Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Monday Morning Photo, 17/05/2010.

G'day all, on the 1st of January 1963, almost two years after the last electric tram ran in Sydney, service on the Camden tram came to an end. For those who may be wondering why it was called a tram when it was so obviously a train, the line on which it ran was lightly constructed and ran in the road reservation for part of it's length. If I remember rightly Pansy was the local and affectionate name for the tram.
Nowadays what was then open country, albeit suburban fringe, is now pretty much wall to wall suburbia and it seems that there is very little evidence remaining of this unique little line.
As I remember I travelled on the special train between Central and Campbelltown and then spent most of the rest of the day on the move photographing the last day operations. I do remember spending some of that time riding with Weston Langford in a hired Ford Falcon at speed on the thronged roads between Campbelltown and Camden.
I'll continue on this theme for the next week or two, the three photos I have posted here are of the special train, later I'll post some of the regular workings.
The special train, definitely not a tram, was worked by three 20 class 2-6-4 inside cylinder tank engines. I'm hoping that someone can come forward with the details of the day's events as I took no notes as usual. I think 2010 ran the train solo from Central and was joined by 2016 and 2029 at Campbelltown to tackle the steep grades on the branch.
The photo at Central is interesting to me as much for it's extraneous detail, a Budd car peeping in on the left, the old school Loco Inspector supervising from the pit, recognisable by his dustcoat and felt hat, the crowd on the platform and the now extinct single deck electric suburban train at the nearby platform.
Two members of this list have recently published books of their photographs and memories; "Times past....Places Distant" by Weston Langford and "Bygone Australian Transport" by Bob Wilson. Both deserve much praise and congratulations.
Peter Bruce.

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