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

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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.

Monday 4 April 2011

Monday Morning Photo. 4/4/2011.

G'day all, I seem to have my computer problems sorted out. I recieved an interesting email a couple of days or so ago mentioning a mistake in my previous Rockhampton posting which can be found at There is a photo there which purports to be at the south end of Rocky yard and it has been pointed out to me that it is nothing of the kind but is the northern end of Mackay yard. I am always grateful for corrections and comments because at this distance in time I cannot rely on my memory. I have to admit too that that photo bears no resemblance to any of my other Rocky pictures.
I then took a look at the other photos in the last posting and realised that the Garratt 1108 was actually passing through Port Curtis Junction heading north into the yard, it has just crossed Port Curtis Road, is that a Golden Fleece servo behind the line up of cars??, and has come in off the Central Line. It looks like from that photo and from Google Earth that there was a triangular layout at Port Curtis Junction and the station and signalbox were just north of the level crossing.
So this week all three photos were taken at the junction.
Both 935 and 1469 are headed south on the mainline and the Port branch can be seen behind both engines, I think the black hatted signalman is returning to the box after issuing the staff to the driver of 1469.
I realise that these musings are of no interest to the non railfans in this group so as I've said to you before, just look at the pictures!!
We took three side trips out of Rocky, to Emerald, Mount Morgan and Yeppoon but I'll cover these later and continue up the North Coast Line next, 202 miles to Mackay on a slow roadside goods train getting put away everywhere for crosses and overtakes.
Thanks again to the Queenslanders for taking the trouble to mail their corrections.
As an aside I was at the Ballarat Tramway Museum a couple of years ago and met an ex-engineman from central Queensland and his wife. He was a volunteer driver at the Mary Valley Railway and the Rocky steam tram and really interesting bloke. Maybe he is reading this now, I know the readership goes way beyond the mailing list.
Best regards to all,
Peter Bruce.