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, December 13, 2014


  Lets face it, the railfan hobby is full of some really horrid people. Over the years I have had the displeasure of of death threats, threats of violence, racist attacks etc etc etc.
  Like myself for quite some years, I have seen many good contributors throw up their hands and walk off, never to contribute again. We are not talking just one or two, we are talking MANY.
  Indeed, it was the growing resentment of the hobby that saw this website born years ago. Mostly just to treat it all like the joke it had become.

  But during these decades of this railfan business, a few people have stood out, people I have admired for almost as long as I have been a fan. People who give to the hobby and who it is an honour to know.
  I was privileged to have two of these people on the Naradhan tour.

  John Currey and Neville Pollard

  It would be few in the hobby who have never come across these two names somewhere.
  John's (owner of 4465) name is synonymous with Australia's Alco locomotives, most especially the 44 class.

  Neville's historical articles, especially those covering NSW branchlines, have been enjoyed and referred back to more times than I dare to try and remember.
  His Naradhan article instantly came to mind when we decided to do a special issue of the Lubricated Flange for the tour. He was generous enough to allow us to reprint it.

  John I have known for many years, Neville I only just met, but both are among 
those who greatly inspire me to carry on in this hobby.

Thank you.

Credit Both Photos: David Phillips


Part 3

After months of organising and stress, the day had finally arrived that we were to set forth to Naradhan and into history.
  But actually boarding the train was no guarantee of our getting to this far flung terminushe fact the train was at the platform eased concerns a lot, but until we pulled into Naradhan yard there was no to be total relief.

Stunning weather, sunny but not hot, greeted as on arrival at the station.
Spirits were high, a chance meeting of a ol Coota North Box friend from two decades ago had been considered a good sign, and we quickly offloaded the drinks and snacks for the weekend and loaded the train.

Mel tries in vain to keep her hubby from getting over excited and jumping up and down in from of the other tour patrons.

A good morning greeting from a passing steel train bound for Melbourne.

Colonel prepares of two days full of living in the good ol days, back when things were a lot more civilised.

I don't whinge..........much.
Those kind Lachlan Valley guys hang up our groups banner.

Roddy puts his little unit on display for all to see.

Excited travelers hop out for photos at Temora station.

Storm clouds threatened as we arrived in Ungarie for lunch at the local Central Hotel.
Luckily rail held off for our walk to the hotel and back again, and it did provide a lovely backdrop.

Time to eat and then we are off on our history making journey to Naradhan.

More to come in Part 4 - Control yourselves until then.

Thursday, December 11, 2014



The evening prior to the trip saw us gather at Cootamundra West for a epic line side BBQ.
The choice of Coota West over the main station was due to expected traffic levels. As it turned out, this was a good idea.
Not much commentary needed here, so the photos can do all the speaking.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



Part 1 of a photographic spectacular unlike any other as you follow me through what was a very historical trip to Naradhan (NSW).
Not only was it a first for the 'Strange Modelers of Universal Trains', it was also a first for any Alco World Series 44 class in Naradhan.
Equally special was that the Saturday coincided with the exact 20th anniversary of 4464 entering  preservation (Cardiff auction 1994).
A great tribute to an amazing locomotive class.
Over the next couple of weeks, a photographic feast will appear here - prepare to be excited, maybe even mildly tingly. 

A surprise text from Trevor at Roto saw as duck into Gunning after a quick brekkie stop at Goulburn (bakery opposite the servo with the big ram).
The servo itself has been a tradition of decades, but numerous changes have occurred over the years and now they just never seem open - at least not for breakfast trade.
The bakery does come highly recommended though. They have taken on the servos tradition of putting half a pigs worth on each roll. They are obviously not certified by the Halal Certification business.

Timing went well, with an XPT and PS6 passing through with not much time between them.

We were in no hurry to get to Cootamundra and found ourselves sidetracked by some interesting local Gunning history.

Baileys Garage in Gunning and its Holden tribute was amazing.
The things you miss when your the one usually driving.

A brief stop in Yass Town was had, the locals putting on a free sausage sizzle as part of a road safety campaign. Not the sort of thing a hungry Semi-Retired Foamer and pals would want to miss out on.
While leaving the town for Bowning and Galong, we were surprised to find an old friend from back home, now spending its time as a mobile op shop instead of carting around that which passes for Sydney society nowdays.

Galong Railway Station - Opened 1915 (2nd station)
Junction for the long since closed line to Boorowa.
Lots of Australian railway infrastructure photos and info can be found on our
Australasian Railway Infrastructure Group.

Finally, around one hour later than planned, we arrive in Cootamundra and catch up with some of the other group members and prepare for two and a half days of fun.

Stay tuned, more barely tolerable adventures on the Naradhan weekend will be coming up shortly.