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.


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.


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.

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!

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.


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

Friday, June 2, 2017

Remembering Frank, Part III

Its time to finish off the Frank Barrett trilogy with some big power... three shots of 6020 on a once ubiquitous Hunter Valley coal train

Will sign off with this beaut shot of what train hunting is all about... a comfortable at a great train-watching venue (Hawkemount in this instance) and a cup of tea out of the thermos. Here's Frank modelling how it is done in style.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Newcastle's 30 tanks

Here is the third installment of photographs from Frank Barrett. This time a series of shots from around Newcastle, including the Toronto branch.

First up, a semi-blurred 3086.

And then 3034, bum end leading.

The front end of 3067.

3046 with a 5 car set.

Finally, a 30 tank with a headlight! 3134 with a four car set.

 Two now from what was probably the same afternoon: bunker-leading 3067 on the way out and 3114 with a substantial carriage set.  

And finally, down to the shoreline of Toronto to find the crew climbing aboard 3067 on what appears to be a nice, sunny afternoon.

Until next time - cheers!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

View from the Hill

We always knew it as Lithgow Hill growing up. Unless there was a flat tyre, an overheated engine or a passenger requiring medical treatment, this was the first stop on our sojourns to points west for family-related purposes. Others know the location as the PoW Memorial on Chifley Road. 

The best part about getting to the Hill was the chance to sus out what was in Lithgow loco. In the mid-60s this was easy as deforestation was a civic virtue. Over the last 50 years vegetation has taken back the Hill, as the following shots show.  Hardly worth stopping these days, unless you are prepared to climb a gummy.

These first two shots are (I think) from 1964/65 or so.  The first shows a garratt in the garratt siding, and the second has a couple of 36s arriving from the west.

While the roundhouse lasted another 20 years it was usually stuffed with brown diesels so we didn't photograph it (grrrr). By July 1986 it was gone and replaced with this shiny facility. Triple 85s can be seen getting away for a run up to Zig Zag.

In the following October it was looking a bit more lived in - with a few vintage Alcos taking up residence.  The first fronds also make an appearance.

By the early 1990s the disturbing practice of kneecapping 46s was underway. The following shot from 4 October 1993 shows 48s, 80s, a 73, 46s and an 86 in the shed nearest the Hill.

By January 1996 the trees were growing, the shed seemed emptier and the list of 46s awaiting their fate had grown past 20.

This final shot was also from January 1996. It was very much a sneak through the branches. On the upside it showed Alcos.

These days I don't even stop and I reckon the area might have just a few snakes waiting for the next photographer.