Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Albury town

A Wednesday lunchtime contribution... working from home has its advantages/distractions. 

As another distraction,I thought I would start an occasional series of location reviews, using an alphabetical sequence.  You can look forward to Zig Zag appearing on this blog - but not yet as I am staring at the other end. If I have them, I will post up to 5 shots of the particular location... might need to be a few roughies so bear with me.

So, A for Albury. The next five shots have one thing in common - they leave the viewer with the impression that Albury was a busy and crowded yard once.

I am going to start in black and white from one of Dad's Nurail trips he took while he left me in primary school around 1975 (thanks Dad, that extra 2 weeks of education certainly paid dividends).  This is an early morning shot of 4416 (or 4418) with what passed for the Riverina Express that day - it looks like 3 cars was considered sufficient to manage the patronage that day. A 421 is ready to follow the Riv north, while an interstater is ready to cross the border.

Now, three shots, all from 1983 I think, if memories and notes are accurate. Here is a basking 42105 and 4894.

(From memory) the following day  42202 and X44 rumbled by Albury signal box.

One the same day, the 40s appeared - X40 and a freshly candied 44240 sharing the platform roads.

And finally, never let it be said big engines don't shunt. Here's 8133, a shunter's float and van, going about their daily duties around 1985.

Will be back with the Bs soon (I hope).


Thursday, January 25, 2018

4499 after being a ghost

A couple of years ago (2016) I published some shots of 4499 shortly after it had been repainted into its unique grey ghost livery in January 1986. If you are wondering what I am talking about and can't be bothered scrolling down to find the article, here is another shot of 4499 heading north through Sawtell with a little Alco cousin - am thinking this was around September 1986 (photo snapped by the Senior on one of his numerous holidays).

I had forgotten that this livery only lasted until the following September (according to the Digest), whereupon it got the candy treatment. So here are a few shots of it in its candy scheme...

Well, here's a bit of '99 but to be fair, this was the shot I wanted - one of Keira Signal Box at Gipps Street, Wollongong.

I am guessing that 4499 spent its last years working out of Broadmeadow depot? I only saw it up north, like this day when I caught it squeezed between 44225 and 4448 near Tamworth at dusk.  The day was 13 April 1992 by the way...

The last time I saw the penultimate member of the 44 class was 22 August 1992 when it rolled by on a container train at Maitland. A nice train to remember it by!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bomen fuel trains

I haven't posted for so long I had forgotten my password, so apologies for those who check this site regularly for updates. This update is particularly for those of you who are KGB spies checking Australian rail fan sites (thanks Google Analytics for help with my target audience).

Anyway, I thought a reflection on a particular train that no longer runs with stuff that the railways don't cart so I can't be accused of being disloyal to the monarch. It will also give me a chance to test whether I can successfully link videos out of my Flickr site into blog posts.

Lets start with a couple of snaps...

The Junior Hunter and yours truly took a couple of days in October 2002 in Bundanoon.  Here's the train absolutely flat out on 9 October, with 8129, 8125, 48151 and 4887 up front.

And in a flash it was gone...

 And here is (hopefully) a link to the same train:

The next day it was still 8129 & 8125 up front, but 8046 had replaced the little Alcos. Still going like the clappers.  We did manage to interrupt eating our cream buns for morning tea to get these shot, so please excuse the (signal) pole.

 And the link for the train...

I have a few other shots and videos of this train on my Flickr site for those who want to hunt them down, but I suspect even my KGB friends don't have the patience or overtime budget for that task.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Skillion roof stations

It takes a special sort of person, called an architect, to come up with a design for a railway station building that shields intending passengers from the elements until that moment when the rain overwhelms the gutters just as the train pulls into the station. 

Even I think I can spot a design flaw there somewhere here...I think I particularly like the way a skillion roof can take water from the building's entire surface area and tip it over the only side needed for the building's purpose.  But they do look nice and are easier to model so lets have a look at a few I have passed by over the years.

And lets start with Gilmore as its a place that gets a fair amount of rain - I think this example wasn't far from getting the bulldozer when I snapped it around 1981.

I think I took this one of Stroud Road in 1984 or 1985. It took me a fair while to line the pole up in the middle of the photograph, so I hope you appreciate it.

Stocky has always been a favourite of mine... four skillion roofs, at four different angles.

Eumungerie is home base for my paternal line... which explains the persons lurking in this 1963 photo.

But the example I liked the best was Gulgong.  I think the building has since been restored but in 1995 it was ruggedly dilapidated.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Few Hours on the River

The River Hawkesbury, that is.  In this second installment from Ian Brady there is a selection of action shots from 24 November 1956.  In my humble opinion just about every one of them is brilliant, even if they may have seemed a bit prosaic at the time to him. Read my previous post if you want to know more about how and why I am presenting another photographer's efforts, but lets get on with the action.

I have no way of knowing what order these are supposed to be so lets start with the start or the end of the journey.  It is labelled as the 'Chips' which seems reasonable.  What I didn't know is that the Railways Administration were guilty of inflicting FGs on the good citizens of the Blue Mountains.  Thought only the southern highlanders and south coasters were that unlucky.  Anyway, here's 4607 at the head of the Chips.

Now, up to the River.  In the hope that someone recognises Ian or whoever this person is, here's a partially obscured tender from 5611. The tender lettering looks like one of my decalling efforts.

Onto the steam action.  Ian may have reflected that he hit the button a fraction early on this shot of a 59 leading a Garratt down Cowan Bank, but I love the result. Poles are up, but no wires at this stage.

Anyone who wants to guess the number of this 38, you are welcome to post your guess in the comments below. Guessing its the Midday Flyer. I reckon its number is somewhere between 06 and 30 (inclusive) and not 13. Yes, I am being a smarty pants.

Better job on working out this one - 3816 also moving a seven car Flyer service at great speed.

And Ian wrapped up his photography that day with snagging 4014 as it emerged from the tunnel. Might even be a greenie?

More to come at a later time.


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!


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.