Tuesday 27 July 2010

Re MMP 27/07/2010.


G'day all, have done some editing of the latest post. The photo entitled Seymour Big Wheel had an obvious defect and there were some errors in the text.
The edits are in the posting to:
More careful proof reading is called for.
Peter Bruce.
P.S. I'm very happy to have any errors pointed out to me, errors of grammar and spelling especially.
P.P.S. For those unfamiliar with Melbourne I've attached another picture of Southern Cross Station as it is today.

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 27/07/2010.


G'day all, it was "All Change" for the last time at Albury on that now distant Monday morning. The last broad gauge "Spirit of Progress", a long rake of blue and gold steel cars was in the dock platform with the usual S class 1800hp cab unit on the front. My 1960 Victorian Railways public timetable has SOP departure time as 7.50 am for an 11.30 am Melbourne arrival but I'm not sure of our actual times.
Albury to Seymour, 129.25 miles, was the standard "Spirit of Progress" experience, mostly mile after mile at 70 mph, no slackening at the stations as we exchanged the Miniature Electric Staff for each section on the automatic exchanger at line speed.
At Seymour all that changed. To mark the occasion two of the very few remaining A2 class 4-6-0s awaited our arrival, 995 leading 996 both in the able hands of Big Wheel crews, the Wodonga crew that had brought us south from Albury and fresh Seymour men.
I think most of the population of Seymour was there to see us off.
And did we go off!!
This was the Grande Finale, it was one of those times that you'd want to be in two places at once, standing precariously in the open doorway of the leading van or trackside anywhere to watch the two old flyers tear through with the very last "Spirit of Progress". I did have a newspaper print of a shot taken at Tallarook but unfortunately it's gone.
As you can see we had quite a welcoming party on our arrival at Spencer Street Station, fortunately I'm not one to worry about getting people in the shot because it was pretty near impossible both at Seymour and Spencer Street.
Mostly the photos are self explanatory, 996 is backing the train out to the Passenger Yard and 371 was obviously a Pass. Yard pilot that day.
Spencer Street Station was in the throes of it's early sixties rebuild at the time and there is evidence of that in some of the photos.
We now have a completely new station on the same site, it's called Southern Cross Station and so I've posted a photo I took just a few days ago. I stood more or less where I photographed the arrival of the train in 1962. The fella in the foreground of the old shot is Roger Hill I think. I can't remember if you travelled on the trip Roger.
Anyone who would like to respond to my posting or provide any pictures of this great trip, certainly the best I ever travelled on, feel free to use the mailing list. It seems too that a lot more people get these postings than are on the list. I will of course acknowledge the source of any contribution and am very keen to see photos and any information about the trip would be most welcome.
I've tried to attach the photos in chronological order but no matter what I do it never seems to turn out right.
Best Regards,
Peter Bruce.
All previous postings can be found at http://teenagerailfan.blogspot.com

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Monday Morning Photo. 18/07/2010.

G'day all, as I said.......to be continued.
We woke to an early and distinctly chilly Sunday morning as our cars were moved over to the long main platform at Albury Railway Station and shortly a pair of very clean 38 class Pacifics, each in a different shade of green, backed onto the train.
Sydney was 399 1/2 miles away and these two engines would take us all the way there topping up with coal at Demondrille as was routine with the 38s on the Long South.
Our first stop was at Table Top just 9 miles north of Albury where we crossed both No.1, the Melbourne Express and No.3, the Melbourne Limited Express, the very last of their kind and both headed by 38s in honour of the occasion. An absolutely momentous experience that I will never forget.
Photos...sorry, no....when I got my film back from processing almost every frame was damaged, mostly with massive scratches in the emulsion, the photos I've included are the only ones I could recover of the northbound trip.
We went into the loop at Harefield to cross a southbound bound freight and attached is a relatively undamaged shot of our train waiting, the through line stick* is off and visible at the right of the picture.
The other two photos were taken on the Bethungra Spiral just south of Cootamundra. One on the actual up line Spiral and the other on the double track nearer to the top of the grade, probably not far short of the Olympic Way level crossing.
[I got this far yesterday when I was interrupted by two of my sons and dragged kicking and screaming to the local pub to watch the footy on cable TV, Freo v Melbourne. For the first two quarters I did a lot more more kicking and screaming while Freo was all over Melbourne , but then we came home with a wet sail after half-time and almost overan them so I settled for just screaming. Noel, apologies for not responding your text message, I had left my phone at home.]
The Southern line was very quiet that Sunday and we took our time and had plenty of photostops 'til we got to Goulburn which we left over 20 late.
But did we make up time!! The two engine crews really got the bit between the teeth and we had some very fast running all the way into Central. I seem to remember a lot of Buffet Car crockery coming to grief on one of the curves and we beat the boom gates at a level crossing near Campbelltown....... no speed recorders on steam locos in N.S.W.
Dave MacCartney tells me we got in about four early, nearly half an hour regained over 139 miles.
And then we turned around and came home, we were back in Albury not too long after sunrise, this time behind 3823 and 3825. The cold, misty shot was taken at Albury Racecourse.
Next week we'll get back to Melbourne later on the Monday morning.
If anyone can fill in the photographic gaps I'd be very pleased, it was so disappointing to get such a damaged roll of film back and so miss some of the highlights of the trip.
Again.....to be continued.
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.
* stick=signal.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 13/07/2010.

G'day all, in April 1962 passenger traffic commenced on the newly built standard gauge connection between Melbourne and Albury making possible for the first time through services between Australia's two largest cities.
To mark the occasion and to position cars in Sydney for the first southbound through "Spirit of Progress" a special train ran on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of April.
The weekend began with S313 running re-gauged Victorian cars out of the old Spencer Street Station to Albury and attached are a few photos of this Saturday afternoon 190 mile journey.
For those unfamiliar with the Victorian Railways at the time the livery of both the locomotive and cars was a dark blue and gold. The locomotive livery was based on that of the Erie Railroad in the U.S.A with blue substituted for black. It made for a handsome looking train.
This part of the weekend's events was relatively uneventful with just a couple of stops for photos, the first one pictured here is at the towering steel trestle bridge over the Maribyrnong River on what was then the outskirts of Melbourne, the second photo I'm pretty sure was just to the north of Benalla station, that looks like the old roundhouse behind the rear cars of the train.
Apart from the couple of stops it was a pretty leisurely and sociable afternoon with plenty of time for catching up with friends.
After we arrived at Albury our cars were docked over in the transhipping sidings which were no longer much used as all freight traffic ran straight through to Sydney, although for many years afterward engines were still changed here.
Naturally most of us young fellas bedded down overnight in the cars.
To be continued...........
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Monday 5 July 2010

Monday Morning Photo. 5/07/2010.

G'day all, in my last posting we left 3813 at the buffer stop at Central Railway in Sydney, it was about to back down the loco release road and head for Eveleigh Loco. We should have hitched a ride because that's where we headed, probably after visiting the pie stall on the concourse at Central for a shepherd's pie or two, just the thing for the always famished inner teenager.
I'm not sure at this distance of the relative position of the running shed to the workshops but I do know that MacDonaldtown is the station after Redfern and was basically there for the railway establishment and my inkling is that it was virtually alongside the running shed. Can someone enlighten me....I've looked at my 1934 Gregory's replica but I'm none the wiser.
It was a Sunday in the winter of 1962, mostly a dull day, just a couple of patches of sunshine and I seem to have used the best part of a roll of film, 12 shots to a roll. I've attached all the photos I took on that visit, I hope that doesn't cause problems for anyone.
We didn't actually go to the running shed by the looks of it, I think it was still morning and there didn't seem to be anyone much around, we certainly weren't challenged. None of the engines here are in steam but I'd imagine that later in the day there would have been a bit more activity with engines being prepared for that night's mail trains etc.
To a Victorian the 38 class Pacifics were the New South Wales Government Railways so 3817 and 3801 can bookend this bracket of photos, 01 was just another grimey black 38 in those days but always certainly the most famous of the class. I must say though that I preferred 38s shiny black, lined out in red and unstreamlined. Preferred, that is, by a very narrow margin.
6020 seems to have just come out of the 'shops after an overhaul.
The rest of them are all veterans of the previous century.
I can't remember who coined the phrase "long-funnelled and elderly", the Rev. W. Awdry maybe? But it certainly applies to this lot. The 19 class entered service in 1877 and the last two, 1904 and and 1923, were retired in 1972. 1923's Baldwin tender can just be glimpsed in the shot of it's elderly mate 1243 which was built for passenger service at about the same time. 1912 also has the Baldwin tender which replaced the original six wheeler. The 19s with the larger Baldwin tenders ran to Batlow, Oberon and Dorrigo, all branches with tight curves, steep grades and light rail.
The 10 class seems to have been a hold-all for bits and pieces that didn't fit anywhere else, 1033 is obviously being used as a stationary boiler while 1066 has been recently retired going by the chalked sign on the cab side.
That these ancient machines led a useful life for so long gives us a bit of an insight into Australian history, the 1950s and 60s were spent catching up on the depredations to the Australian economy of two World Wars and the Great Depression. We had great demands anyway on our small tax base which had to provide for all kinds of services over vast distances . Until the Second War income tax was raised by the states. The result , to a large extent, for Australia's railways was reliance on improvising and making do.
Peter Bruce.
See http://teenagerailfan.blogspot.com for previous postings.
See also http://picasaweb.google.com/janecooperbennett for some very interesting paintings.

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