Thursday, October 12, 2017

A lucky find

Through the generous efforts of my mate, Mad Dog, I have received a collection of photographs from the mid 1950s.  These photographs appear to have been taken by a member of the Australian Railway Historical Society, who could have been a Mr Ian Brady.  

I am probably never going to find out how these photos went out of Mr Brady's possession (or his family's possession) and into mine, but I will be eternally grateful for the diligence and awareness that Mad Dog showed in snaffling these packets for photos at Rozelle Markets a couple of months ago. If any one knows more about Mr Brady or these photos, I would appreciate comments on this post.

Anyway, Mad Dog sent me the following photo a couple of months ago out of the blue.  It shows 3501 at Zig Zag at the head of the 1954 ARHS Annual Outing - as rail tours were called in those days.


Its funny what the brain stores away.  It took about 10 minutes to discover nearly the identical photograph leading the January 1955 ARHS Bulletin, with the credit going to Ian Brady. 


It was only yesterday when I got the full batch of photos (which I will paste here in due course and over on my Flickr page (Don5617) that it we were able to confirm that there shots were from the same person.  

So, I never met you Mr Ian Brady but you were a fine photographer and, as the following and other posts will show, had a sense of getting into the right spot to get something a bit special. I have started scanning a few in low res, as its the scanner most accessible at the moment. At some stage I will re-scan them to the level they deserve.  

So, lets have a look at just a few more from that day - which was 14 November 1954, incidentally. Sneaking a shot from platform 16 at the start of the day caught the sunny side of the loco, along with the crew setting up the headboard.

 I think this next shot is taking water at Lawson. The report in the Bulletin lists this as the location where this occurred. The Bulletin noted that the train did not stop at Valley Heights for an assistant engine which meant the Nanny 'put her back into it' on the climb up the Hill.


Leaning out of the carriage, Mr Brady almost pulls off a ripper of a 58 at the landmark - near Katoomba.


And leaving Katoomba, headed west. Apologies for the wonky scan.


Then at Zig Zag where the tour stopped for a 2 hour picnic.


The loco worked into Lithgow for a spin on the table.



It wasn't all 3501 - 2608 got snapped.


Double standard goods locos worked east with a fast goods.


Then the last shots of the day from the Zig Zag where the train is approaching to collect the 207 happy picnickers.

The Bulletin article finishes with a full half page of thank yous, as outings in those days were run with the full co-operation and grace of the railway administration. I am going to conclude in a similar vein.  Thank you, Mr Ian Brady, for your efforts nearly 63 years ago. And thank you Mad Dog for being on the spot and thinking of your railway nut mate.

Many more great shots to come!

Cheers,
Don


Friday, September 15, 2017

Preservation is not for ever

Was cruising through some shots from 2007 this morning and was just surprised by how much things have changed in the 'heritage' or 'preservation' scene in NSW.

It has to be said. I miss the Cocky. A regular heritage train, keeping the momentum of preservation alive. 4908 and 4833 on the Cocky on 14 March 2007.


A few from Koolewong on 14 April 2007 as positioning runs were made for the Maitland Steam Festival that year. Will start with 01 doing what it had done for 60+ years.



Thankfully (at least one) 01 is still going. And looks better than ever.


3112 is a terrific little loco. Hope it runs once more.


While we are in Koolewong, here's a resplendent 4918 on 4 August 2007.


Some other things were different in 2007 - like the cameras in mobile phones were truly crap. Here a night shot of MZ1432 at Gosford on tour on 7 May 2007 tested my phone's capabilities and found them wanting. 


So, jut like the 'real thing', photograph the preservation scene before it too has gone.

Cheers,
Don

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jumbos in Govt Service

I have about 10 minutes before I head to bed but I thought I should just keep the blogger-verse populated with a few more rail shots.  I do like 442s of all hues so here is a few...

As delivered - 44237 on a down wheat at Bundanoon at the end of a very hot day in January 1981.

By 1985 when the following shot was taken, the high visibility 'reverse' livery was just looking a bit daggy and drab.

The candy era looked good on Jumbos - 44208 and 44211 are about to take me south from Brisbane on the Limited in April 1989.

I also thought the FreightCorp/FreightRail Blue looked good on these locos.

These fine beasties have worn many a hue since leaving Government service.  I'l leave those to another time. Will leave you with one more original from January 1981 - this time its 44223 on the Southern Highlands Express at Bundanoon. 

Cheers,
Don

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stanwell Park

I have been digging around the family photo archive once more, looking for locations which would have imperiled the photographer.  My mob aren't great tree climbers so I am indebted to my ground-hogging father, grandfather and uncle who decided to set off one Sunday morning to tackle the black snakes of Stanwell Park.

Their courage/stupidity enabled them to snap a shot of a 50 heading away from the coast with a full load of Port Kembla fertiliser, bound for some lucky farmers.


Sadly, because it was a Sunday, the Railways used spare diesel loco capacity rather than steam locos.  It resulted in this rather glorious shot of a 44 headed south with what looks like the South Coast Daylight Express (in the form of a 6 car L set), top and tailed with a few additional cars of varying vintage. While its a great shot I can't help thinking what it would have looked like with a black pig up front.


Next up - same type of loco, different train.


Steam was seen on another date at this location, in the form of 3801 on a tour. Do not adjust your monitors - it is black and white.



As is this one of a five car Budd set


Back to colour and across the other side of the viaduct, another 44 on a Sydney-bound five-car set of heavies.  An independent 6th car was tucked in behind the Alco.



And though there were three photographers, there was only one camera - so the shots from this day are few.  I will leave you with just one more - a 44 snout shot.



Cheers,
Don


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Junior's efforts Part II

I just came across a small pile of digital files (if digital can be stacked) from Junior's rail travels about a decade ago.  Damn child always had a better eye for things - and a better camera - so these are a standard above the usual shown on this blog.   

First up a couple of West Ryde visitors.  Silverton's 442s6 leads 4872 and 442s3 on 1441 up containers at West Ryde on 23 January 2006.



A bit later on on the same day the pleasing combination of JL404, 4472, 4458 and 4488, passed through the same location with 4168 up LVRF containers. Good to note that all bar 4472 are still trawling around pretty regularly.


Over to Marrickville now to find 4833 coming up the grade with an XPT carriage in tow on 1 May 2006.

Down south to Maldon for the afternoon steelie with NR7 and NR113 up front on 13 July 2006.

Further south to Werai this time NR113 is leading another NR and another on 27 April 2006.


Over to the coast for 2204, 2208 and semi-obscured 3102 on a down ARG flour at Scarborough on 13 December 2007.

Moving over the border and forward two years to April 2008 the lad was track side at Tottenham to get NR79.


And NR75 around the same area.



And then he started photography of ballast - which led him ultimately to a science degree with a geology major, but that is another story.


More ballast - at night - at Goobang Junction.



I will sign off with his shot of the crossing arm at Koolewong crossing going up or down.


Cheers!
Don

Saturday, June 10, 2017

2017 Epping Model Railway Exhibition

Its now time for a bit of small stuff... 1/87th scale and around there to be precise.

I popped along to Epping Model Railway Club's exhibition yesterday and wasn't disappointed. Here's a quick summary of the  layouts which captured my iPhones attention.

Southern Highlands
Every bit as fantastic as I was hoping this one would be, Southern Highlands is based on Exeter. It was running sound equipped locos from the 1950s to early 1980s. I even got to see 44101 in the shafts of a superfreighter, plus a P class push a stalled Creamy Kate out of the section. The following snaps were snaffled.  The last shot attempts to show just how big the layout is - 50 to 60 feet in my estimation.









Western Rivers
Another new one for me. This layout has seriously interesting appeal.  A noisy stockyard and shed at one end to two paddle-steamers milling around the opening rail bridge. It felt like I was in Menindee, just without the flies and the heat.






A-Tractive Effort
Still one of my favs, probably all due to this house.


Binalong
Just like the prototype, I got to Binalong just in time to see a freighter heading out through the scrub. Ain't that always the way?

5714 on the down with a goods - yum, sight and sounds!

Tarana
Stepping down a scale and forward a few years to my favourite N scale layout.


Smuggler's Cove
Before I leave you with a hashed shot of this sublime layout, I should point out that I also got great pleasure from Mungo Scott, Koolabar and a few other layouts, but I managed to either mess up the shot or entirely forget to take one.  So here is the Cove, a layout I could (and nearly did) stand in front of for far too long as a modeller of NSW HO scale.


I didn't photograph the trade stands, as it would likely incriminate some poor bugger who told his wife he 'only got a few small things'.  But there was plenty there to drool over.

Congratulations to the organisers and backers - a great exhibition and well worth going (back) to at some stage this weekend.

Cheers,
Don

PS a great vintage bus service is running half hourly from/to Hornsby.