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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, 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..
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

~~ BELMONT LINE (HUNTER VALLEY) ~~
Last Day Of Passenger Trains

A few days back we looked at some shots of the now closed Toronto line to the south of Newcastle
On the other side of Lake Macquarie laid a completely different line, this ones life dependant solely on coal by this time.
Though still refered to as the Belmont line, by the time I first visited the section from Jewels to Belmont was well overgrown (we did make the very hard walk on one occasion) and disconnected. The track from Jewels, now taking the former branch into John Darling Colliery, was not to last much longer itself.
The line hung on for a while longer, at least as far as Redhead, to serve the Lambton B Colliery.

Before the line to Jewels was lifted the opportnity was had to use CPH1 and 7 of the Railmotor Society for a number of final shuttle trips from Broadmeadow.
Thankfully, the Semi-Retired Foamer acknowledged his gunzel duty to go up there and cover the event.

Apologies for the quality of photos at the moment. Scanner is on the fritz,
so I am photographing original prints.


The above two shots show the second last train approaching Redhead station from Jewels, the Redhead station building still existing at this time.



History being made with the last train taking the branch at Adamstown and heading towards Fernleigh tunnel, enroute to Jewels
The last train arrives at Jewels station, or the grassy platform
that existed of it by then.

A few minutes to let people unload for their final photos before reboarding and returning to Broadmeadow. We made this last journey back, although to date those photos have been rather elusive to find.

~~ Some Random Lambton Coalie Shots ~~

Grrrr what a stupid place to leave the car :-(
4877 and 4705 loading at Lambton B colliery.
This whole area is a housing estate now, with only one structure preserved to give any clue to the areas former use. Standing on this exact spot now would reveal a lengthy colourbond wall.
The formation on which I am standing recently converted to a bike and walking track as part of the Fernleigh Trail project.
The Belmont line had a few curiosities that dictated its operations and also lead to the continued use of 47 class on the coal roads and use of CPHs on a local system usually dependant on 620/720 and 660/760 sets.
I believe it was the pointwork at the entrance to Lambton B that required the use of either double 47 class, or a 47 class leading a 48. It was often said that double 48 class would tend to derail here on a frequent basis.
The Fernleigh tunnel, near the start of the line, was actually to narrow for usage by the 620/720 type railcars, thus requiring the usage of the narrower CPH railmotors until the end of passenger operations. This did not stop them being a small part of the lines history, with at least one set stabled away from the mainline, on the section between the junction and the tunnel.


Time was fast running out for the line when these shots were taken of 4877 and 4705, seen above passing through Kahibah enroute back to Port Waratah.

For more information on the line and some fascinating pictures of mainliners and even interstate locomotive usage, I really recommend Ed Tonk's book 'Adamstown via Fernleigh' should you be able to locate a copy.

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