Tuesday 2 December 2008

Monday Morning photo. 1/12/08.

G'day all, in February 2009 I will be 65 years old, I may qualify as a baby-boomer.....but more likely a war baby.
Doesn't matter, what I am is a child of the Steam Age.
When I came into the world in 1944 Mr.and Mrs Australia and nearly all their worldly needs, on land and sea, depended on the power of steam....fire and water.
Still, that's not enough to explain my fascination with the steam locomotive and the steel rail, most people my age have not the slightest interest.......ah well, their loss I suppose.

My earliest memory points to my lifelong interest.
Upwey, Victoria, was on the 2' 6" railway between Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook and my mother and I were staying in a guesthouse there probably sometime before my dad was demobbed from the R.A.N, certainly before any of my siblings came along. Say 1946, early-ish, so I'm two and a bit.
Anyway I recall being woken by my mum, a bit like " maybe I should let him sleep....but no, he'd love to see the train", so I was picked up and taken to the window in time to see the little train pass and I heard that banshee shriek of the whistle for the first time.
Maybe my memory is not to be relied upon, maybe I've got the details wrong, I don't know and I don't really care.....this scene has been with me since childhood.
So maybe it explains something.
The attached photo is as close as I can get to what I think I saw all those years ago.
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.
P.S. I'd be very interested in any contributions or any speculation on this subject. Any personal experiences too, I'm certainly going to give it more thought.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Monday Morning Photo. Wednesday morning, 26/11/08.

G'day all, I've been reading through the Queensland Railways timetable for long distance and country lines* issued on 1st September 1964 and it has brought back to me how the various State Railways in Australia handled the whole transport task. Reading this it is almost as if air and road transport were still somewhere in the future. The timetables themselves are fascinating enough but the intricate parcels rate scales not to mention the Rules and Regulations really take one back to another time. A time before 1900 very often when the railway was the only way.
The photos attached which were taken at Mount Morgan give some idea of railway life in the Central Queensland hinterland in the early 1960s. Everthing moved at a pretty leisurely pace much as it had done for decades and my guess is that the QR at Mount Morgan might have employed maybe 40 or 50 people if there were engine crews based there..... and it was only 25 miles from Rockhampton.
A change is coming though, 1400 class GM diesels are hauling coal up from the coalfields south of here, some of it even in bogie steel hoppers.
All this is gone and the Queensland Railways and their coal haulage are big time now.
I'll have to get up there sometime soon and have a look for myself.
It was hot, overcast and very humid and the flat light made for flat looking pictures but I suppose that's better than no pictures.
Peter Bruce.
* Price. 1/-.

Monday 17 November 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 17/11/08.

G'day all, Saturday arvo in Bundaberg, not much happening apart from 999 pottering around the yard and recieving some attention from my two fellow travellers, Graeme Westwood and Kevin Taig. I remember this day well as we parked our kits in the Cloak Room while we went up the street for a feed and when we got back the station was deserted and there was no way we could retrieve our stuff. It gets cool at night even in Bundy sometimes and with no blanket or sleeping bag you feel it, I wrapped myself up in a copy of "The Australian". I think we camped in a railmotor trailer in a siding down by the river.
The other three shots are all around Rockhampton again, English Electric 1202 is southbound on a fast goods and 520 is knocking wagons around Port Curtis yard.
1108 is working in from the west through Port Curtis Junction and the C16 is ambling past McConnell's Hotel in Denison Street. Just another outlet for the dreaded local drop "Mac's Rockhampton Beer". There was never a better advertisement for Temperance.
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Monday 10 November 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 10/11/08.

G'day all, the elegant building behind the C16 and it's ballast train is the original Rockhampton Railway Station. Elegant it certainly was but the Refreshment Room and Bar offered Mac's Rockhampton Beer and the three thirsty travellers fronting the bar soon found out what an evil brew it was, one sip each was enough. As I remember we were far enough north to wash our mouths out with something from the Carlton Brewery at Cairns.....but maybe we even settled for a 4xxx or two. I think Mac's went to the wall not long after and I like to think that we helped it on it's way.
Anyway the unknown C16 is about to meander the full length of Denison Street. Does this still happen in Rocky?? Minus the 4-8-0 of course.
614 has just left the Port Curtis yard heading out of Rockhampton, I suppose this is suburbia now. The two Garratts are meeting at Kabra which was the junction for Mount Morgan and the coalfields to the southwest. The predecessor of todays monster coal trains can be seen at the right of the frame. We took the very short mixed train approaching out to Mount Morgan on this late afternoon..... I think we had probably arrived from Emerald behind the other Garratt. My memory is very patchy at this distance, it was all but 45 years ago.
More Queensland next week.
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Monday 3 November 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 3/11/08.

G'day all, the climate in coastal Queensland was pretty humid and oppressive when I took these photos in early December 1964 and I think that comes across in the shot taken at Rockhampton Loco. For those who didn't know them these QGR Garratts were painted a strong, bright red. They worked west of Rocky, out to Mount Morgan and Emerald having been displaced off the North Coast line by diesels, this was well before the massive expansion and electrification of the Central Queensland coal traffic. Even so Rockhampton was a very busy rail centre.
I don't remember the location of the other photo, somewhere north of Rockhampton is the best I can manage, 1070 is on a southbound roadside goods I think and the van of our northbound train is just visible at the left of the picture. A large part of our 2000 mile return journey from Brisbane to Cairns was in the van of trains just like this one. 12 to 14 hours for 100-120 miles wasn't unusual. These were the least important trains on the North Coast line and they got put away for every other train. 3 hours in some remote loop was par for the course, a couple of crosses and maybe a run-through. A great way to see the country though. As long as you had enough tucker and a waterbag you were pretty much OK.
Maybe more QGR* next week.
*Queensland Government Railways.
Peter Bruce.

Monday 13 October 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 13/10/08.


G'day all, seems that my posting of last night was recieved in full by at least some of you....good.....I wondered what had happened.
Seems like a good excuse to post another picture.
Peter Bruce.
P.S. Anniversary of the Benalla tragedy, three people killed when steam hauled special collided with a B-Double on a level crossing just outside Benalla. Good friend Adrian Kiely among them.

Monday Morning Photo. 13/10/08


G'day all, still having internet problems, gigabytes disappearing down the plughole, but I'll risk going on line for a little while so that MMP appears on time.
A couple of VR classics this time, in memory of Bob Lawrence, a long time Victorian engineman and a member of this group who passed on September 30th and who was seen off by a large gathering of family and friends at Springvale last Tuesday.
In the early '60s Tom Murray and Norm White ran a series of weekend excursions which catered to railfans by attracting tourists in large numbers. The railfans and the tourists were both kept happy, while the tourist went off on bus trips interesting things happened on the rails.
684 is at Beechworth coupled to the "Norman" car and about to set off back to the junction with the Bright line at Everton. I can't remember the year or the sequence of events just that it was a very interesting and varied trip.
995 is at Geelong and we are about to depart for Melbourne as the weekend away winds down. This was the end of a tour of the southwest of the state, we got into SA as far as Millicent as I remember.
Perhaps someone out there can fill in the considerable gaps in my memory?
Older postings can be viewed at http://teenagerailfan.blogspot.com
Take a look at the links too, Mike Venn has a much better claim to have been a teenage railfan than me. Compared to him I was practically geriatric!
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Bob Lawrence.

I posted this on Wednesday 1/10/08 and I thought I should add it here.

Mickey Burrett rang me last night with the sad news that Bob passed at about 2am. Bob was diagnosed earlier in the year with cancer and had been in hospital in Dimboola for some time. He was a life time railwayman, he must have had very close to 40 years service with the Victorian Railways and it's successors and also with National Rail at Dimboola. Bob was also an active unionist and office holder with the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen and was qualified as a steam locomotive driver.

He was also a railway enthusiast and a modeller and a very sociable bloke. I will miss him and those of you who knew Bob will too.

As far as I know he is survived by his mum, his brothers, his son and I'm pretty sure at least one grand child, make that three...... And lots of mates.

So long Bob, it's been good to know you.

Peter Bruce.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Monday Morning Photos. 29/9/08.

G'day all, a few more shots from around Albert Park Station, circa 1972. I'm not too sure when the swing door trains finished on the St. Kilda and Port Melbourne lines but I suspect not long after I got these photos because on the same roll I've got a shot of an Hitachi at Albert Park. That was probably my motivation to get off my backside and get the coverage as we used to say. I posted the Arches shot to TramsDownUnder so if you've seen it already and don't wish to see it again...look away now!!

There are a couple more interesting shots, maybe I'll post them mid-week before I move on.

Many thanks to John Thompson, Bob Wilson and John Phillips for their always interesting regular postings.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

P.S. Mick Duncan....too bad about the Cats but they certainly had their chances, a great pressure game by the Hawks.

Monday 22 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 22/9/08.

G'day all, a couple more swing door shots, taken from the footbridge at South Melbourne station, Coventry Street.

The cross shot is just on the down side of the City Road overbridge and the other, taken immediatly after, is approaching York Street which is also crossed on an overbridge. A very low one, I duck as I drive under it.

Greg Dixon, the driver is definitely not you but maybe one of you old spark drivers might recognise him by his Luftwaffe cap.

I was tempted to post the York Street shot at 1600 wide but decided that might be stretching the friendship a little.

I have been encouraged by the favourable response to last weeks posting.

Kevin Sewell, I will search out some Beenleigh shots, probably only got a couple though.

Have got a few more swing door shots for next week.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 8/9/08. From Cliff Olds.

This is what I like to see. Here are three photos from Cliff Olds. Anyone who would like to contribute please feel free, you will be acknowledged.

I post my photos at about 1600 pixels wide and usually no more than about 350 kb but if you send me files bigger than that and you don't mind I'll edit to size. Your pictures and the stories around them deserve to be seen.

Peter Bruce.

Garratt 400 departing Gladstone towards Caltowie and Peterborough in mid 1969. In the foreground is the new and as then unopened standard gauge track. Beyond the train on the right of the photo can be seen the loco depot water tower, arched roof of the loco shed, the 200 ton (from memory) coal gantry (they were never known as "coal stages" no matter what current "experts" write) and the lower quadrant "down" home signal. In earlier years it was usual to turn the Garratts on the 85 ft turntable at Gladstone on the "down" because the narrow gauge turntable at Port Pirie couldn't accommodate a Garratt but that had not occurred here. I believe that a few Garratts were stationed in Port Pirie in that late hour of the narrow gauge and worked cross jobs which included loco changes with the 830 class diesels from Peterborough - hence it was pointless to turn them. I worked in Gladstone Loco from 1961 to 1964, so there are many pleasant memories for me here.

J555 departing Mount Gambier on No.90 goods to Heywood in 1968. I was a parcels clerk at Naracoorte at the time and by the time that I returned to Mount Gambier in Train Control in 1973, the T class diesels were well and truly entrenched.

523 in Ellen Street Port Pirie in 1964 at the head of Psgr. 434, (9.05 am Mon. to Fri.) to Adelaide, which had connected with the narrow gauge Brill railcar from Peterborough.

Photo's courtesy of Chris Wurr's superseded negative/slide scanner which I would like to blame for the condition of the negatives however my "archiving" is the real problem.

Cliff Olds.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 16/9/08.

G'day all, was looking for some pictures that I remembered having taken on the St. Kilda line about 1972 when it was still ruled by swing door sets and I found the attached shot of a down train crossing the bridge over Albert Road. I'll have to go out and see if I can get a "today' shot, maybe of a Mulhouse Citadis at the same location. Could be difficult, there is a lot more vegetation nowadays. By way of explanation the St. Kilda and Port Melbourne railways were converted to light rail operation in 1987 and incorporated into the tramway system.

The other photo was taken about 1963-4, I am pretty sure at Beenleigh, south of Brisbane. This was the terminus at the time of the truncated Tweed Heads line and the train is another swing door set.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 8/9/08. This one's from Mark Bau.

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Bau
To: Peter Bruce
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:34 AM
Subject: Re: Monday Morning Photo. 8/9/08.


Peter has mentioned that he doesn't mind us young'uns adding to this mailout so whilst scanning tonight I came across this one. I normally wouldn't scan a pure NSW shot as my website is 100% VR but I thought this might interest a few. I was only 14 when Mum let me travel by myself (actually with a fellow railfan who is now a fellow spark driver, Colin McKee) to Albury on the Sunday excursion train. The year is 1977 and this was my first taste of railroading NSW style. We made our way to the loco depot office which was a very modest affair, after asking if we could walk around and take a few photos the simple reply was "long as ya don't get run over" I remember it was just before the Melbourne Cup, actually I think it was the first weekend of daylight saving, and I saw a Melbourne Cup sweep pinned to the wall of the loco office. I mentioned that I was suprised that the Melbourne Cup was of interest this far from Melbourne to which the bloke who gave us permission replied "Race the stops the bloody nation innit?" Funny the silly little details you remember.

It was hot day and I was genuinely fascinated with the locos I had only previously seen in books and magazines. The certainly looked different and in the case of the ALCO's sounded very different, I recall the smell of the railway was different too. A friendly shed crew invited us into a 48 class and took us for a spin. These NSW people seemed very friendly! We watched the ceremonial changing of the locos on the northbound Daylight and then got in position for this departure shot. Considering this was with a cheapie rangfinder camera it's not a bad shot, I have no idea if the nice positioning of the signal gantry was intentional or not, probably not.

31 years on probably the only thing that still survives is the station tower seen above the 421. I think I'd be standing on the Albury bypass freeway if I tried to take this shot today.


Thanks for this one Mark, we can see that you were once a Teenage Railfan, I've heard it said that you still are. If anyone would like to follow Mark's lead, please feel free, your contribution will be acknowledged

Sunday 7 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 8/9/08. South Brisbane.

G'day all, South Brisbane in 1968 was a gritty, slightly down at heel part of town but just across the Victoria Bridge respectability and solidity beckoned.

South Brisbane at this time of day was noisy too, trams clattering over rail joints and crossings and gongs demanding right of way.

At Melbourne Street and Stanley Street..... Lots of cars, tramcars that is, most of them would have just run out into traffic from Ipswich Road Depot to serve the PM peak. They're queuing to cross the bridge, "One Car per Span at a Time". At this time the new Victoria Bridge was being built but without tram tracks. Clem Jones, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, had got his way and pretty soon Brisbane's very effective tramway system would be replaced by a fleet of new Leyland Leopards.

Melbourne could have gone the same way, I believe it was on the cards. We probably have Major-General Risson to thank for saving the Melbourne's tramways. Incidentally, he came from the Brisbane City Council Tramways to run the M&MTB.

The motorman of the Dropcentre car is dwelling on the green, or maybe it's a T light. As soon as it changes, or maybe a second before, he'll hit the gong and notch up out into Melbourne Street. I know the drill well, I did it thousands of times myself in my 10+ years on the job in Melbourne.


Peter Bruce.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Monday Morning Photo. Wednesday 3/9/08.

G'day all, these days I'm only calling it Monday Morning Photo out of habit, I wanted to post the pic of Bendigo No.2 and I couldn't find it until tonight. I was getting a bit worried, I hate to lose anything, especially negs.

Two of my very favourite places

Bendigo about lunchtime on a Sunday I think it was, No.2 has topped the rise in View Street and has just left the double track to turn into Barnard Street on the way to the Borough of Eaglehawk.

Following Kevin Sewell's request I have turned to the New South Wales Government Railways for the other shot, the fireman of 5375 is scooping up the staff for the single track section north of Scarborough. The train is a fairly typical local of the time. I loved the Illawarra with the blue Pacific on one side and the brooding escarpment just inland. And plenty of trains. The photo's not too sharp..........too bad.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Friday 29 August 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 25/8/08.

G'day all, today's posting is a bit of a compromise...I had suggested that I'd post some more photos of Victoria's provincial tramways but Kevin Sewell hinted while that would be most welcome that perhaps some offerings from country New South Wales or the Brisbane tramways would not go amiss and suggestions are always welcome.

So Gosford in 1968 is offered, not a great photo but there is a lot to look at in this one. It's probably more like suburbia these days but back then it was the gateway to the north of NSW and a very busy place.

Bendigo 19 is a 1920 product of Duncan&Fraser, car builders, of Adelaide and it's on the way to the terminus at Billy Rodda's Golden Square Hotel. Every motor vehicle that I can identify is Australian built. There is a Ford Zephyr panel van and a Morris 1100, going away. And coming towards us a Mini, a Valiant and a split screen Kombi, like the one that lives in my garage. Hopefully one day it will take to the road again.

'til next week,

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

P.S. I have been going back through earlier Monday Morning Photos postings and quite a few will take a bit of editing before I forward them to the blog, it may be a fairly slow process.

Sunday 17 August 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 18/8/08.

G'day all, I havn't posted any Ballaarat tramway photos before, 'bout time I reckon. The provincial tramways in Victoria were operated by the State Electricity Commission. Geelong closed in the '50s but Ballaarat and Bendigo lingered into the '70s despite numerous attempts at closure. They were truly working museums.

So I never saw Geelong but I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the other two cities and I walked the length of each line at least once.

The three attached photos are all taken on the long line connecting Sebastopol and Lydiard Street North, all lines were through-routed via Sturt Street which I suppose you would have to call Ballaarat's main drag. It was also the route of the Western Highway through the city which I think had about 70,000 inhabitants at the time.

The Sebastopol tram terminated at the Royal Mail Hotel, if it was raining you'd hardly get wet between the tram and the Public Bar, No.38 is waiting for time and quite possibly for it's crew to emerge from the said Public Bar.

34 has halted at the compulsory stop in Drummond Street, South and will swing right into Sturt Street to make another stop on it's way to the City and Lydiard Street, North. Anyone recognise the old Pommy motorbike?

The third picture is of 38 again and it is in Sturt Street at Lydiard Street and once the car ahead has crossed Lydiard Street and a new crew have showed up 38 will pull ahead and the Motorman will set the points to take the left curve for Lydiard Street, North. The crew being relieved are heading for the Sturt Street messroom.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

P.S. I have made some progress on my blog/archive, I'm back to September '07 with MMP postings and the slideshow will take you to my Picasa albums, almost everything can be viewed full screen in your browser.


Seems like a good way of backing up to me and pretty easy too.

Thursday 14 August 2008

Absence of MMP. 13/8/08.

Been having some computer probs. and some with lack of inspiration.

I'll get back on track over the next few days.

Mick McGowan corrected me re the silhouette shot in my last posting, it was taken at Garden Gully Loop in Mount Korong Road. Thanks Mick.

The attached shows No.2 having just swung into Mount Korong Road from Barnard Street and approaching Garden Gully.

I think I might give the provincial tramways a bit of a run over the next few weeks.

Best regards to all,

Peter Bruce.


Friday 1 August 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 30/7/08.

G'day all, a couple of Bendigo shots, No. 3 is at Eaglehawk, the toddler is now 40, that makes her mum..........??

The last days silhouette is, I think, at Needle Loop outbound to Eaglehawk in what passed for the evening peak in 1970s Bendigo.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Friday 25 July 2008

Monday Evening Photo. 21/7/08.

G'day all, giving myself the week off and putting some time in on the blog/archive.


But I've attached a photo anyway, nothing flash but I don't mind it.

Woori Yallock, up Warburton pass.


Peter Bruce.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 14/7/08.

G'day all, the photo of 404 has got me tossed, I don't recognise the location, maybe someone can help me. Generally the 400s only worked bunker first from Peterborough to Terowie.

The other shot demonstrates the huge step that the South Australian Railways took in the '20s, the little tank engine on the right is representative of the pre Webb motive power while 718, looking pretty much as delivered, was the new broom. Bloody big broom! Again I can't remember the occasion or the location. Any ideas?


Peter Bruce.

Thursday 10 July 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 7/7/08.

Australian cities were always very quiet on a Sunday morning but I reckon Adelaide was especially so. The only thing to disturb the peace was the 9.00am arrival of the "Overland" from Melbourne.

This particular Sunday was an exception though, a long rake of green and cream cars was docked at the southernmost platform of the Adelaide Railway Station and a growing and chattering crowd thronged the surrounds.

They were waiting for engine no. 500 to couple to the train. Many perhaps re-living earlier days when a 500 backed down from Mile End every night to take the "Overland" out.

Presently wisps of smoke and steam showed off in the distance and 500's big, black backside approached, rolling at a very dignified pace.

As usual the crowd gathered to watch the loco nudge gently onto the train then stood on tiptoe to peer into the cab with its mysterious gauges and shining levers.

Train travel, all travel really, used to be exciting, an adventure. Today it's a bit like catching a lift.



Wednesday 9 July 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 1/7/08.

This Victoria Square photo is just about my favourite personal tramway photo ever.....my memory says Saturday lunchtime back when the shops closed at midday. The silver and red H cars have just arrived from the Bay. I reckon Grandma and grand daughter are crossing in front of the cars on their way to the Saturday Matinee at the pictures, they're both dressed up for their treat in town. This shot reminds me that ladies of my mum's vintage would never have gone into town without the hat and gloves. People dressed much more formally back then....... Except at the beach.

At the right of the picture is the Inspectors cabin and there are a couple of spare trolley poles and the departure bells attached to the traction pole in the foreground.

I must say I always preferred these big cars in silver and red.

In the other picture the same set is at Glenelg, down by the Bay.