Recently purchased a new camera (finally a DSLR!, well, actually a DSLT) and have been checking out the old haunts lately. Great timing too as we've just entered daylight savings.
Steam around Melbourne (and a trip to Seymour)
Steamrail are a Melbourne (Newport Workshops) based heritage rail operator and have quite a nice selection of rolling stock. Their R-Class Steam Locomotives are even licensed to run by themselves on the mainline...
El Zorro Freight
El Zorro is a small freight operator in Victoria who run both Standard and Broad gauge trains. Recently they have been running a grain train to and from Dynon using leased heritage engines in their original VR livery.
QR (who are about to be privatised) also run out of Dynon with large intermodal freight. They provide a nice change of scenery on the standard gauge with their LDP and G Class locomotives.
Sims St Junction (Pacific National Locomotive Depot)
At the west side of the freight are in Melbourne is Pacific National's Locomotive Provisioning Centre. Here you'll mainly see NRs getting fueled and services (with the occasional AN) and then either coupled light engine to head off to Spotswood or sent east to a rake of containers for haulage.
Poor old Countrylink can't win nowadays; The 'main south' from Sydney to Melbourne has been in the press nearly every day for the last few months as the ARTC bungle up the re-sleepering program (and duplication of the standard gauge.) Recently, due to their technique of sleeper replacement, the new concrete sleepers have not been seated correctly in the ballast and mudholes have resulted. This has caused some very rough riding for all trains and has even caused damage to XPT power cars and break-ups (uncoupling) of freight trains.
Seeing the XPT in Melbourne has become an unexpected treat!
81 Class shunting in Dynon
The intermodal container trains are (usually) shunted around by an 81 Class. This loco will put the empty flatbeds in the correct roads and also reconnect loaded container wagons. Sometimes this train must use the standard gauge track that leads to Southern Cross (Spencer Street) Station but it usually doesn't travel too far along. Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time to see the 81 travel all the way down the other side of the flyover.
It also then shunts from the other end of the yard across the Dock Link Rd level crossing.
Another random sighting for this shunting maneuver was the original NRs pulling the consist half way up the flyover incline.
Lately there's been a lot of work down at Southern Cross Station for the addition of a new platform for the Regional Rail link debacle. This has meant track machines working during the day to lay new track or realign old lines. They return home each night via Sims St.
I tried Middle Footscray Station yesterday instead of the usual Sims St Junction and was impressed with the traffic that passed between 1800-1930.
And that's about it for now... Melbourne sightings are picking up now that daylight savings is here. It seems that early evening is the best time as well. You can can find the whole album that the above shots come from here.