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

Saturday, October 3, 2009

* A Tale Of Two Colonels *

It is indeed funny how times change, how differing events in our lives and differing interests lead us down differing paths of gunzel interest.
The section of railway from Menangle to Bargo was once where I could almost be found weekly in search of ALCos and other older locomotives of lesser manufacture. Indeed Friday nights were usually spent with a group of friends hanging around Menangle station watching the 'passing parade' (a wanky term I know) of freights heading north and south. Sometimes we were even treated to a shunt of the long removed milk siding on the up side of the line.
As we continue our retro series of photos there will no doubt be more than one look at the area I once classed as my territory, but for now we look at my first return for a very long time.


In more recent years my usual dribbly locations of choice have been alongside the Sydney goods lines, or, far more enjoyably, around the beautiful Hunter Valley.
Both give great opportunities from intense rail action, but both have pretty much become the greatest hack (another wanky railfan term) spots you could imagine. This can usually be gauged from the pantie bursting amounts of photos sent to the editors of the local railway magazines, all of whom could probably retire should they be offered $1 per shot recieved.

With the 'World Famous Colonel' moving his fluffy caboose from Sydney to the more fresh and enjoyable Picton, I again find myself with reason to return to my former haunts on a regular basis.
There is certainly a lot less trains to be had, while even the hornbag photography is very thin on the ground, but the chance to regularly remove myself from humanity and again enjoy the countryside is just to much to resist.
With Colonel still needing to transfer a vast amount of his succulents to his new residence, I offered use of my body to help him take a car full down in return for a day full of gunzel activity, well the type that does not involve fluffy rodents or toilet cubicles anyway.

So beware southern locals - your peace and quiet will soon be no more, while your liquor stocks will be greatly depleted!

Some things never change in Picton. In time honoured tradition our arrival was met with the end of a train screaming through the raped remains of Picton yard, wasting little time with its journey north.
Colonel reverses course and gives chase to NR39 NR29 NR4, not catching the rear of it at Maldon Curve, we had already given up any idea of
beating it to the road bridge.
"Take the Menangle Road Colonel"!
The overcast morning light was crappy at best and we settled on a cross field shot of it not far beyond the turnoff, the short road distance
giving us a small time advantage.

Colonel susses out a photo location!

In need of a breakfast feed, the Colonel suggests a greasy shop in Thirlmere that makes things as delightfully unhealthy as the good ol days.
A brief look at the Thirlmere railway museum revealed a
sight that upset the Colonel so!
"Look its that flamin Thomas The Wank Engine all over that poor engine"!!!!
After some time trying to calm Colonel down, we took a look at
the station buildings and surrounds.

Soon we were off to a location above Picton for what was to be a quiet
chat while awaiting anything that came along.

The excitment mounted with every passing moment, the rail traffic so intense you would have needed to be there to believe it could be true.
Even on the up the trains never stopped screaming through, making it
incredibly hard to choose which way to face.


We are approach by Colonel Harland Sanders, famously known for his eleven secret herbs and spices, but today full of endless stories of railway adventure.
Who should he pick to squeeze 10 hours of conversation into one? Who other than our grateful Colonel Chunder, who was already nursing a migrane.

"Quick, lets get out of here and go down to Picton Colonel"!
Colonel Sanders had not finished and even leaned inside the Colonel-Mobile as we started the car and started edging forward,,,,,,
8152 on an up cement bound for Maldon!
Sadly the lack of trains had made us lazy. We were checking the laptop for information on the RTM when this monumental lashup caught us by surprise.
NR49 NR108 NR30 NR101 on an up container train, 30 being the last of two originally painted in Aboriginal art.
Better luck with NR85 and 45 headed in the other direction under a
heavy shower of foamy excitment!

Then yet another flamin railcar!

Just in case once wasn't enough!

Despite another railcar being due, we decided to go grab a bite and then head on down to Picton station to see if the staff would share some train running knowledge with us.
Sadly the woman in charge was less helpful than her male counterparts and we had to resume playing the time old waiting game.


A fast exit, by walking around the whole block, saw us
safely in the car and headed back to Thirlmere via another road,
a brief amount of time spent checking the spot out.

8143, sporting the efforts of some human vermin, passes on a down wheat.

Having consulted the laptop we discovered there was to be a 5pm departure of an empty set bound for Sydney Terminal and a long weekend rail cruise.
Guessing they would probably be preparing for the run, our last call of duty for the day was to head back to the museum and obtain whatever snaps were possible between the ever increasing rain showers.
D1 was found shunting, while 44211 4916 4803 and 4306 were sitting at the station awaiting departure time. Many shots were taken as so many memories of earlier gunzel times came flooding back in a tsunami type wave.
What started out as a rather depressing day soon turned into somewhat of a boost to my ever growing return of railway interest.
Could the 'Semi-Retired Foamer' be coming out of semi-retirment?

As darkness, and the threat of trouble from the wife, drew closer we sadly bid farewell to Thrillmere and headed back to the freeway via Picton.
AS we really had a good 20 minutes before we had to leave, it was decided to try our luck on the road bridge near Maldon, just in case something good came along!
Anyway we will be spending a lot more time around Picton and the Southern Highlands in coming months, perhaps even on some sunny days.
Tally Pip



Colonel said...

I have to admit, I did find this repartee that was thrust upon me in no uncertain way, in a somewhat humourous vain portrayed within said blog, thereout.
In other words, I did knid of piss myself laughing.
Not seriously speaking of course, as aspersions could be cast as to how much of a gunzel, well, one really is if such actions did occur.

Huggies said...

It's a pity they don't have a Henny Penny in that part of the world.

Trent said...

Easily one of your most amusing entries to date Brad, the bit with the Colonel Sanders made me piss myself laughing. I went down to Picton only a week agoand we didn't run into this bloke (thank god) but instead met a really nice retired railway man who lives up the road from the station, who was happy to tell us all these great stories.

Anyway, if you're heading down to Picton again on a weekend, give us a shout, I'll try and join you!

David said...

hi loved the bit with colonel sanders as i live in Bargo and i know the location that you first found him i will avoid it like the clap now.Thanks David

alcogoodwin said...

Hi David,
Passed through your township again today. Not much in the way of train photography as I had the family with me and they are very train unfriendly.
You will be happy to know he would be now have returned home to Helensvale in Queensland. Yep, told us that many times to :-)


David said...

Hi Brad,
Not much fun when the family wont let you get photography of your interests.So you made a friend for life now with Mr Sanders did he invite you up for Christmas lunch? Hahaha any way thanks for letting me join your yahoo group.David