Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Morning Photo. 01/01/2012.

G'day all, it seems that I had more than one attempt at the panoramic shot of Long Gully and certainly the location justified it and the description "straggling suburbs of Bendigo" also seems pretty apt. The attached picture is a little messy but on the whole I think it is worth posting. The bogie car has just run through Long Gully loop and is about to pass Grenfell's butcher shop and The Rose of Australia Hotel before heading towards Charing Cross and ultimately Quarry Hill where the line terminated just outside the cemetery like many other tramlines constructed early in the 20th century.
Going by the number of cars angle parked out front the pub is doing a roaring trade on this summer Saturday afternoon in the days before random breath testing. In fact the year 1971 [when this pic was taken] saw the Victorian road toll reach its bloody peak, it has declined ever since in spite of massive population increases and a very much higher incidence of car ownership at least partly because of the sustained campaign against drink driving.
I just recently rediscovered this photo and looking at it I feel that I can still hear the rumble and jingle of this old tramcar on that hot and windless day. Next time I'm in Bendigo I'll have a beer at "The Rose" and a look around Long Gully.
I hope the year ahead treats us all well, and I'd like to thank you all for your information, appreciation and comments, keep them coming. I'll keep the Monday Morning Photos coming, albeit probably irregularly. If anyone would like to use a photo for publication or maybe to just make a print for their own use they can contact me and I'll send a large file. I would like to be credited for the picture but that's all.
Regards and best wishes for 2012,
Peter Bruce.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Monday Morning Photo. Wednesday 14/12/2011.

G'day all, the trouble with only posting one photo at a time is that every photo I look at seems to be the one and so I work myself into a lather of indecision and suddenly it's not Sunday night anymore it's Wednesday afternoon so I make an arbitrary choice.
During the summer of 1971-72 I made a final trip to Bendigo and walked each line end to end. Bendigo is smaller than Ballaarat and the tramway consisted of just two routes, North Bendigo to Golden Square and Quarry Hill to Eaglehawk and they intersected at Charing Cross in the centre of the business district. The line from the Cross out to the Borough of Eaglehawk was the longest and most interesting and  ran up hill and down dale through what in those days were the rather straggling suburbs of Bendigo.
For those of you not familiar Bendigo, like Ballaarat, was a Goldrush town and so slagheaps dotted the landscape and I'm pretty sure that I scrambled up one to take the photo attached.
The location is Long Gully, around about half way out to Eaglehawk from Charing Cross and an outbound bogie car is rolling down the hill and is about to cross Creeth Street. A quick look at NearMap or Google Earth will show you how much Long Gully has changed in the 40 years since I was there with my Pentax Spotmatic. I'm not sure if the slagheap is still there either. Next time I'm up that way I'll have a look around.
In the next few weeks I'll post some more Bendigo shots. Fortunately Bendigo Tramways still operate most of the former North Bendigo to Golden Square line, see
See all my previous postings at
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 21/11/2011.

Have finally sorted out my problems with this posting and attached the right photo.
G'day all, wintry, gloomy Ballaarat again, 1970 or '71, this time we're looking east, down the Sturt Street hill and along Bridge Street. Ballaarat isn't always like this but its winter days are apt to be cold and overcast, that is if it is not actually raining.
The City Loop is accomodating four cars, three single truckers tucked in behind maximum traction bogie car No. 37.  Another single trucker has made the stop amongst the shoppers and strollers in busy, bustling Bridge Street and just behind the tram is the junction of the Victoria Street and Mount Pleasant lines. The former continues up the hill in the background and the latter swings away to the right into Main Street. The weather may be miserable and the light hazy and flat but the scene is definitely lifted by the presence of these five old green and cream tramcars.
By the time this photo was taken street public transport in Australia ran mostly on rubber tyres. Brisbane's Lord Mayor Clem Jones having recently realised his long held ambition to banish trams forever from his domain and having replaced them with a fleet of Leyland Panther buses. The Ballaarat and Bendigo tramways also were not long for this world. That left only the large Melbourne network and Adelaide's line to the Bay at Glenelg. Both survive to this day and both have been extended in recent years.
My thanks  for with this and last weeks postings must go to my editorial assistant and encourager Jennifer Crow, two heads are better than one.
Peter Bruce.
P.S. Thanks to John Gilmour for the correction. Leyland Panthers not Leopards, I got my beasts and buses of prey mixed up. And thanks to Leonie for correcting my spelling mistakes.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 14/11/2011.

G'day all, it's five to two by the Ballaarat Town Hall clock and my sometimes unreliable memory tells me that it is a cold and miserable Friday arvo during the winter of 1971. The final and much postponed closure of the Ballaarat tramways is only months away. More about that later.
Putting  memory aside the scene certainly has the busy air of an old-time Victorian Friday afternoon when everything closed at five..... or five thirty at the latest and the shops closed at midday on Saturday. The weeks business had to be tidied up and the shopping done. Hence the bustle.
My camera was a Pentax Spotmatic and the lens a Takumar 200mm and I was standing part way along Bridge Street looking west along Sturt Street, the city's main drag. I don't know the make of that approaching sedan but the cars in view are typical of the time. They are the cars that killed the tram. The line was single track in Bridge Street but at that waiting shed at the bottom of the Sturt Street hill it divided to run either side of a broad central plantation.
The two single truck trams in Sturt Street are stabled in the City Loop awaiting the PM peak and further up the hill a bogie car has turned out of Lydiard Street North and passengers are boarding for the trip out to Sebastopol.
The Ballaarat system and it's sister tramway in Bendigo outlasted the huge Sydney operation by a decade and the very efficient Brisbane system by a couple of years thanks to the pecularities and the odd alliances of Victorian parliamentary politics.
Several attempts had been made to close these working museums in the post war years but our State was governed for 20 or so years by a coalition of the conservative Liberal Party with the perhaps even more conservative Country Party and up until the '70s they could reach no ageement re closure and so the little tramcars continued to ply their provincial streets carrying fewer and fewer people and losing more and more money every year. At night during winter when the cold and the TV kept people indoors they were empty more often than not.
Trams still run in both Ballaarat and Bendigo thanks to the energetic efforts of the preservation movement and Bendigo has a very active workshop that undertakes work for all comers. A Google search for the Bendigo Tramways and the Ballarat Tramway Museum is worthwhile. All my previous Monday Morning Photo postings can be found at
I'll post a photo next week taken looking down the Sturt Street hill and along Bridge Street to the east.
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.
P.S. A couple of books that might be of interest.
The Golden City and its Tramways.
 Alan Bradley.
Published by the Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc. 2005.
Last Tram at 11.
William. F. Scott.
Published by Full Parallel Productions. 2008.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 31/10/2011.

I count myself very lucky to have been born in the mid 1940s and into the relative prosperity of Australia in the immediate post war period. Our parents were able to provide us with a pretty secure and comfortable upbringing and a good education by dint of hard work and with just a bit of help from the government of the day. At the time I didn't really appreciate my good fortune but I did put it to good use from about 1962 on along with my new found independence. Along with others of my age I witnessed the end of the steam age in Australia. Talk about lucky!!

Enough reflecting on my good fortune. The photo attached is as good an illustration of that as I can find.

Tuesday 24th of January 1964, Junee, New South Wales just after 11am and the "Riverina Express" will depart for Sydney at 11.21 led by 3823.

On a Tuesday the train originated at Griffith and I had travelled up from Albury behind 3801 with just a couple of cars behind the tender to connect with the train pictured here, having camped in the Waiting Room at Albury overnight.

3823 had come up from the Junee roundhouse with a shed crew and the Goulburn men are leaning on the platform railing waiting for departure time.

I took this photo and headed back to the cars, I wanted to ask for a cab ride but I chickened out and pretty soon we belted out of Junee in that inimitable and unique NSWGR way with me back in the cars reproaching my fainthearted self. Needless to say before we drew to a stand at Cootamundra I was at the steps of the cab asking for a ride up front.

"Yeah righto son, up you get, you OK with the shovel?"

So I got to fire a 38 up Morrison's Hill and I've gotta say I thought I managed pretty well, the 38s rode well and the firedoor was air operated by a treadle and of course the driver and fireman kept a close eye on me.

I went back to the cars at Yass Junction, the crew didn't want to risk taking me into Goulburn, too many bosses there.

An unforgettable experience, the planets lined up for me that day. And since that day just before my 20th birthday I've always counted my lucky stars.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Monday Morning Photo, 17/10/2011.

G'day all, I've finally settled down back in Melbourne after my trip to the Kimberley, took me a while, not quite jet lag but it's taken me a while and I'm looking forward to going away again but no plans yet.
Anyway there was next to no railway interest on this trip, I saw the northbound Ghan at Katherine, had a bit of a poke around Darwin station and then nothing until I was at Benalla back in Victoria. I had stopped off to take some pub photos and was getting some shots of the Northeastern Hotel by the level crossing at the up end of the station when the bells and lights started up and the booms went down. The hasty photo is attached.
A couple of things..... I've decided to revert to one photo per posting, it was originally "A Monday Morning Photo" and going back through the many previous offerings I've become aware of much repetition so I'm going to try to be more selective in future. The other thing is that I've become aware that many of you would prefer that your contact details not be so publicly available so not before time I've gone to Bcc for the mailing list, I hope this suits everyone.
In the meantime I've enjoyed the contributions from Bob Wilson and John Phillips every week, they are both a little more reliable than me.
Until next time,
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday Morning Photo, Monday Evening 08/08/2011.

G'day all, been out of circulation lately and will be again very soon as I'm off to the Kimberley on the weekend so I thought I'd better post something to show that I'm still drawing breath.
I've belonged to the Association of Railway Enthusiasts for 50 years now, well maybe there was a bit of an hiatus back in the '70s and '80s, but I did join 50 years ago when I was a beardless youth and now I'm a whiskery senior.
On the 23rd and 30th of July the ARE ran a couple of trips to mark its 50 years and I travelled on the first one and renewed acquaintance with many of the other originals, most of us had at least a few nicks and scratches and other odd evidence of wear and tear.
So I thought I'd leave the Queensland 1964 epic for a while and put up a few photos of the trip to Ballaarat. I had a great day and I'd Like to thank the ARE and the organisers, Graeme Cleak and Bruce McLaren
We travelled to Ballaarat via Bacchus Marsh and returned via North Geelong and at Ballaarat we visited the Tramway Museum and rode No 40 with Motorman Bill Kingsley and Conductor Neil Lardner.
The railway station at Ballaarat has always been my favourite in Victoria and the first time I saw it in the late '50s that magnificent trainshed arch was blackened by years of locomotive smoke and many times I saw "The Overland" stretching way out beyond the western end and across Lydiard Street while a little single truck tram waited for the crossing to clear. That hasn't happened since 1971 when the tramway closed and "The Overland" misses Ballaarat now.
I suppose that spelling Ballaarat with the double a might be thought of as a bit of an affectation but that's how it used to be spelt and I like it that way.
Back in a month or so,
Best regards,
Peter Bruce.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

More Monday Morning Photo, Wednesday Arvo 22/06/2011.

G'day all, the photo is a bit repetetive I know but I just thought I'd draw attention to the differing styles of accomodation available to the discerning traveller on the Queensland Government Railways in 1964. The airconditioned "Sunlander" set is stabled next to some passenger cars of an earlier era. That was the sort of basic accomodation you got if you chose to ride a mixed train, the first choice of any teenage railfan watching the world pass by the window at 20mph.
It is obvious from the photo that Cairns in 1964 was a very different town from today's mini metropolis. It seems from Google Earth[our friend!] that the station has moved too, am I right?
Peter Bruce. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 21/06/2011.

G'day all, first thanks to Arthur Robinson and Geoff Kirton for their clarification of various points about the long North Coast railway, apart from the fact that there is a lot I can't remember, as well much has changed. I have posted their replies to
We finally made it to Cairns and Kuranda but I think I must have been running low on film by this time, I set off from Melbourne with a pack of 12 rolls of Ilford FP3, 144 frames to last about four weeks and just enough money for necessaries so I couldn't count on being able to buy any more film.
I know we went to both the Victoria and Macknade sugar mills, whether on our way north or south I'm not sure but attached is a photo of a Victoria Mill cane train scuttling across the QGR main line at Ingham station. Of interest also is No.23 shunting in Cairns yard, I think it was built originally for the Chillagoe Railway and Mining Company up on the Atherton Tableland out west of Cairns. We had intended to hang around Cairns for a while but we were told that the train headed by 1029 was going to be the only southbound steam hauled goods for some time and as we had already been up the range to Kuranda we decided to take possession of the brake van and head for home.
I'll post some shots from the mills next time.
Peter Bruce.
P.S. Arthur, can you tell me where the present day Townsville station is, I can't seem to find it on Google Earth although every pizza shop and tanning salon in town seems to be picked out!!    

Fw: Townsville

Forwarded from Geoff Kirton.

From: "Geoff Kirton"
> Thanks Peter and Rick for these,
> T'ville must have had the most complicated rail layout in Aust.
> Had the workshops, loco depot, railmotor depot & station north of Ross
> Creek.
> South of Ross Ck. was Townsville South Yard which had a diamond crossing
> of the main line to access the wharves, nickel loading facilities & sugar
> terminal.
> Also a yard which was roughly oriented north-south in the appropriately
> named suburb of Railway Estate.
> Have a feeling that South Yd may have been replaced by a park & a motor
> racing street circuit, after looking at a photo in a Qld travel supplement
> from a "Herald Sun" recently.
> Also that a new station was built on a bypass in the southern or western
> suburbs somewhere, like Mackay.
> Looking at this travel supplement, I could see the former station in the
> distance.
> Think there was a requirement that it had to be kept for heritage
> purposes, especially for the original GNR building.
> Townsville still has the carriage workshops.
> I think the original T'ville 'shops were that saw-toothed building in the
> background.
> The ancient looking railmotor was a Panhard, I think - the other bigger
> ones probably AEC's.
> One of those RM's was in your photo at Bowen, with the 2 trailers - & the
> bonus water & hills backdrop.
> Have a feeling that Bowen has been by-passed as well with a new station
> once again to the south or west.
> Cheers
> Geoff


Forwarded from Arthur Robinson

I am sending this to you only as i keep getting messages some of the adresses on your list are rejected.
See attached diagram.

is partially correct. See comments below.

Arthur R

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Bruce" <>
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2011 1:22 PM
Subject: Fw: Townsville

> Thanks to Geoff for this clarification.
> Peter Bruce.
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Geoff Kirton"
>> T'ville must have had the most complicated rail layout in Aust.
>> Had the workshops, loco depot, railmotor depot & station north of Ross Creek.
This is correct.
Passenger trains from the south travelling on to Cairns would diverge to the right at South Townsville enter the staion from the north.
They would then depart for Cairns direct.
Passenger train from or to the GNR would use the southern connection.
The train hauled by 1302 would have been heading south to Stuart and then most likely west to Mount Isa, probably with passenger acommodation thus leaving from the station area.
>> South of Ross Ck. was Townsville South Yard which had a diamond crossing of the main line to access the wharves, nickel loading facilities & sugar
>> terminal.
>> Also a yard which was roughly oriented north-south in the appropriately named suburb of Railway Estate.
>> Have a feeling that South Yd may have been replaced by a park & a motor racing street circuit, after looking at a photo in a Qld travel supplement from a "Herald Sun" recently.
No! the South Yard is still there and is the main yard for the Townsville area.
There is a long term plan to provide a new line to the port and move the freight facilites to the Stuart area.
Long is the definitive work in this case.

>> Also that a new station was built on a bypass in the southern or western suburbs somewhere, like Mackay.
>> Looking at this travel supplement, I could see the former station in the distance.
The New station is just on the south side of Ross Creek, see attached diagram.
All tracks north of the blue line on the diagram have been or are to be removed.

>> Think there was a requirement that it had to be kept for heritage
>> purposes, especially for the original GNR building. Yes, but without a rail connection.
>> Townsville still has the carriage workshops.
>> I think the original T'ville 'shops were that saw-toothed building in the
>> background.
>> The ancient looking railmotor was a Panhard, I think - the other bigger
>> ones probably AEC's.
>> One of those RM's was in your photo at Bowen, with the 2 trailers - & the
>> bonus water & hills backdrop.
>> Have a feeling that Bowen has been by-passed as well with a new station
>> once again to the south or west. Yes.
>> Cheers
>> Geoff

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Monday Morning Photo. Tuesday 14/06/2011.

G'day All, only just got around to scanning these photos taken at Townsville. The area around the loco depot and the railmotor depot was probably the most ramshackle major rail installation I've ever seen.
I've realised that there has been a substantial re-organisation of the railway at Townsville, the original station has been abandoned by the looks of things on Google maps so it is a bit hard to imagine what the layout was back in '64.
My guess is that GE diesel 1302 is heading west with those early freight containers behind the loco but perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
I think that the Great Northern Railway railmotor was somewhere near the old station, it seemed not to have turned a wheel for quite some time. Every railmotor I saw in Queensland during this trip seemed to be different. Can anyone enlighten us about this elderly luxury chariot? It looks like the Northern Division's breakdown crane is in the background of the earlier pic of 1302.
We were in Townsville on a Sunday so the joint wasn't really jumpin', I think 1302's train was the only movement we saw between the departure of the northbound "Sunlander" and whatever slow roadside goods it was that we left town on...... later that night I think it was, it would have been our sleeping accomodation anyway.
I'm going to have to do some serious recollecting about the trip north to Cairns, I know we took in a sugar mill or two and I know that at either Ingham or Innisfail we were bailed up by a zealous guard who demanded that we pay for the privilege of riding his particular length of the old QGR, most unreasonable! We couldn't really complain though, we probably only paid for 150-200 miles of the 1043 from Brisbane to Cairns and probably less on the return. I'm using the 1962 Timetables so I'll leave it to the readers to do the metric conversion. According to this timetable it would have cost us 253 shillings for a return 2nd class fare Brisbane-Cairns, $25.30. No wonder we tried to avoid paying!!
Cliff Olds, I've really enjoyed the account and photos of your Nullabor saga.
Regards to all,
Peter Bruce.
All postings can be found at

Monday, 23 May 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 23/05/2011.

G'day all, I've been away a bit over the last few weeks as well as being fairly busy so havn't had the time to spend on MMP. In the meantime I've had some very informative emails from Queenslanders Arthur Robinson and Brian Webber as well as from Geoff Kirton here in Melbourne and I have posted them at my blog I'll pick up the journey at Bowen, I'm guessing [definitely not remembering] that we travelled the 115 miles and 38 chains north from Mackay on a very slow goods behind Pacific 1028 seen here with fellow traveller Graeme Westwood always and still only known as Westy.
Some time later RM94 arrived, according to the Working Timetable for the Northern Division issued on 22 July 1962 this left Townsville at 7.55am and stopped almost everywhere before getting to Bowen at 2.10pm on this particular Saturday arvo.
About all I can remember about Bowen is catching the northbound "Sunlander" to reach Townsville, there was nothing else running so we actually had to contribute to the QGR's financial health by buying tickets.
We got to Townsville not long after sun-up and stepping out of the airconditioned cars was like stepping into a sauna and the sun was bouncing off that big rock that dominates the city.
I'll take a break from 1964 Queensland for my next effort and post a few pictures taken on my recent visit to South Australia.
Peter Bruce.

Fw: More on Mackay

From: "Geoff Kirton" <>
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 4:25 PM
To: <>
Subject: More on Mackay

> Hello Peter,
> Having got the pronounciation debate out-of-the-way yesterday and sent the
> email - suddenly remembered why you would be having problems with Mackay
> Railway Stat.and Google Earth.
> Reason is that the railway was deviated from Paget to the south to the
> west of Mackay some time in the early to mid. 1990's.
> Fortunately our RMIT University Library has a Qld. country street
> directory.
> Sure enough the former railway and yards near the CBD and from the south &
> west have been removed, with a new station for Mackay constructed at
> Paget, 4 km south of the original station.
> Paget was the junction for the North Coast Line & the branch west to Finch
> Hatton, and a couple of other places originally, including Victoria.
> Reasons were to upgrade the NCL to 21 ton axle load, concrete sleepers,
> CTC and replacement of wooden bridges, so that marvellous 180 degree curve
> to enter Mackay from the east has gone.
> The steel girder bridge over the Pioneer River west of Mackay was needing
> to be upgraded or replaced, I seem to remember, so another station out of
> the city centre and another deviation was constructed.
> Added benefits of course were removing level Xings and freeing up valuable
> real estate ha! ha!
> Unsure whether the original station has been kept - this where Google Maps
> & Google Earth are required!
> Still does not conclusively solve the location of your 3rd & 4th photos,
> but still inclined to suggest Prosperine with its sugar mill, the next
> major town heading north up the NCL.
> Cheers
> Geoff Kirton

Fw: Mack-a or Mack-i

From: "Geoff Kirton" <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:11 PM
To: <>
Subject: Mack-a or Mack-i

> Hello Peter,
> Thanks for the photos.
> Unsure myself as to the location of your 3rd & 4th phots, as the last time
> I visited Mackay Railway Station was in June 1984.
> My first guess is Proserpine, given that you travelled from Bowen to
> Townsville mostly in the dark (i.e. the small hours)
> The further north and west we are from Rocky and Toowoomba, the greater my
> unfamiliarity with rail stations and yards.
> A Queensland equivalent of Weston Langford's plans of track layouts is
> desperately needed, unless such info. already exists.
> Would be a fascinating document, given the "interesting layout" of some
> Qld. rail facilities.
> My first guess is Proserpine, given that you travelled from Bowen to
> Townsville mostly in the dark (i.e. the small hours).
> As to the pronunciation - when I first went to school in Toowoomba, I had
> a teacher who was born in Mackay, and he said "kay" as in "bay".
> Later on though, another teacher who had taught there used "kay" as in
> "eye".
> Both seemed to be used, but nowadays, people in radio & TV tend to use
> "kay" as in "eye".
> Perhaps "kay" was a local or regional decision from long ago.
> My feeling is that between 1971 and 1986, I rarely heard "eye" was mostly
> used.
> Enough of the grammar and railway lessons!
> Cheers
> Geoff

Fw: Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.


From: Dad
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.

I am fairly certain that the photos of  B18 1/4 No. 27 at the north end of the yard and and BB 1073 and PB15 105 are at Mackay, the sugar boxes are the confirmation.
The other two photos are at Bundaberg, 569 is has just come off the bridge over the Burnett River and is crossing Burbong Street.
1617 is on the same road crossing which is at the end of Bundaberg station.
I have forwarded the photos to Arthur Hayes and Brian Webber, both spent some time in Mackay in the days of steam, Arthur a a fireman and Brian as a railway enthuasist and photographer.
The locomotive 105 is a C16 not a PB15. The C16s when rebuilt with the "Master Mechanics Front End" were the only QR locos with the distinctive tapered funnel.
The numbers are interesting as QR reallocated locomotive numbers. For example of B18 1/4 No. 27 was built in 1935 after C16 No.105.
Back when I was a young lad I thought that PB15 No. 5 was QR's the fifth loco, it was all very confusing especially as there was a C17 No. 2.
Incidentally when I joined QR in 1981 my service number was lower than others with longer service, another QR venture into the world of recycling.
QR also recycled bridge girders, so far I have found 65 instances, some for rail bridges and others for road overbridges.
Others were sold to The Main Roads Department and sugar mills for reuse.
Arthur Robinson

Fw: Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.


My credentials are that I worked for a Bank in Bundaberg in 1962/63 and in Mackay in 1963/65, 1969 and 1979-81.  How lucky can one be!!
1617 is leaving the [South] Bundaberg station on the main line [platform road] and running north probably to North Bundaberg loco to stable. 
105 is a C16 and is working a harbour shunt.  It will take its train of sugar box MTWs through the Goods Yard and across one of the 3 Pioneer River bridges [at that time] to Mackay Harbour.  Note a down train in the platform road and the Netherdale Rail Motor [a 102hp unit and two trailers] in the east Up dock.
569 is arriving [South] Bundaberg off the Burnett River bridge with a goods, probably from Wallaville or Tirroan although it is possible it is leaving the Millaquin branch [the junction is below the train and the line ran east [to the right of the photo]. 
When I first visited Mackay, the locals told me it was pronounced Mac K as that was how the person the town was named after pronounced it but when I last worked in Mackay in 1981 it had evolved to Muck eye.
Thank you for the memories.  Bundaberg is little changed but the area of Mackay Passenger station is gone replaced by the by-pass and the current station at what was previously Paget.
Brian Webber

Monday, 16 May 2011


The original Bowen Station was on the seafront near the Jetty and the locomotive depot remained there when the new station to the west of the town was opened.
The old North Coast Line from the south turned right just before the Don River and ran into Bowen on a track parallel to the track from the north.
The newer Bowen Station had balloon loop to avoid the need to reverse trains.
The two tracks between Don and Bowen were operated as two single track lines.
This arrangement was bypassed in 1990 with a new bridge over the Don River. A triangular connection to Bowen and a new platform built on the main line to serve Bowen.
The only tracks that remain are to the freight centre at Don, the salt works siding and the coke works siding which is on the okd harbour line.
The attached diagrams should explain the layout.
In the Don screenshot from google earth the old line is blue and the present line black.
Arthur R
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 1:50 PM
Subject: Fw: Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.

Arthur, edited text of my last posting below. Apologies.

Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 1:29 PM
To: Dad
Subject: Re: Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.

G'day Arthur, I have that photo of 1073 and 105 on my desktop and when I sat down at the computer just a few minutes ago I looked at 105 and said to myself that's not a PB15 it's a C16, as you say the funnel is the give-away. Your's was the first email I opened and sure enough I had got it wrong......and it was nothing to do with it being a long time ago because I've posted shots of C16s recently and I've used the website to confirm loco numbers.
Thanks for the info on the two pics I was unsure about, I couldn't reconcile the position of the station platform relative to the level crossing and had no idea that it was Bundaberg.
The old QGR was certainly an interesting railway, I'm hoping to get up your way fairly soon to have a look at today's Queensland Railways.
Peter Bruce.
P.S. Bowen is my next puzzle, I had forgotten its layout. I have had a look at Google Earth and can't find the station, does it have a balloon loop still? Anyway I'll put some photos up probably the week after next as I'll be away in SA next weekend.


Photo of Bowen Railway Station 1953.
Note that variety of wagons, no two seem to be the same.
This was typical of QR in the 1950s.
Arthur R

Monday, 25 April 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 25/04/2011.

G'day all, back to the days of Mail Trains, telegrams and expensive interstate trunk calls brought to you in 2011 by instantaneous international communications.....who'd have thought it. No ATMs in 1964 either, you either carried all the money you needed for an extended trip or you had your bank forward your signature to a few of the places that you were going to visit so you could draw money out on any weekday between 10am and 3pm.....the good old good old days!!! And if the bank messed it up it was your bad luck!! I think there was some extremely advanced process involving your signature in invisible ink in your passbook too. Or maybe I just dreamt that.
Four pics today, two are definitely Mackay [I hope]. Old original B18 1/4 No. 27 at the north end of the yard and and BB 1073 and PB15 105 at the south end of the busy station yard. Lots of people worked for the Railways then, 24 hours a day, the lights were on all night in hundreds of tiny townships. I miss that. Not that Mackay was tiny.
I'm a bit puzzled by the other two shots, I have them as Mackay but they don't seem to line up with the other photos and Google Earth doesn't seem to offer any clues... is the present station building in the same location? Arthur, Geoff, can you shed any light here?
Another thing, I was corrected when I pronounced it Mackaye, as in" aye,aye sir", I was told that it was Mackay, the ay as in way. I would have said that I was sure about that but I'm not sure of anything anymore.........except that I did take these photos and I was in Queensland!! And that a notebook and pencil would have been handy. And what a great trip.
More hazy memories next week.
Peter Bruce.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New Picasa Web Albums Activity

Recent Uploads
Peter Bruce. added 4 photos to TramTown
12-Apr-2011 02:53:18

Post CommentUnsubscribe from this user.
To share your photos or receive notification when your friends share photos, get your own free Picasa Web Albums account.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 11/04/2011. Part Two.


G'day all, what I miss most travelling by train today is the open window and the closeness to the sights and sounds....... the immediacy.
It could never get much more immediate than riding in the van of a very slow roadside goods train on the long stretch between Rockhampton and Mackay, if I'm not wrong it took well upward of 12 hours for the 201 miles, 320 odd kilometres, picking up and setting out wagons everywhere and waiting for crosses and overtakes. And in between we might have hit 30mph occasionally.
But if I may quote the title of Cliff Olds's wonderful railway autobiography "I wouldn't have missed it for quids". [the quid being the slang term for the pound, our old pre decimal unit of currency and quids meaning a lot of 'em].
I've no idea which places the three attached photos were taken at, except that from the frame numbers that they were taken on this long stretch. There is a chimney and smoke visible behind the trees in the shot of the C17 [957?] so there must be a sugar mill there. One of our Queenslanders should be able to put me right.
1070 was on a southbound goods just like our northbound.......the van of our train is just visible and I think we crossed the Yank not too far out of Rocky.
That was railroading in the old Queensland way and you won't see it anywhere in Australia today. Here there be Tilt Trains.
I'd love to make that trip again but I suppose at a pinch I could settle for an air-conditioned sleeper.
Peter Bruce.

Monday Morning Photo. 11/04/2011 Part One.

G'day all, Arthur Robinson sent me an email correcting some of my considerable misapprehensions about the railway arrangements at Port Curtis Junction. I had allowed myself to be mislead by Google Maps which of course show today's layout which is altogether different from that in my 1964 photos. The Google Maps screenshot is attached showing the changes, the purple lines are the originals and the blue are today's lines, the north to west curve at the Rocklands triangular junction should be in blue of course. So the line visible behind 935 and 1469 in last weeks posting is actually the old North Coast line and is not going to any port, so much for easy assumptions, thanks Arthur. And also Geoff Kirton who mentioned the changed alignment.
Peter Bruce.