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 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.


Monday Morning Photo. 24/6/08.

G'day all, a couple of photos, maybe 30 seconds between them, taken on the March '63 trip to Victor Harbor.

These photos were taken on the return trip.

I'm in the process of setting up a blog which will be a sort of archive of all the Monday Morning Photos.

Thanks to me darlin' daughter Leonie I now know how to do this.

By next week I should have made some progress and will let you know how to access it.


Peter Bruce.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Monday Morning Photo. 16/6/08. The Mountain King.

I've taken a step back from last weeks photos, the trip to Victor Harbor was on the Sunday so there was time for a preview at the Mile End roundhouse on Saturday.

The 500 certainly had presence.

I've had a marathon session scanning photos from this March 1963 trip so I'll post a few over the next weeks.

I know at least Weston Langford and Ted Godwin from our group were on the train. Any photos or memories?

Best regards to all,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 2/6/08.

G'day all, late again, the usual lather of indecision, scan this, discard that.......

So I finally made a decision.....hmmm, not sure though.

Just get on with it.

By the early sixties there was probably only one regular steam hauled passenger train out of Melbourne and that was the 4.23pm Bacchus Marsh. I rode out to the Marsh frequently on this train but I don't seem to have photographed it at all. But another train that was often, but not reliably, steam hauled was the 6.05pm Geelong.

I have posted this photo of 986 before but I think it was in the very early days of the Monday Morning Photo, maybe when it only went to Rick Dempster and his mates at RMIT. I would not be surprised if this was the last time an A2 ran a regular passenger train out of Spencer Street, maybe towards the end of 1962 but I couldn't be sure of the date at all. Does anyone know? I rode down to Werribee, that was as far as you could go back in those days if you wanted to get a passenger train back. I don't know why I wouldn't have travelled all the way, I could have got a goods out of North Geelong Yard or hitched home. I reproach myself still. Werribee was better than nothing though.

The night 706 ran the 6.05 I obviously wasn't travelling. I reckon the young bloke in the suit leaning out the door of the leading car might be none other than Dave MacCartney. If my eyes don't decieve me he's travelling 1st Class but if he has a ticket at all it would be 2nd Class, Economy in this day and age. Sounds so much nicer, don't you think!! Makes one feel better about oneself. Confession; back then I felt much better about myself if I hadn't paid at all. My conscience had not fully developed, riding for nothing was better than not riding at all. I'm not sure the Commissioners would have understood though.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 26/5/08.

G'day all, last weeks photo of 740 at Pyramid Mick McGowan correctly picked as being on a holiday weekend. Mick is a Bendigonian from way back [Swan Hill is an outer suburb isn't it Mick?]. He pointed out that the regular daily train in those days would only be the two steel cars and a van. By way of further proof 688 is coming into Bendigo station on the up Echuca which would normally have been a railmotor at that time, 1962-3.

Leaving Bendigo behind 740 we crossed 727 on the up Swan Hill service on the double track somewhere about North Bendigo. Glad I managed to get someones saggy back fence into the photo, should have reported them to the fence police!

717 is at Ararat R* late in the arvo on the 1.40pm service from Spencer Street to Horsham, it was known as "The Peanut" beyond Ararat where it was reduced to two cars and a van and the Diesel loco replaced by an R class 4-6-4 for the 70 odd miles to Horsham. By the early 1960s there were very few regular steam hauled passenger trains left in Victoria so this was a bit of a must do. If I remember correctly, and there is every chance that I don't, we called in to see the late and much lamented Brian Brooke and his family at Horsham and then joined "The Overland" at 12.57am to travel on to Adelaide. I cannot remember who I travelled with though Ted Godwin comes to mind and I think the occasion might have been for a trip with the S.A.R 500 to Victor Harbor. If someone can confirm this I will post some photos next week.

*For those not familiar Ararat R means that Ararat station had a Refreshment Room, Counter meals and Light Refreshments available at Reasonable Rates.

Best regards to all,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 13/5/08.

I made a rash promise last week, well not quite a promise, but I did hint that I might start on some S.A.R. broad gauge photos.

Maybe next week. I took a look at a few shots and decided they could do with re-scanning,.... or maybe travelling back in time and taking them again! I wish.

So we're back at what was probably my favourite railway town, Peterborough, South Australia.

404's train is rumbling into town from the mines of Broken Hill, this would have to be after the Christmas 62-63 shutdown, auto couplers have been fitted. The Terowie line is slewing off to our right and to our left we have a magnificent example of the classic corrugated iron backyard dunny, blowfly heaven.

The station itself had something, it was no architectural masterpiece, the original building was a typical South Australian country station and it had colonised 1 road, the platform road from the railmotor shed at the far end to the Yardmaster's Office nearest the camera.

I've got to say, too, that I always preferred a railway station at ground level. That is, after I discovered that there were such things in Australia. Me being a Victorian used to high level platforms with enamelled signs at each end saying...NO ROAD.

That almost makes me homesick but perhaps I'll stick with Peterborough for a week or two.

Regards to all,

Peter Bruce


Well worth a look, thanks Mike Venn.

Monday Morning Photo. 20/5/08.


G;day all, well I said I was feeling a bit homesick so maybe it's time to come back to Victoria and the old Victorian Railways; back where I caught the bug. Early memories, Platform One Centre at Flinders Street, a gloomy morning and a rake of dark red wooden corridor cars waiting for an engine to come around the viaduct from North Melbourne. It eventually passed us and seemed to me to almost disappear in the distance before it finally eased back down onto our train and coupled up.

Going to the country by train back then was a big thing for a family, your mum and dad were in a semi panic for a couple of days beforehand so you'd always be at the station and have the luggage stowed way before the loco appeared. As the engine backed down towards its train a knot of onlookers, mostly dads and kids, would always gather to watch it couple up. It was a ritual that for me meant the start of our holiday and as exciting for me was the train trip there and back.

Attached are a couple of shots from the VR of old, nothing much to do with the above and about 20 years later.

R740 on the Swan Hill train at Pyramid and a Sunday morning get together at Heywood down in the South West. I think 539 and 546 were on our train, an Australian Railway Exploration Association weekend trip to Mount Gambier and Millicent and I have a feeling that there was another goods in the offing somewhere, backed out along the branch perhaps. Maybe someone can fill in some of the lamentable gaps in my memory.

Until next week,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 6/5/08.

G'day all, been staring at this shot on my desktop all week, meant to post it on Sunday night but was suffering from an excess of elation after attending Melbourne's fantastic come-from-behind win against Fremantle. I know most of you don't have the same devotion to football that I have so I'll shut up now.

So.... this is Hawker, South Australia. January 1963. I've pretty much come to the end of my photos of the friendly South Australian narrow gauge railways and this Commonwealth Railways line to Hawker from Quorn was the last regularly operating remnant of the old Central Australian Railway south of Maree. And I reckon that this photo was probably the last frame of the last film that I exposed on this long narrow gauge ramble.

When we got back to Quorn we camped overnight in this brakevan and I have a very painful memory from that stay. I was wandering around the yard in the dark looking for a place to have a leak when my right knee came into violent contact with a point lever. The top of it was exactly at knee level, I can still feel the pain and I nursed it back to Melbourne and then some. The worst bit was overnight on "The Overland", the second class seat was comfortable enough but there wasn't enough leg room so I had to hang my leg out into the aisle for every restless bugger to trip over........bloody agony.

Bob Wilson posted me some great shots of this part of the world which I forwarded to *, if anyone has missed out and would like to see them, let me know. Would you mind if I posted them to the group Bob?

I've got some S.A.R broad gauge photos too, I might start on them next week.

Best regards 'til next week,

Peter Bruce.

*P.S. yahoogroups do not archive attachments but I've kept most if not all of them from Thingswithwheels and will eventually get around to some sort of photo archive. I also intend to organise these MMP postings so that they can easily be referred back to by anyone interested.

Monday Morning Photo. 1/5/08.

G'day all, T211 has just arrived at Quorn on the weekly Hawker goods and from this point it will cease to be an S.A.R train and become a Commonwealth Railways train. 211 will continue to Hawker but the S.A.R brakevan will come off and be replaced by the ComRails van lurking behind the engine, see the taildisc? That van had been the Hotel Quorn for Ray Graf and I while we waited overnight for the goods to arrive and we camped in it when we got back from Hawker too.

I read somewhere, can't think where, that in it's heyday the railway employed 400 people at Quorn, that figure seems a lot but it was definitely a railway town before it was bypassed by the standard gauge line between Port Augusta and Maree.

Quorn railway station was unusual, still is, the building is set well back from the tracks. In this photo you can see the paved strip alongside the tracks and the lights on the poles but there is a paddock between here and the station building and an imposing railway station it is too.

According to a 1930s South Australian Railways time table I have a train set out from Quorn for Alice Springs on every second Thursday, the Alice was 746 miles away and when you passed Hawker you only had 705 miles to go. Well over 1000 kilometres in the new money.

Don't know about you, but in my minds eye I can see passengers stepping down from the cars onto that narrow strip of asphalt to stretch the legs and not one of them without a hat.

The train was here for two hours, plenty of time for a meal in the Railway Refreshment Rooms or a few beers over the way at The Transcontinental Hotel .

Take a look at the attached timetable and see how long it took to get to the Alice.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

P.S. Google Pichi Richi Railway.

Monday Morning Photo. 26/4/08.

Quorn, January 1963. Along with Ray Graf I'd hitched up from Whyalla to Port Augusta and then up through the Pichi Richi Pass to ride the weekly goods to Hawker over all that was left of the southern section of the Central Australian Railway. A word or two of explanation may be necessary here.

A map would be handy but Google Earth will make it clear. The narrow gauge Central Australian Railway ran east from Port Augusta to Quorn where it connected with the South Australian line from Peterborough, it then ran north through Hawker all the way to Alice Springs. The section between Hawker and Maree was abandoned when the new standard gauge line was built between Port Augusta and Maree.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 23/4/08.

G'day all, apologies for the late posting, I've been sucked in to watching a few episodes of "Underbelly", I don't mind a bit of murder and mayhem in familiar settings.

Anyway.....Broken Hill Proprietory's 3'6" line out from Whyalla to the iron ore was called a tramway..... I don't think so. Did you ever see a tramway with a breakdown crane like this one?

It was actually a very impressive, heavy duty railway.

I'd really like to see some more photos from this era because I didn't take many.

Any takers?


Peter Bruce.

Fw: Not the MMP. 22/4/08.

Just a couple more extracts from last weeks photo, I'm often fascinated by the unremarked detail in a picture.

e.g. in the coupler shot, the shadow of the coupler and the stuff in the background against the corrugated iron wall, there is a jack there I think and various drums and kero tins adapted for useful purposes, recycling ain't a new thing. And that's a neat looking little three wheel trolley, they didn't get that at Bunnings. It must have been some kind of maintenance point with that light sticking out of the wall quite low down.

Mark Blythe noticed that the corrugated iron shed had no guttering, no way of collecting run-off in a very dry place......what was that I said about recycling??

I like this stuff but tell me if you think I'm scratchin' around like an old chook.

I havn't forgotten about this weeks photo, just havn't quite got around to it.

Best regards to all,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 17/4/08.

Two compressors, and a steam take-off pipe from the dome as mentioned by Ted Godwin.

Too tired to contribute any more tonight.

Peter Bruce.


Monday Morning Photo no.2. 16/4/08.

Here's the view from the other end of the boiler.



Monday Morning Photo. 16/4/08.

Good mornin' all, as penance for not promptly posting a picture on Monday morning I am going to force myself to post several this week, all of the same subject.

Viz. Whyalla No.4......... I dunno how long it had been since this engine had ventured out on BHP's main line but it was still useful in early 1963, it had a tender full of coal. Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in the U.S.A in 1914 to bring iron ore down from the Middleback Range to Whyalla it was superseded pretty quickly by bigger Baldwin 2-8-2s. By the time I got there in 1963 the big engines had been replaced by GM diesels and cut up and made into Toyotas but this little jigger was still steamable.

No apologies for the size of this image. Resize to suit. One of the recipients of these postings, I sure he knows who he is, told me that he had only ever thought of steam locomotives as being lovingly polished and preened. They were seldom like that in their everyday existence and this is a bit like being close up.

A couple more to come.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.



Monday Morning Photo. 8/4/08.

G'day all, was having a bit of trouble with Photoshop along with a bit of trouble staying awake so the Monday Morning Photo has become the Wednesday Morning Photo.

The Eyre Peninsula Touring Party broke up at Port Lincoln on Friday 11/1/63, Westy and John Brady headed back to Port Adelaide on The M.V. Troubridge and Ray Graf and I stuck out our thumbs and hitched back north to Whyalla to visit the B.H.P line which ran out to the iron ore deposits at Iron Knob and Iron Baron. I think it was called a tramway but it was really a pretty heavy duty narrow gauge railway. Ray and I rode out to Iron Knob and back in an ex S.A.R brakevan. I must have been running out of film because I havn't got many shots of their main line operation which was run with General Motors G12 diesels.

However.....Ray and I were allowed a free run of B.H.P's railway operation, " just be a bit careful fellas". Well, we were, and just as well, it was a pretty hazardous location for the unaware and you wouldn't get within a bulls roar of any site like it today.

There were a few remnants of the steam days hanging around their loco depot and a picture of one of the remnants is attached. It's a much modified Beyer Peacock 2-6-2 tank, 1908 vintage I think. It was in steam as a stationary boiler, dunno what it was providing steam for though.

There were some more interesting remnants and I'll get around to them in the coming weeks.

I remember this was a Saturday and Whyalla was jumpin' on the Saturday night, the local boys and girls all went to the pictures and then jumped into their FC Holdens and did laps of the main drag, it made me wish I lived in Whyalla!!

So we slept on the beach and communed with the local mozzies, lucky for me I don't rate as a delicacy but they buzzed around me all night trying to figure out why not.

We were over Whyalla by Sunday morning so there was nothing for it but to hitch up to Port Augusta and over the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn.

Life was tough. Who'd be a teenage railfan?

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Re:Monday Morning Photo. 31/3/08.

This posting is in reply to Pete Groom's query at the bottom of the page.

Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 6:05 PM
Subject: Re: [Thingswithwheels] Monday Morning Photo 033108.

Pete, it was an isolated 3"6' gauge system and still survives in private ownership, an American company, Genesee&Wyoming maybe?? It is somewhat truncated I believe.

Take a look at

This site is run by Peter Knife who is the authority on the Division and the author of two books about it.

If you take another look at the map travelling north along the shore of Spencer Gulf you will see another isolated railway, from Whyalla to Iron Knob and Iron Baron, this is also 3"6' and serves iron ore deposits. I'll post a few shots of this in the coming weeks. I travelled out to the Knob after leaving Port Lincoln. Hope you enjoyed this series of postings, I get a kick out of putting them together and remembering the fun I had back then.

Best regards,

Peter Bruce.

Attached a pair of Victorian Railways R class Hudsons on a fan trip.

Sunshine. Note the graffiti on the wall of the market.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Thingswithwheels] Monday Morning Photo 033108.

Was it isolated from the rest of the SA system as the map seems to suggest?

pete groom

Monday Morning Photo. 31/3/08.

G'day all, time to wind up on the Port Lincoln Division, basically I've run out of pictures. I've attached the map of the Division taken from the August 1961 Public Timetable. We covered all the lines except Kowulka to Kevin and Rudall to Buckleboo and given the sparseness of the services and our limited time there it was pretty good going.

The other attachment is a photo of a Fageol railcar, this car operated until August 1961 and we found it lurking in the weeds at the Port Lincoln depot along with other surplus to requirements engines and rolling-stock. These cars were converted from motor omnibuses during the '30s to replace a passenger service which consisted mostly of goods trains with passenger cars attached and despite appearances they would have made a massive improvement to the quality of service. Even in 1963 they looked archaic and the Brill cars that we rode were very basic by our 2008 standards. Basic or not I'd happily drag my old carcase around on this trip again if I could..... I'm not as hardy 45 years later but I reckon I could do it and put up with the aches and stiffness for weeks after..........I wish.


Peter Bruce.

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Re: Monday Morning Photo. 24/3/08.

I tried to attach the two pages in order, naturally that didn't work.

Anyway it'll do for an excuse to post a couple more shots taken at Port Lincoln itself. The station, which is still standing, is a pretty impressive public building. Much more impressive than that at Peterborough which was the headquarters of a much busier Division. In the other photo Brill 487 is lurching out of the platform road and setting out for Minnipa, the passenger load would be pretty negligible but the two vans hint at a fair bit of roadside van goods. The passenger service on this Division lasted 'til 1968. The cars in the yard are Relay Vans used on the Buckleboo working, two separate crews worked these trains out and back in relaying shifts, one on and one off.

Peter Knife's two recent books "Peninsula Pioneer" and "Peninsula Memories" are very recommended reading for anyone who would like to know more about this isolated and remote railway and it's people which really was responsible for opening up vast areas of South Australia's west coast in the early years of the 20th Century.

Eric Newby's book "The Last Grain Race" describes how much of the grain produced here reached Europe in the years before the Second War. Also worth reading is "Ketch Hand" by Ron Theile. The Port Adelaide ketch fleet mostly seemed to serve the small Gulf ports but some ventured out into the Bight. Trucks finally knocked this trade on the head in the early '60s.

I was too flat out to post last week but I reckon I have made up for it now!

Best regards to all, the list continues to grow,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 24/3/08.

G'day all, I've attached my 45 year old account of our travels, I wish I had done this more often on my travels instead of trusting my memory to hold up. It does OK but there are definite gaps


Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 22/3/08.

Minnipa, South Australia, January the 8th, 1963. This is the weekly passenger train to Thevenard, a Brill Motor and trailer. Minnipa has a train order signal, why?, there has never been a train through here that hasn't stopped. I must say it looks good though, it really adds something to the railway scene whilst being totally useless. 4.19pm, not precisely, train 171 clattered out of Minnipa bound for Thevenard and the shores of the Great Australian Bight and your four would-be intrepid travellers were aboard.112 miles and four and a bit hours later we got there.

I realise that the last few weeks photos have been a bit all over the place, no real sequence, so next week I'll post my contemporary account of out journey. Written when I was 45 years younger.

Regards to all,

Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 9/3/08.


G'day all, we're still on the Eyre Peninsula, 851 is ready to depart the end of the line, Penong, with another trainload of bagged wheat, this train was an advertised connection through to Port Lincoln although an overnight stay was necessary at Ceduna or Thevenard. The next morning departure was at 4.25 am out of Thevenard so naturally we made ourselves comfortable in the Brill motor which was docked with it's trailer pointing at Port Lincoln 269 1/2 miles away. In those days I could sleep anywhere, wouldn't see a bed for weeks. I've gotten soft in my dotage, these days a swag is the minimum.

The previous night we had arrived from the east on the same Brill motor, no.101 with trailer 303 at about 9.00 pm, by the looks of it a full moon. The tripod and cable release had to come out of the bag.

We had hoped to make it out to Kevin before we went to Penong but 851 failed so we had to be content with the trip out to Penong. Compared to Mount Hope this was a metropolis, inhabited mostly by flies.

We paid for every mile we travelled on the Port Lincoln Division, the old SAR didn't care if your conveyance resembled a travelling chook shed, they still chased the revenue. Unlike some other government railways.

Although we all slept rough we made sure that every day we had a decent meal. Every town of any size had at least one cafe, usually run by a Greek family, where you could get a decent feed at a reasonable price. Steak, chips and salad, bread and butter and a pot of tea would be pretty typical. That kept your energy up, I was still a teenager, I had hollow legs, always hungry. You could usually get a breakfast of fresh rolls before the rest of the town woke up too, you just followed your nose to the bakery.


Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 24/2/08.

G'day all, when I was a trammie I never liked to run late. So my mind's at ease now, I'm back on time.

In actual distance Mount Hope wasn't all that far from Port Lincoln and civilisation but the only place I've been to that seemed more remote was when travelling up the old Central Australian Railway on the Dirty Ghan, a very slow goods train with a couple of cars attached. More about that another time.

We arrived at Mount Hope very late arvo, maybe more like early evening and all that had to be done was for the open wagons to be set out and for the engine, the gin and the pig to reverse on the triangle and set back onto the van. As I remember the crew took their crib then and as dusk drew in we departed on a nonstop run to Yeelanna arriving about 10.00pm. According to my skimpy notes we did a fair bit of roadside work on the way back to Port Lincoln but I remember little, must have been asleep. Westy reckons that Pearlah Bank was a bit of a battle for 180. We eventually got into Port Lincoln about 6.00am, about eight hours late according to the Working Timetable issued on 9/1/61. That's 23 hours for the return trip of 147 1/2 miles.

Bob Murphy responded to my last post with two words....."another world", I couldn't think of a more apt comment.

There was never a silo here of course so maybe the local cockies brought their mechanisation with them but I reckon just as likely every bag of wheat had to be lumped from the farmer's truck and stacked in this rake of wagons, lucky they had a fortnight to do it in. Indeed another world.
Best regards to all, if you know of anyone who might like to join the list just send me their email address.
Peter Bruce.