G'day all, well I think I might have got myself on the straight and narrow again, narrow being 4ft81/2ins.
Pondering where to start again I decided on Fassifern, N.S.W. 88 and a half miles north of Sydney, 16 miles south of Newcastle and the one time junction station for the Toronto branch.
The line to Newcastle was always known as the Short North and for most of every 24 hours it almost hummed with traffic with perhaps just a little lull in the middle of the day.
Anyway you wanted to be there at daybreak so you caught a late train out of Sydney and dossed down in the Fassifern waiting room for a few hours.
The first train came up from Toronto not long after six and here it is pulling into the curved branchline platform on a quiet Saturday morning. After a brief halt it will join the main line and head for Newcastle.
The traffic was pretty constant so maybe a Sydney bound Mail Train and a goods train or two would disturb the neighbourhood briefly.
But the real disturbing was done when a double headed coal train came out of the Newstan colliery siding and attacked the bank south of Fassifern station. This day the racket was produced by a 59 class 2-8-2 leading a 60 class Garratt. Do you see what I mean about disturbing??
I reckon though that the highlight of the highlights was when the morning up " Newcastle Flyer" swept through the station and went past me up the grade hammer and tongs a little after 8.00 o'clock just as a 45 class Alco slid down the hill on a goods....the sun was just right and so was the timing.
Those were my highlights, next week the humdrum. Anywhere else they'd be highlights.
I read something quite encouraging in the paper on the weekend. John Szarkowski, the curator of the Museum of Modern Art, contends that "a photograph doesn't have to be a polished work of art, doesn't even have to be especially competent, to be interesting,full of meaning and visual energy". I suppose that's what I've always thought but never been able to put into words. As I said, encouraging words.