Port Kembla - English Electrics
The Saddest of Sights.
During the week we received news of the upcoming scrapping of numerous steelworks English Electric locomotives down at Port Kembla.
It has been a while since I last visited the area, so took the opportunity to travel on down there with Mr Brad Coulter as suss out the current situation with the fleet.
During the week, one of the PB class hauled D39, D44, D43, D33, D30 and D41 out of the works and into the Cringila Exchange Sidings.
All are due to be hauled to a siding around Outer Harbour, where they will be scrapped.
Today, April 15th, we arrived at Cringila and, following some time, we notice D39 had been moved already, with the others remaining in the sidings.
The remaining ones are expected to follow shortly, however we tracked D39 too the final siding she will ever visit.
What is particularly upsetting/infuriating about all this, is the fact that some of these locos could have had a new home in a museum. It was not a case of "you cannot preserve everything", these were actually wanted. However, Pacific National, treated the requests with the usual disinterest they show for this sort of thing.
The locomotives have little mainline use, so are hardly likely to be used in competition to them.
Pacific National insists that they are unable to sell them due to asbestos. Yet former staff of BHP's rail division will tell you how it was all removed. Bringing this up with PN finds a response of deathly silence.
So, for now it seems that the future is grim and, in all likelihood, none of this important Illawarra, and steelworks, history will be saved for future generations.
Surely a huge loss.
Thank you Pacific National (for nothing)
D39 was the first to be hauled to the killing grounds, either being moved there late Thursday, or during Good Friday.
The other five (see photo at bottom) are expected to be moved this week and scrapping to occur soon after.
Death Row at Cringila today.