now spoken about like ancient history.
Once I used to admire people who had seen so many diesels that have long gone, been able to share photos of stuff I would have been able to get myself had I been a bit older. But now I am bleeding one of them myself.
So what has one got to show for all those years of time, effort and money collecting such a monumental collection?
Well the wife feels its the worlds largest collection of garbage, while many of the young railfans of today really don't give a hamsters butt hairs about it all.
Still while I am on this downward slope I shall continue to convey bollocks here within, for any of you who do care less about what the railways were like over the last couple of decades.
Welcome aboard - enjoy the ride.

If there is one positive side to your 40th birthday you get to spend it
with all your friends in the one place.

These three lovely ladies are dearest best friends whom most of the
'Semi-Retired Foamers' life is spent with nowdays.

L-R: My sister Maria, second wife Anabelle and third wife Gina.

Part of the railfan contingent at the party was my good mate James Chuang.
Seen here devouring some of the many Filipino dishes.

Steve Miller came fully prepared for any eventuality dressed
in his OH&S approved outfit.

The safety clothes were considered appropriate in case of any accidents that may see him accidentally crash into any drunken hornbags.

Also attending were gunzels Nathan Chapple, Alec, David Xuereb and the late David 'The Colonel' Phillips.
Sadly the vast majority of my foamer mates never showed, many didn't
even reply to the invitation.

More birthday bollocks at MANILA DOWNUNDER!