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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I wish a big Merry Christmas and an awesome new year to all readers of my blog sites and members/contributers to my numerous Yahoogroups.
Thank you for your contributions, comments and friendship during 2008 and I look forward to another great year.

To keep up with all the Xmas mayhem - check out MANILA DOWNUNDER

Stay Safe - Have Fun

But not to much fun :-)

Balancing Trains and Family!

The Semi-Retired Foamer cannot be unique in the gunzel community when it comes to struggling to balance family and train duties. Rare, even more rare than a gunzel actually pairing with a member of the opposite sex, is the occasion where ones partner is actually into those strange train things as well.

Indeed many a railfan has solved the problem by choosing to, ahhmmm, mate with each other. However for those of us looking for a relationship more in line with everyday society outside of the hobby, we find that much give and take is needed, especially when traveling to locations once frequented for railway purposes.

So it was that I found myself heading towards Young for a weekend of Cherry poppin, ahhmmm, picking fun with the family and close Filo friends.

Cherry picking is an unusual activity really, one has to question the sanity of driving hundreds of kilometres to pick cherries for the farmer and then pay him for the privilege of doing such, especially when you can pay up to $5.50 a kilogram for them (we paid $4) and get them for $4.80 in Sydney.

Of course the ones off the tree taste so much better than that we finally get here in Sydney, while some of the cost can be offset in free samples while picking. Lets also not overlook the great fun of 'Cherry Skirmish', a lot cheaper than the paintball version and utilizing half rotten cherries from off the ground. AWESOME!!!!

OK, I suppose some of my more hardened foamer readers are probably wondering when I am going to stop rabbiting on about cherries and get into the good stuff. Theres no need to get the frangers in a twist, we are headed that way now.

The following is a look at the pathetic foamer effort made over the weekend.

Saturday December 6th

Two hours sleep and one is on the road at the pathetic hour of 3am. Who needs half a bottle of rum when one can obtain the same effect from dispensing with sleep, it is far cheaper and one is not likely to attract negative feedback from 'she who must be obeyed' while she attempts to Britex the carrot chunks out of the shag pile.

The first sighting of the day was not far from home, being two Bulldogs leading a container train from Port Botany past the airport. Twas a yellow one up front with a Northern Rivers liveried 421 behind it. A long way yet to go and a rather tired wife ensured there was to be no turning back for a look.
The bum end of a rake of containers was seen as we were arriving at Goulburn, the interesting end being out of sight. Following brekkie in the usual MOBIL Roadhouse, you know, the one with the massive sheep with equally massive nick knacks, we headed on towards Yass noting in the distance waht seemed to be a southbound 44 and EL on a rake of flats.
This sign is located just north of Yass and has become a tourist attraction in its own right. The bit on the bottom about kids was digitally added (badly I may add) for another website, but the rest is how it appears in real life. It is great to see huge companies like McDonalds embracing
the new SMUT revolution.

The Yass Town branch has been closed since the late 80s, however it has become quite customary to stop by and check out the museum there. On arrival it was closed, so all inspecting had to be done from behind the fence.
No noticable work had been done to the collection since my last visit, but since my observations were limited to an external nature from a distance, I am unable to comment on any internal restoration progress.

Dutton Street in Yass carries a rare example (for New South Wales) of street running of trains. The condition of the track has suffered over the years since closure due to both the idiocy of drivers and a disinterest in it.
The future of it has been under a cloud of late with proposals put forward for its removal so the street can be upgraded. Another suggestion is to relay it into the road, like a tramway.
Latest reports indicate that rail will remain in the street one way or another and will not be all ripped out. Certainly a positive outcome for those of us interested in railway history.
Whether or not tourist trains will ever run on this line remains to be seen, but I for one am not holding my breath.

At one end of Dutton Street you will find the entrance to the Yass Town station yard, while at the other still exists this beautiful old bridge. It has suffered from quite a bit of deterioration since the line closed and may be the biggest stumbling block for anyone wanting to run trains again.

The line was followed through Bowning, Binalong, Cunningar, Harden, Nubba and Jindalee but nothing was seen the whole way through to Cootamundra, a location I used to once regularly haunt and our camp for the one night we had away from Sydney.

Poor old 833 has been stored at Cootamundra for as long as I can remember.

8127 8107 spent the whole day sitting at the head of this rake in Coota yard.

Cootamundra station!

Signaling had changed muchly since my days around Coota yard, gone is the extensive forest of semaphore signals, replaced with these less
than arousing coloured light examples.
Quite a sad feeling - the dogs bollocks really.

Finally there was movement, such as it was, with an up Melbourne XPT
departing Coota station with XP2013 and XP2008.

Twas after the XPT that I decided to do a run to Junee and see what was sitting around the yard so as to pass another couple of hours that I had for foamer time.
I wasn't expecting to see anything during the journey and this seemed likely as empty tracks greeted me at Coota South, Bethungra (spiral and station) and Ilabo.
However less than a kilometre out of Marinna I was happily proved wrong.

EL54 T385 stopped on the up track just outside of Marinna. Seems someone had made a report of something dragging on the train. The crew walked
back for a look and then moved on north.

G542 G530 and 48116 were all sitting in Junee Yard awaiting their next duties when I arrived in town. This shot shows one end of G542.

Driving back to town nothing else was noted. Quite frustratingly, when I got back to the caravan park that night the railway turned into a hive of action with passing trains and horns noted continuously.
Bloody trains!!!!


Not much noted today, we departed early for Young with permission to scoot by Cootamundra yard being denied.
The Lachlan Valley CPHs were noted in beautiful sunshine at Young station doing shuttles for the Cherry Festival. This is something I have promised myself to do next year, assuming the bloody railway morons don't end up shutting this line as well.
The depressing condition of the old Eugowra line greeted our arrival at Cowra, followed by the equally depressing Cowra yard, totally devoid of any rollingstock. This is quite different to my early days here when a weekend meant quite a number of 48s and rollingstock could be found here.
Does anything, besides LVR traffic, go beyond Noonbinna nowdays? Do any Noonbinna wheaties have to continue to Cowra to turn?

The stop block was noted at the north end of Cowra Yard and a rapidly overgrowing section to Blayney seen in a few locations.
We were in a hurry to return to Sydney by now and the only other things of note was a passing blur that was the burnt out 8147 at Lithgow and a down empty coalie at Blackheath, the numbers of which I could not get.

So there you go. Two days of relatively little foamer action. Still I managed to bollock my way into a little.

39 years old and still going strong, this former Australian Army jeep carries cherry pickers from the farm entry to where everyone is picking cherries.

For more, non-train related, photos from the trip.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


With so many new forums and the like popping up nowdays, most are pretty much greeted with a HO-HUM type of attitude.

However if like me you experience a special kind of tingle when you see a bus go by, most especially those older types, then this new RETROBUS group may be of interest to you.

The owner is a personal friend of mine who has a huge interest in the older buses, which 95% of the content will revolve around. A good mixture of serious bus stuff and humour is expected, with an equally good mixture of bus industry and fan types amongst the membership.

So if your in love with Leylands!

If Bedfords drive you bonkers!

If your anal about Atlanteans!

If your fetish is Fords!

Then perhaps RETROBUS is the bus forum for you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008



OK it has been a while since we had one of these.

This is quite an easy one I imagine and no doubt it will be guessed by days end.
The winner gets a free years subscription to this free blogsite and acknowledgment of their superiour knowledge by other blog readers.

OK - Where is it?

Incorrect guesses to date:

That would be out in the scrub somewhere.... :-รพ

Would that be at Weston?
Brad C

Getting Close:

Nobody as yet!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hurlstone Park Brings Back Throbbing Urges!

Morning to anyone who cares,
Well again I have been remiss in my efforts to post here on the blog. I suppose you can attribute it to ol friend 'Railfan Blues'. All as dribblies go through it from time to time, a period when you can't be half buttocked to do anything involved in the hobby.
I suppose the pathetic attitude of many rail staff is a driving factor behind it for me, not to mention the weird nature of many railfans that lead to said attitude. Lets also not forget the constant need to protect ones bott bott from possible invasion by those with, shall we say, different tastes to those what were originally intended for us.

However these 'Railfan Blues' tend to come and go, their departure often helped by some enjoyed involvement in the hobby, preferably lineside and not in public toilets after model rail meets.

So it was that I arranged to meet the world famous Colonel (very occasionally know as David A Phillips) at Hurlstone Park for a good steamy session of gunzeldom and hornbag photography.

The Colonel has become an icon of the railfan community and a legend to the Fijian drinking one. Show me a man who can take a better photo after two bottle of port and a 6 -pack and I will be duly impressed. Indeed show me any man who could stand after skulling same and I will buy him a Ferrari.
Actually - no I wont. Just forget that.

The Colonel is a pillar of society, to such an extent that he even has his own church of devotees. Pacific National would be wise to throw whatever money it takes to obtain his services.
Anyway, before Colonel gets a throsby no hornbag could fix, I think we should move on to the story at hand.
At least while I can still type, sitting here swigging on a lovely mix of rum and coke. Ahhhh yes, the nectar of gods.

It was last week that our fine ol mate The Colonel rung with the suggestion of a day around Hurlstone Park. The instant tingling urges indicating that I was in full agreement and that we would meet, along with Tezza, at the station around 9am.

One wrong turn, resulting in the missing of my 452nd photo of 4903 and 4906, resulted in a slightly late arrival of 09.10. The Colonel, who was strangely sober at the time, was eagerly awaiting my arrival from the up platform. Actually I think he was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the office hornbags and I was just a convenient thing to talk to between their showing up.

So what delectable delights were we treated to while I was there?
Take full control of your groin as we journey through a session at Hurlstone Park.

Twas not long after one dragged ones furry butt down onto the platform
that a noise was heard to the west.
In aged old gunzel tradition one heads to the chosen location in
preparation for photographing the oncoming train.
Upon first seeing the ARG 22 class we were taken back to the past weeks when efforts were made, not incredible efforts mind you, to get the last runs of the Manildra services. Brief pantal stirrings were soon quietened down when it was realised that this was actually the Yennora service utilizing 2208 and
a forever sexy 42105. The time was now 09.23.

4850 later passed light engine on its way to pick up an
XT car.

Neither of us are sure what the heck this train was doing. It headed past at 10.18 on the up with a load of derelict flats that, I am pretty sure,
were used on the Manildra services.
GL103 was hauling the train, obviously, but where it was off to is a mystery. Anyone know?

Hmmmm ALCo - Rumour has it that they can cause pregnancy in woman. 4461 push/pull 4708 containers to Botany from Minto. 10.22

Less than an hour after I had one of those railfan type whinges about not having seen one of these FUGLY MZ class in a while. 1431 1435 1443 up containers 11.03

The 4850 comes back with the earlier mentioned XT carriage. No idea what carriage it was and have not lost sleep over not knowing.

Anyway thats it for this posting. I am still suffering from a lack of a scanner, so older stuff and rail related documents are still impossible. If you have something that may be of interest, please feel free to email me. Plans are afoot for a day down around Wingello - so don't be surprised if I ramble on with endless bollocks about it here on the blogsite.

Thanks for your interest, or lack of it, as the case may be.
I leave you with a random hornbag!