Sunday, 6 July 2008

Monday morning photo. 1/4/07.

G'day Rick, Roly and unknown others, Friday 26th June 1964, W44, the up Broken Hill ore train ran six days a week and was always two Garratts between Molong and Orange East Fork. I was at Parkes having arrived there the previous night on a down goods and had bedded down in the waiting room trusting myself to wake for the 6.30am departure of the ore train. I woke up every hour except 6.00. I was woken at 7.00 by a 32 lifting the Peak Hill goods out of the yard so I bolted down to the highway and hitched a ride with an old bloke driving a '48 Ford ute. and beat the train to Molong. Shortly after I got there W44 rolled in behind two 49 class GM diesels so I hadn't missed much.

The yard was full of trains and finally after a bit of too-ing and fro-ing we got two 60s coupled to the head of the ore train. I thought I'd probably have to ride the van but after a curt knockback from the bloke on the leading loco I was welcomed on the footplate of the second engine. The full goods load for two Garratts was 1000 tons so these two had their work cut out over an undulating road. The 60s rode quite smoothly up to about 40mph but over that they developed a pretty violent up and down motion,at least 6042 did.

6011 is about to cut off at Orange, East Fork and 6042 will continue to Lithgow.

East Fork was the yard for through trains and the loco depot. Like the other main lines in New South the West was constantly busy and at this time almost 100% steam, the ten 49 class locos worked mostly west of Parkes.

I got a lift into town with my friendly engine crew in the driver's Holden EH wagon, I was ravenous, I hadn't had time to eat but a steak with salad and chips soon fixed that.

More to come,

Peter Bruce.

P.S. Roly, trust you are recovering well, I'll try to catch up over Easter.

Rick, probably see you at the Railway Thursday night.

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