Tuesday 31 August 2010

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 31/08/2010.

G'day all, I think that it was in late November 1963 that three of us, Graeme Westwood, Kevin Taig and I, set off for Queensland. I can't be sure about the exact time but maybe Kevin can set me right. We left Melbourne on the morning Albury and travelled on to Sydney on the South Mail in the leading car which was an LFX, an ancient vehicle whose classification meant that it was a compartment car with a lavatory serving each pair of compartments. A slightly up market dogbox!! But that virtually guaranteed us against a visit from any railway official who may have been interested to see our non-existent tickets. 401 miles and 48 chains of travel on the NSWGR Commissioners.
I've always been grateful.
"The Brisbane Express", train number 17, via Wallangarra, left Sydney three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It was an early afternoon departure at 1.55pm and arrival at Wallangarra on the NSW-Qld border was at 8.20 the next morning by which time we'd covered 492 miles, close to 800 kilometres.
We had a 46 class electric to Gosford and a 43 class diesel on to Broadmeadow but from then on it was steam all the way to Brisbane.
This week's posting will take us to the border.
Out of Broadmeadow we had 3616, unique in NSW as the only engine fitted with the Geisl exhaust ejector, hence the funny looking stack.
At Werris Creek a pair of 32s took over as far as Armidale [I think], thence a single 32 to Tenterfield and the last 11 miles to Wallangarra were handled by a 50 class 2-8-0.
Wallangarra Railway Refreshment Room provided us with a good breakfast during the 32 minutes allowed to change to the narrow gauge Queensland Government Railways train.
The only decent photo this week shows 3616 backing down onto the Express at Broadmeadow, then we have a shot at Muswellbrook which shows a not untypical NSWGR overnight train, a couple of insulated vans, a string of 1st and 2nd class sitters and a couple of sleeping cars. A pair of mail or luggage vans brought up the rear.
By the time we got to Tenterfield behind 3315 the rake was much reduced.
We would have been the only passengers travelling the whole way to Brisbane as there were two trains every night taking the much shorter North Coast line and they catered for the through loading. The route via Wallangarra was the original connection between the two capital cities though.
Next week we'll take the train to Brisbane.
Peter Bruce.

Monday 30 August 2010

Roger Hill's Prompt Reply to MMP 23/08/2010.

Subject: Re: Monday Morning Photo, Monday Evening. 23/08/2010.

Hi Peter
Twas indeed I, I remember it well, here are some shots plus some others I took at another time. I think we decided on the spur of the moment that Friday afternoon to go on the ARHS trip that night to chase the Southern Aurora up to Wallan behind an R. We incurred the wrath of the ARHS heirachy on board for getting on the train without a ticket even though we wanted to buy a ticket on the train.

Monday 23 August 2010

Monday Morning Photo, Monday Evening. 23/08/2010.

G'day all, been a bit short of time over the last couple of weeks but more to the point I've been a bit short of inspiration.
So while I gather my thoughts I've put together a few photos taken at the long gone North Melbourne Locomotive Depot.
Many of you will have absolutely no knowledge or recollection of the great smokey edifice which once dominated the western end of North and West Melbourne. Melway 43 B6.
Just behind North Melbourne station.
These pictures are all interiors so I'd certainly welcome any contribution showing the exterior and its location.
It was a long brick shed built probably fairly late in the 19th century, maybe 1870-80? I'm sure someone can clarify the date. It contained three 70 foot turntables each radiating roads around the full 360 degrees and it provided nearly all the Victorian Railways locomotive stock in Melbourne until the early 1960s.
By that time steam was on its last legs and these shots are from that time.
I have posted these before perhaps but some of you wont have seen them.
I think they were all taken the same late afternoon with the kind forbearance of the shed foreman. I think I was there with Roger Hill. Any memories Roger? better still any pictures?
Peter Bruce.

Monday 2 August 2010

Monday Morning Newspaper Clippings.2/8/2010

G'day all, this seems an appropriate way to finish off the story of a great weekend. The commencement of standard gauge through passenger service recieved huge coverage in the papers of the day. I think all of Melbourne's daily press is represented in this selection, in those days we had two morning papers "The Age" and "The Sun" and an evening paper "The Herald". Our family didn't have a TV at the time so I have no recollection of the television coverage, I wonder if any has survived.
I felt sure that I once had an actual print of the Tallarook picture but having read a little about other peoples unreliable memory recently I am willing to concede that I may have "misremembered".........and I don't remember where I got that word from either......maybe Mark Twain!!
There isn't much that I need to say about these little gems. The occasion was celebrated officially with a fair bit of the old Imperial pomp but the Premier of the time, Henry Bolte, let the side down at the Parliamentary Garden Party. He is wearing the required top hat and morning suit but note the hands in the pockets.....that gives him away for the cow cocky* that he really was. I'm just surprised that the top hat wasn't on the back of his head!
"The Spirit of Progress" and "The Southern Aurora" are long gone now and so are the State Railway Departments and most of the railway people that ran them.
And in many ways more's the pity.
Peter Bruce.
*cocky=small time farmer.