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14Apr/202

Passing Freight in South Yarra – April, 2020

Thanks to having a camera hanging off the balcony, I'm able to capture and record scenes like the following. Also, thanks to FTTP NBN, the steam is live 24/7.

Above you'll find an up Maryvale Paper Service entering first from the left. Shortly after, a down Long Island Steel train will pass through. The up service was relatively on-time, but the steel was allocated a run for the 11:30am service, running well-late even for the 13:30 (9557) timeslot.

Anyway, here's the live cam. (But if below is temporarily unavailable, browse here to find the latest URL: stevenhoefel - youtube - live)

Enjoy!

Filed under: AUS 2 Comments
27Nov/190

Welding Rail In South Yarra

There was a total shutdown of all lines past my apartment on the weekend of the 16th-17th November as Metro we're upgrading the signalling. It's well-needed to allow better head-ways for more services, and also to allow brand new 'high-capacity' trains to run. To do all this, they've had to cut in new isolated track joins. I assumed they'd just cut through the rails in-stu and clamp an insulated joiner over the top... but I assume the tension in the rails prevents them from doing this? Instead they've been busy removing a 20 metre length of track and welded in a new length that includes a bypassed insulated joiner!

DSC02083

It's bypassed as they don't want to break the track-circuit just yet. The rest of the infrastructure isn't in place yet, so a break in the circuit here would actually cause a 'blind' area on one of the sides. Hence the jumper cables. There's also a longer length of cables running down the current work area, to keep the current circuit in operation whilst the work is carried out. I don't really see the reason though, as there's a lot of protection at either end of the entire work area to prevent vehicles from entering.

The weather was reasonable, and I was half brain-dead from a cold, so I spent a good bit of time on the bridge near Cromwell Road, watching the professionals carry out their business. You could tell they'd done the job 100s of times before; their efficiency and precision was great to watch.

Step 1 - Align The Rails

The first step would probably be the most important in the whole process; misaligned rails would cause untold problems in the future and therefore a lot of time was spent getting the elevation and angle spot-on. There's a large brace/jack on the outside of the rails that was aligned first. This unit uses friction to grip all four rails and, when air pressure is applied, pneumatically draws them closer together.

DSC02086

DSC02084 DSC02090 DSC02092

The workman was constantly measuring the gap between the rails until it was within tolerance. I note that they didn't just bring them closer in one hit. The workman operating the compressor only applied pressure for short periods, maybe 3 seconds each time, and then his colleague would measure again. They'd then let the whole contraption rest for 5 seconds before applying further pressure.

I'm actually astonished that the rails even moved. It's a relatively straight section of track and where does the slack come from? I can't imagine they actually stretch the steel? They had removed around 6 rows of clips from the original rails to allow freedom of movement. I'd say the gap was about 40mm to start with, but they brought it right down to less than 20mm!

Once it was as close as required, the rails were further adjusted using (what looked like) rail spikes between the closest sleepers and the base of the rail. These were hammered in to raise or lower the rails. The worksman spent around 5 minutes doing this, making sure everything was totally level. The ruler was around a metre long, allowing him to see how much the rails tapered off on either side. You could tell he did not want to create any kind of gradient on either side of the join.

Step 2 - Build The Mould

From what I could see, the mould was made of some form of terracotta? The colour was the standard red, but it really could be made of any sort of compound. The base was removed from the packaging first and a layer of glue applied down each long edge. This was then smoothed around the edge and along the ridge to make sure that there'd be no gaps once joined. This base was then placed into the metal tray which would soon form the case that holds the mould together.

DSC02094 DSC02095 DSC02098

The whole base was then placed under the gap between the rails. It was held in place with clamps and, once again, adjusted once and again to make sure that it was completely square and level with the join.

DSC02096 DSC02100 DSC02101

DSC02102

The sides of the mould were then taken out of the pack. These were placed in the 'sides' of the metal case and both units were then assembled onto the rail. From here, the mould was complete, with an opening at the top where molten metal would be poured in? You could see that, at the top of the mould there was one short edge that was lower than the others; presumably this was for excess molten metal to flow over.

DSC02105

Once this was done, the final outer frame was dropped on and the 'drip tray' inserted on the side that had the overflow 'spout'.

DSC02106

DSC02107 DSC02108 DSC02111

From here, a large block of malleable clay (or other playdough-esque material) was split up and used to totally fill all gaps around the edges of the case and mould. The goal was to ensure that all heat, once the mould was full, was to stay trapped inside.

DSC02114

The entire block was applied to all facades of the mould, specifically where the case and the mould met.

Step 3 - Add Fire!

A cute little terracotta (or other substance) pot had been sitting on the back of the work truck for a while, but it was now its time for action.

DSC02113

To 'set the mould', a small mount was clamped to the rail and then the oxy-acetylene torch was flamed up and positioned on it, aiming the fire directly into the mould. The flame from the torch burned a strong blue, but eventually yellow flames began rising from the openings on either side of the torch. One of the worksman then grabbed the terracotta pot whilst the other pulled the torch out of the mould. Without being able to see inside the mould, one couldn't really work out what exactly was being heated, but you'd have to assume the rail ends were red-hot by this point!

DSC02117

DSC02122 DSC02123 DSC02124

The pot was placed directly on top of the whole mould and the torch was placed in the small opening on top.

DSC02128

I'll let the following video explain the rest...

A lot of trust placed in a set of serious gloves!

Step 4 - Clean Up

From here, there was a 10 minute break whilst the burning-box-of-death cooled down. The overflow tray on the side was thrown track-side once it could be lifted.

DSC02132 DSC02130 DSC02134

After a while, the outside metal case was unscrewed and whacked a few times until it fell loose. Now the mould was perfectly visible, and perfectly-solidly-formed as a single unit, welded to the rails!

DSC02135

To get this off, another utensil was used. The workmen brought over another flat-frame-style machine and placed it over the mould. With a few clamps, they secured it on all corners to the rail and then one of the guys started pumping a lever handle. I couldn't quite see what the action resulted in from where I was, but I assume there was a flat blade that was slowly, flush with the railhead, cutting into the mould on a horizontal plane.

DSC02140

DSC02143 DSC02144 DSC02147

The other worksmen started beating the mould with a mallet when the cutter wasn't being used. After a lot of intimidation, the mould finally started budging... but instead of a clean splice, it decided to split to pieces... pieces of 1000 degree red-hot danger.

DSC02149

More time was spent letting the bits cool down and then it was all moved to the rubbish pile track-side.

DSC02154

From here, a portable grinder-on-wheels was used to finally trim down the weld. Once complete, it finally resembled rail!

I'd actually watched the 2nd of 4 joins be welded before I had decided to get my camera and record the one above. This part, the removing of the mould, was much smoother on that one; a single knock after a slight clamp saw the whole lot just break free in one hit. There was no grinding required afterwards either! I hadn't really noticed anything done differently between each session, so I wonder how many variables come into play when it comes to doing this and how easy it is to stuff up!?

Gantry Foundations

Whilst all the welding was taking place, another vehicle had been busy drilling a column on the other side of the track. The colour of the earth was quite interesting, being somewhere between clay and red earth? A re-bar metal frame was then built up and inserted, with the square frame of pre-built bolt rigging for the base of a pylon. The alignment of this frame in the hole was actually a big thing and watching the surveyor get it correct was pretty interesting.

DSC02158

Turns out there was a remote surveyors camera sitting half way down the track, fixed on the location of the pylon.

DSC02159

And, with a remote mirror, with a very fine tip, the surveyor measured each corner of the frame. The workers around nailed, cut and hammered the external wooden frame to get the metal frame in the exactly correct position.

DSC02161 DSC02162 DSC02165

The surveyor was holding a handheld computer that was relaying the stats from the surveying equipment.

DSC02160

Good to see technology helping all departments.

Tamping And Cleaning

Whilst everything else was going on, there were also tampers and ballast cleaners working away. Turns out they were tidying up a cut-in insulated joint that had been installed the night before.

DSC02156

DSC02167 DSC02082 DSC02169

The ballast cleaner sounded like it was in pain, chewing rocks up and spitting out a lot of dust.

DSC02171

After all of the above, they managed to clean up and the trains were running again the next morning.

Filed under: AUS No Comments
14Nov/1911

Melbourne Broad Gauge Freight Trains

Below is a listing of trains sighted taking the viaduct between Southern Cross Station and Flinders Street Station. Trains, as they pass through this area, will (where possible) be recorded in the table below. The times indicate when they pass through, not when they arrive. Sometimes the trains sit in this area waiting for a path in either direction!

Service Frequency Description
9343/9348
QUBE Apex Gravel Service
Tue - Fri Runs from Kilmore East Quarry to Westall Cement Plant. Usually around midnight on the down and then a 10am up through South Yarra/Richmond/Flinders St.
Note that if the morning time is around 4am then it's actually the 9350 service... but I've put them both in the same column.
9571/9572
QUBE Cement Service
Mon & Thu/Fri Runs from Tottenham(?) to Dandenong. New Service. Very random runner... sometimes mondays instead of tuesdays and sometimes fridays instead of thursdays.
9475/9476
QUBE Maryvale Paper Train
Daily Runs from Appleton Dock to the Maryvale Paper Plant. Takes paper to be recycled out to plant and returns empty? Heads out at 8pm at night and returns around 2pm the next day.
Every so often you'll find the train heading out at around 4am in the morning. This is actually the 9473 service, but I've put it in the same column as the evening down. Note that it means it actually ran the next morning!
955*
PacNat Long Island Steel Train
Daily (excl Friday) Runs from the northernmost road of South Dynon to the Long Island Steel Plant in Frankston. The midday runner 9553 usually DOES NOT run on Fridays unless there's a weekend shutdown and they need to shift more steel beforehand. 9557 (1pm) and 9559 (7pm) are also only as-required! The actual service pairing is as follows: 9555-9552, 9553-9556, 9557-9558, 9559-9550
708*, 9**2
Possible Metro Train Transfer
Totally Ad-Hoc Currently serviced by SSR, this might be the HCMT Metro Train Transfer path from Newport to Pakenham. It's totally random and the train running this path may not actually be a transfer!
Please note that I've merged services 7080, 7082, 7084, 7086 and 7088, 9502, 9902 into once cell. Spoil trains and driver training runs will also fall into this path.

Please note that this is an automated service based on sightings from another location. It wont be 100% foolproof but, with careful consideration of the numbers and days, one should be able to get a good idea as to what is visible and when. Also note that services might show up out-of-order. For example, the Apex gravel ran in a much later slot on 30/31st January 2020.

Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
November 2020
Thu
26th
0541
G527
1159
G525
1339
VL360
Wed
25th
0524
G536
1001
G521
1145
G531
1341
VL360
1308
G515
1857
G525
2001
G536
1911
VL356
Tue
24th
0424
G512
0451
G527
1023
G512
1213
G525
1329
VL360
1816
G531
2039
G527
1948
VL356
Mon
23rd
0326
G525
1135
G531
G541
1335
VL360
1541
G515
1943
G527
G525
1949
G531
G541
2011
VL356
Sun
22nd
0443
G525
1145
G525
G527
Sat
21st
1123
G525
G527
1435
VL360
1925
G525
G527
1935
VL356
2327
G527
Fri
20th
0358
G525
0914
G512
1021
G532
1329
VL360
1537
G515
1918
VL356
2341
G525
G527
2111
P17
Thu
19th
0433
G525
1149
G525
G527
1339
VL360
1901
G525
G527
1918
G521
2325
G527
Wed
18th
0512
G531
1129
G531
G527
1321
VL360
1919
G525
2041
VL356
2341
G525
G527
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Tue
17th
0646
G525
0858
G515
1150
G541
1331
VL360
1555
G521
2320
G531
1949
VL356
2329
G531
G541
Mon
16th
0500
G531
1149
G541
1331
VL360
1849
G527
2127
G531
2024
VL356
0037
G531
G541
Sun
15th
1155
G541
1825
G531
2323
G531
G541
Sat
14th
0548
G531
1203
G541
1939
G531
1853
VL356
2345
G531
G541
0024
IEV100
Fri
13th
0514
G531
1332
VL356
0019
G541
Thu
12th
0548
G531
0935
G515
1036
G512
1147
G541
1323
VL360
1525
B74
2316
G531
1935
G515
2333
G531
G541
Wed
11th
0436
G531
1145
G531
G541
1438
X31
1919
G531
1944
VL356
2349
G531
G541
Tue
10th
0509
G531
1115
G515
1012
G512
1151
G531
G541
2012
G531
2005
VL356
2339
G531
G541
Mon
9th
0544
G531
1113
G531
G541
1437
VL360
2123
G531
1946
VL356
2317
G541
Sun
8th
0441
G531
1159
G531
G541
1837
G531
2347
G531
G541
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sat
7th
0709
G531
1143
G541
1927
G531
1934
G531
2315
G531
G541
Fri
6th
0427
G531
1330
VL360
1949
VL356
0009
G531
G541
Thu
5th
0020
G512
0553
G531
1015
G512
1119
G531
G541
1320
VL360
2344
G531
1957
VL356
2353
G531
G541
Wed
4th
0552
G531
1029
G521
1159
G531
G541
1332
VL360
2009
G532
1946
G531
1938
VL356
2349
G541
Tue
3rd
1140
G541
1149
VL360
1943
G531
1948
VL356
2357
G541
Mon
2nd
0620
G527
1209
G525
1333
VL360
2031
G527
G525
1945
VL356
2357
G531
G541
Sun
1st
1145
G525
1817
G527
G525
2359
G525
October 2020
Sat
31st
0535
G527
1203
G525
1236
VL360
1918
G527
G525
1940
VL356
2327
G525
Fri
30th
0023
G512
0505
G527
1012
G512
1411
VL360
1941
VL356
2345
G525
Thu
29th
0501
G527
1139
G525
1332
VL360
1905
G525
1942
VL356
2355
G525
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Wed
28th
0515
G527
1029
G515
1151
G525
1330
VL360
1605
G532
1919
G527
G525
1913
VL356
2341
G525
Tue
27th
0023
G512
0604
G527
1018
G512
1159
G525
1319
VL360
1928
G527
G525
2000
VL356
2353
G525
Mon
26th
0515
G527
1233
G525
XR550
1334
VL360
2034
G527
G525
1944
VL356
0019
G525
Sun
25th
1203
G531
1922
G536
G531
2337
G525
Sat
24th
0453
G536
1207
G531
1451
VL360
1746
G536
G531
1853
VL356
Fri
23rd
0541
G536
0001
G531
2256
P18
Thu
22nd
0034
G515
0505
G536
0937
B74
1023
G515
1149
G531
1324
VL360
1530
X31
1911
G536
G531
1918
VL356
2321
G531
Wed
21st
0004
G515
0559
G536
1022
G515
1209
G531
1350
VL360
1912
G536
G531
1939
VL356
2329
G531
Tue
20th
0007
G515
0510
G531
1010
G515
1155
G531
1329
VL360
1911
G536
G531
1943
VL356
2359
G531
Mon
19th
1103
G531
0935
G532
1351
G527
G531
1326
VL360
1512
G512
1913
G531
G527
1939
VL356
2341
G527
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sun
18th
0357
G531
1207
G527
1922
G531
G527
2249
G527
Sat
17th
0535
G531
1153
G527
1444
G512
1931
G527
1903
VL356
1933
G531
2307
G527
Fri
16th
0016
G515
0535
G531
1048
G515
1339
VL360
1931
G532
2351
G527
2246
P18
Thu
15th
0056
G525
0027
G515
0558
G531
0939
G532
1017
G515
1143
G531
XR553
1325
VL360
1511
X31
2336
G531
1943
VL356
2349
G527
Wed
14th
0529
G536
1131
G531
1333
VL360
1901
G541
1923
G536
2012
VL356
0019
G531
XR553
Tue
13th
0018
G515
0551
G536
1028
G515
1143
G531
1328
VL356
1941
G536
1946
VL356
2345
G531
Mon
12th
0531
G525
1349
G525
G541
1327
VL360
2059
G525
1944
VL356
0009
G531
Sun
11th
0427
G525
1223
G525
G541
1819
G525
G541
1951
VL356
2319
G541
Sat
10th
1207
G525
1439
G521
1927
G525
G541
2323
G541
2035
P18
P14
Fri
9th
0426
G525
1358
VL360
1941
G512
2351
G525
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Thu
8th
0613
G525
1039
G515
1155
G541
1328
VL360
1556
B74
1911
G525
1930
VL356
2347
G541
Wed
7th
0540
G541
1159
G541
G527
1329
VL360
1908
G541
G527
1956
VL356
0019
G525
G541
Tue
6th
0023
G515
0455
G536
1031
X31
B74
1017
G515
1122
G536
1330
VL360
1527
B74
X31
1913
G525
G536
1949
VL356
2347
G525
Mon
5th
0448
G536
1133
G536
G541
1321
VL360
2315
G536
1949
VL356
2329
G536
G541
Sun
4th
0558
G536
1207
G541
1857
G536
2325
G536
G541
Sat
3rd
0528
G536
1209
G541
1230
G532
VL356
1755
G536
1733
VL356
VL360
2300
G541
Fri
2nd
0027
G515
0455
G536
1014
G515
1331
G532
1947
VL356
2353
G541
Thu
1st
0021
G528
0539
G527
1013
G532
1147
G541
1331
VL360
1555
G532
1917
G536
1938
VL356
2332
G541
September 2020
Wed
30th
0635
G527
1155
G536
1857
G541
1925
G527
2351
G527
Tue
29th
2258
G532
0458
G527
1016
G532
1148
G531
1334
VL360
1948
G527
1957
VL356
0043
G527
G531
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Mon
28th
0511
G525
1006
G521
1135
G536
1328
VL360
1521
G512
1936
G525
1943
G515
2343
G527
Sun
27th
0504
G536
1147
G525
1931
G525
2335
G536
Sat
26th
0510
G536
1143
G525
1343
VL360
1937
G525
1842
G515
1925
G536
2329
G525
Fri
25th
0418
G532
0430
G536
1029
G532
1149
G525
1352
VL360
1916
G536
1953
G515
0007
G525
Thu
24th
0518
G525
1100
G525
1330
VL360
1910
G536
G525
1942
G515
2331
G525
1037
IEV100
Wed
23rd
0635
G525
1201
G525
G527
1325
VL360
1928
G525
1942
G515
2345
G541
Tue
22nd
0201
G527
0016
G532
0519
G525
1010
G532
1147
G525
G531
1333
VL360
2018
G525
2009
G515
2253
G541
Mon
21st
0418
G525
1002
G521
1146
G531
G525
1344
VL360
1539
G512
1905
G527
G536
2039
G531
1921
G515
2033
G525
2349
G531
Sun
20th
0404
G527
1155
G536
1930
G527
2329
G531
Sat
19th
0517
G527
1145
G527
G536
1453
VL360
1931
G527
1825
G515
2259
G527
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Fri
18th
0025
G532
1011
G532
1330
VL356
1914
G527
1944
G515
2359
G536
Thu
17th
0238
G525
0612
G527
0407
G532
1117
G536
1332
VL360
1131
G532
1911
G527
1948
VL356
0034
G536
Wed
16th
0551
G527
1146
G536
1323
VL360
1851
G525
G531
1910
G527
1949
VL356
0019
G527
G536
Tue
15th
0032
G525
0544
G515
0538
G527
0347
G521
1012
G515
1157
G536
1336
VL360
1103
G521
1911
G527
1933
VL356
2337
G536
Mon
14th
1129
G536
1416
VL360
1901
G525
1911
G527
1928
VL356
0003
G527
G536
1258
P17
Sun
13th
0435
G527
1212
G536
1718
G527
Sat
12th
0447
G527
1144
G527
G536
1753
G527
2330
G527
G536
Fri
11th
0027
G515
0400
G527
1016
G515
1341
VL360
2008
VL356
2345
G536
Thu
10th
0026
G515
0523
G527
1014
G515
1206
G527
G536
1335
VL360
1913
G527
1928
VL356
2321
G527
G536
Wed
9th
0023
G515
0544
G527
1013
G515
1124
G527
G536
1328
VL360
1911
G527
1938
VL356
2330
G527
G536
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Tue
8th
0032
G527
G531
0507
G541
1015
G515
1235
G527
G531
1330
VL360
1433
G515
2112
G527
1848
VL356
2355
G531
Mon
7th
1113
G536
1344
G532
1801
G531
G527
1916
G536
G541
1950
VL356
2355
G536
Sun
6th
No trains recorded
Sat
5th
No trains recorded
Fri
4th
1331
VL360
1946
VL356
2243
P17
Thu
3rd
0524
B76
1520
VL360
1125
B76
1944
VL356
Wed
2nd
2224
G515
0406
VL356
Tue
1st
0434
G532
0445
VL356
1022
G532
1330
G515
1113
VL360
1908
G521
August 2020
Mon
31st
0523
G527
1136
G525
1402
G536
1330
VL360
1914
G527
G525
1942
G515
G521
2031
G541
G536
Sun
30th
0456
G527
1205
G525
1446
VL360
1838
G527
G525
1941
VL356
2251
G525
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sat
29th
0516
G527
G525
1220
G525
1447
VL360
1914
VL356
1931
G525
G527
2328
G525
Fri
28th
0008
G527
G525
1941
VL356
2339
G525
Thu
27th
0625
G527
0408
B76
1131
G525
1433
VL360
1150
B74
Wed
26th
0933
G531
G525
1344
G525
1332
VL360
2030
G525
G527
1948
VL356
2336
G527
G525
Tue
25th
0004
G512
0540
G525
1011
G512
1144
G525
1320
VL360
1907
G531
G525
1945
VL356
2336
G525
Mon
24th
0506
G531
1152
G525
1331
VL360
1905
G531
1944
VL356
2325
G531
G525
Sun
23rd
0344
G531
1237
G531
G536
1935
G531
2319
G531
G536
Sat
22nd
0620
G541
1309
G525
1446
VL360
1929
VL356
2252
G536
Fri
21st
1327
VL360
1927
VL356
0018
G527
Thu
20th
0021
G541
0020
G512
0529
G531
0408
B76
1014
G512
1152
G527
1334
VL360
1231
B74
1928
G541
1948
VL360
VL356
0018
G525
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Wed
19th
0537
G527
1139
G525
1333
VL360
1849
G527
1913
G525
G531
2016
VL356
0013
G525
Tue
18th
0031
G531
0539
G527
0449
B76
1139
G527
G536
1329
VL360
1108
B76
B74
1909
G527
1942
VL356
2355
G527
G536
Mon
17th
0556
G525
G531
1208
G527
G536
1337
VL360
1849
G525
2119
G527
1937
VL356
0016
G527
G536
Sun
16th
No trains recorded
Sat
15th
1454
VL360
1939
VL356
1414
P17
Fri
14th
0022
G512
1020
G512
1133
G525
1324
VL360
1914
G527
1947
VL356
Thu
13th
0527
G543
1130
G525
1328
G521
1851
G527
G536
1913
G531
1942
VL356
Wed
12th
1157
G525
1329
VL360
1848
G524
1914
G531
2000
VL356
Tue
11th
0426
G512
0507
G543
1028
G512
1129
G524
1325
VL360
1910
G531
G525
1918
G524
1951
VL356
Mon
10th
0301
G531
1246
G525
1340
VL360
1856
G524
G543
2040
G531
G525
1939
VL356
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sun
9th
0434
G531
1213
G525
Sat
8th
2331
G531
G525
1214
P14
Fri
7th
2038
G512
0501
G531
1014
G512
1335
VL360
1944
VL356
2358
G528
Thu
6th
2329
G531
0504
G525
1150
G528
1325
G521
1910
G531
G528
1944
G515
2351
G528
Wed
5th
0531
G525
1129
G525
G541
1331
VL356
1841
G528
1941
G525
2008
G515
2348
G525
G541
Tue
4th
0108
G527
G531
0004
G512
0555
G525
1010
G512
1142
G525
G541
1327
VL356
1914
G525
G541
1956
VL356
2339
G541
Mon
3rd
0512
G525
1210
G525
G541
1340
VL360
1909
G531
G527
1950
VL356
2034
G525
0018
G525
G541
Sun
2nd
0501
G525
1217
G525
G541
1829
G525
2312
G525
G541
Sat
1st
0610
G525
1218
G525
1928
G525
2330
G525
G541
July 2020
Fri
31st
0537
G525
1325
VL360
1904
VL356
0018
G541
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Thu
30th
0006
G512
0520
G527
1018
G512
1141
G536
1325
VL360
1938
VL356
2008
G536
G525
G541
0001
G525
G541
Wed
29th
1319
VL360
1430
G527
1946
VL356
2345
G527
G531
Tue
28th
0021
G527
0551
G541
1149
G536
1325
VL360
1909
G541
1939
VL356
0153
G527
G531
Mon
27th
0424
G541
1149
G541
G536
1321
VL360
1850
G527
G531
1913
G541
G536
1947
VL356
2358
G536
1444
P18
Sun
26th
0552
G541
1230
G536
1919
G541
2321
G536
1057
IEV100
Sat
25th
1159
G536
1934
G541
G536
2352
G536
Fri
24th
0404
G541
1321
VL360
1942
VL356
Thu
23rd
0007
G512
0603
G541
1034
G512
1118
G536
1332
VL356
1914
G536
G541
1938
VL356
2331
G536
2107
P18
P17
Wed
22nd
0532
G541
1156
G536
1339
VL360
1912
G541
1945
VL356
0008
G536
Tue
21st
0017
G512
0511
G541
G525
1018
G512
1146
G541
G536
1328
VL360
1937
G536
G541
2006
B76
2339
G536
1948
P17
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Mon
20th
0508
G541
1146
G525
1451
VL360
1913
G541
G525
1947
VL356
2347
G525
Sun
19th
0657
G525
G541
1231
G525
1731
G541
2331
G525
Sat
18th
0635
G541
1217
G525
1821
G525
G541
2327
G525
Fri
17th
0018
G512
1012
G512
1331
VL360
1938
VL356
2338
G541
G525
Thu
16th
0129
G512
1021
G512
1329
VL360
1954
VL356
Wed
15th
1429
VL360
1948
VL356
Tue
14th
0129
G512
0404
G532
1021
G512
1439
VL360
1100
G532
1946
VL356
Mon
13th
1427
VL360
1952
VL356
2029
P18
Sun
12th
No trains recorded
Sat
11th
No trains recorded
Fri
10th
0018
G532
1021
G532
1428
VL360
1947
VL356
Thu
9th
1422
VL360
1937
VL356
Wed
8th
1439
VL356
2023
VL356
Tue
7th
0436
G532
1137
T373
1013
G532
1136
T376
Mon
6th
1509
VL356
1940
X31
Sun
5th
No trains recorded
Sat
4th
No trains recorded
Fri
3rd
1017
G532
1431
VL356
1944
X31
Thu
2nd
1518
G532
0348
T376
1019
G532
1128
T377
Wed
1st
1502
G532
1527
VL356
1944
X31
2058
T386
June 2020
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Tue
30th
1036
G515
0354
X31
1042
G515
1126
T373
Mon
29th
1435
VL356
1940
VL360
Sun
28th
No trains recorded
Sat
27th
No trains recorded
Fri
26th
2239
G515
1009
G515
1428
VL356
1953
VL360
2206
P16
Thu
25th
0406
G515
0357
T376
1019
G515
1134
T377
Wed
24th
1450
VL356
1941
X31
Tue
23rd
2050
G515
0443
T376
1028
G515
1409
X31
2032
T363
Mon
22nd
1436
VL356
1941
G532
Sun
21st
No trains recorded
Sat
20th
0445
P16
1501
G532
1943
VL356
G532
Fri
19th
0019
G515
1040
G515
1431
G532
2002
VL356
Thu
18th
0021
G515
0401
T376
1013
G515
1130
X31
1923
VL356
1452
T363
Wed
17th
1436
VL356
Tue
16th
0018
G515
0425
T373
1012
G515
1427
VL356
1202
T377
1939
B80
Mon
15th
1429
VL360
1927
B80
Sun
14th
No trains recorded
Sat
13th
1451
VL360
1853
B80
Fri
12th
0017
G515
1025
G515
1436
VL360
1950
VL360
2026
T385
P16
Thu
11th
0025
G515
0404
T376
1022
G515
1459
VL360
1119
T377
1959
VL356
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Wed
10th
1429
G512
1948
VL356
Tue
9th
0409
T376
1431
VL360
1136
T377
1945
B76
Mon
8th
No trains recorded
Sun
7th
1449
VL360
1939
G512
Sat
6th
1448
VL360
1948
G512
1135
T385
Fri
5th
1450
VL360
1951
B76
Thu
4th
0534
G512
0428
T376
T377
T373
T369
1021
G512
1435
VL360
1129
T377
T376
T373
T369
1948
VL360
Wed
3rd
0939
G532
1431
VL360
1441
G532
B74
G515
2021
VL360
B76
Tue
2nd
0534
G512
1029
G515
B74
1034
G512
2154
B76
0358
B76
Mon
1st
1433
VL360
1941
VL356
May 2020
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sun
31st
No trains recorded
Sat
30th
No trains recorded
Fri
29th
1426
VL360
1939
VL356
Thu
28th
0012
G515
0953
VL360
G532
1353
B80
1548
VL360
1938
G532
Wed
27th
1427
VL360
Tue
26th
0029
G515
1016
B76
1011
G515
1301
G532
1533
B80
1916
G532
Mon
25th
1501
VL360
1944
G532
Sun
24th
1628
VL356
Sat
23rd
0510
G531
1202
G531
G536
2120
VL360
1754
G531
2013
P16
Fri
22nd
1427
VL360
0345
VL356
0002
G531
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Thu
21st
0025
G541
0028
G515
0513
G525
1002
B76
1021
G515
1129
G525
G531
1430
VL360
1454
B74
1911
G525
1930
VL356
Wed
20th
0557
G525
0957
B76
1150
G525
G531
1430
VL360
1444
B74
1840
G536
1911
G525
0341
G532
2348
G525
G531
2149
P14
Tue
19th
0048
G527
G525
0029
G515
0436
G541
1121
B76
1028
G515
1146
G536
1431
VL360
1602
B74
1911
G536
1933
G532
2332
G525
G531
1336
T385
Mon
18th
0551
G541
1107
G536
1432
VL360
1858
G525
1932
G541
G536
1939
G532
0016
G536
1355
T385
Sun
17th
0415
G541
1152
G536
1715
G541
2323
G536
Sat
16th
0404
G541
1141
G536
1754
G541
2313
G536
Fri
15th
0017
G515
0513
G541
1021
G515
1440
VL360
1918
G532
2318
G536
Thu
14th
0019
G515
0533
G541
1031
T376
1020
G515
1149
G536
1431
G532
1544
T377
1924
G536
G541
1938
G532
2326
G536
Wed
13th
0504
G541
1145
G536
1432
B80
1940
B76
2347
G536
Tue
12th
0513
G541
G536
0958
B74
1129
G536
1430
VL360
1556
B80
1911
G541
1940
G532
2320
G536
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Mon
11th
0515
G541
1130
G536
1433
VL360
1917
G536
G541
1943
G532
2338
G536
Sun
10th
0458
G541
G536
1208
G536
1421
VL360
1819
G541
1935
G532
2325
G536
Sat
9th
0533
G527
1141
G536
1434
G532
1928
G541
G536
2002
G532
0003
G536
Fri
8th
0027
G541
0517
G527
1527
G532
1941
G532
2325
G525
Thu
7th
0018
G541
0027
G515
0537
G527
1026
B76
1011
G515
1146
G527
G531
2200
VL360
1602
B80
1854
G536
1915
G531
0310
G532
2354
G525
Wed
6th
0538
G525
1157
G531
G527
1430
B80
1859
G536
1922
G527
1942
G532
2358
G543
Tue
5th
0032
G541
0618
G527
0953
B80
1157
G525
1427
G521
1546
B76
1911
G527
G525
1953
B76
VL360
2343
G525
Mon
4th
0432
G541
1208
G527
1435
G532
1850
G536
1929
G525
1958
VL360
2349
G525
Sun
3rd
No trains recorded
Sat
2nd
No trains recorded
Fri
1st
0012
G515
1021
G515
1436
G532
1944
VL360
April 2020
Thu
30th
0006
G515
0503
G541
1008
G521
1020
G515
1142
G536
1433
G532
1552
G521
1931
G532
Wed
29th
0511
G543
1153
G541
G536
1431
G512
1914
G541
1937
G532
2333
G536
Tue
28th
0006
G515
0417
G541
G536
1021
G515
1142
G536
1430
G512
1917
BL29
1922
G541
1929
VL360
Mon
27th
0442
G536
1142
G525
1422
VL356
1911
G536
0402
VL360
2322
G541
1037
T386
Sun
26th
0704
G525
G536
1157
G525
1817
G536
2319
G525
Sat
25th
0545
G531
1221
G525
1458
VL356
1939
G536
1939
B80
2200
G525
Fri
24th
1007
G515
0542
G531
1442
G515
1429
G512
1951
G512
2352
G531
G541
Thu
23rd
0024
G515
0502
G531
0952
B80
1014
G515
1140
G531
G541
1422
VL356
G512
1535
B76
1932
G531
2012
G512
VL356
2343
G541
2204
T385
Wed
22nd
0528
G536
1146
G525
1437
VL356
G512
1937
G536
2039
VL356
G512
2322
G531
G541
1418
T386
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Tue
21st
0024
G536
0027
G532
0524
G531
G541
1015
G532
1146
G541
1427
G512
1829
G525
1918
G531
1947
G512
Mon
20th
0426
G531
1006
X31
1140
G541
1433
G512
1521
X31
1912
G525
2000
G531
1957
G512
2344
G541
Sun
19th
0428
G531
1149
G541
1450
G512
1921
G531
1944
G512
2312
G531
G541
Sat
18th
0525
G531
1109
G541
G531
1442
G512
1928
G531
1847
G512
2300
G531
G541
Fri
17th
0344
G532
0528
G531
1023
G532
1438
G521
G512
1945
G512
2347
G531
G541
Thu
16th
0029
G531
0520
G532
0502
G536
1032
T373
1057
G532
1158
G527
1442
G512
1602
X31
1912
G536
G527
1949
B80
0020
G531
G541
Wed
15th
0509
G536
1130
G527
1431
VL356
1914
G531
G525
1934
G536
0412
B80
2348
G527
Tue
14th
0025
BL29
0604
G531
1402
G525
1434
VL356
2038
G531
G525
0331
G512
2358
G536
G527
Mon
13th
0450
G531
1114
G531
G525
1437
VL356
1756
G527
1937
VL360
1918
G531
2323
G525
Sun
12th
0407
G531
1153
G525
1822
G531
2329
G525
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sat
11th
0543
BL29
1158
G525
1937
G531
2258
G525
Fri
10th
1443
VL356
1924
VL360
0005
G525
Thu
9th
0527
T377
0509
G531
1014
B80
1014
T373
1118
G525
1434
VL356
1520
G532
1858
BL29
G527
1917
G531
G525
1955
VL360
Wed
8th
0448
BL29
1207
BL29
G541
1428
VL356
1901
G525
2048
BL29
2001
VL360
Tue
7th
1019
T377
0506
BL29
G543
1017
T376
1109
G525
2014
G541
2136
G531
G525
1935
VL360
Mon
6th
1132
G543
1430
VL356
1910
G525
Sun
5th
0543
G525
1239
G525
G536
1940
G525
1930
G512
0019
G541
Sat
4th
0716
G527
1149
G525
1947
VL360
1931
G527
2304
G525
Fri
3rd
0628
G527
1427
B80
1935
G521
0017
G525
Thu
2nd
0024
G532
1011
G541
G531
G525
G527
1020
G521
1102
G532
1443
G515
1532
T377
2117
B76
2347
G527
G536
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Wed
1st
0522
G525
G541
1156
G541
G525
1430
B80
1858
G531
G527
1912
G541
G525
1946
B80
0108
G525
G541
2207
S312
P18
March 2020
Tue
31st
0020
G541
G525
0031
G532
0521
G527
G531
1020
G532
1155
G527
2135
B80
1911
G527
G531
0311
B76
VL360
2347
G541
G525
Mon
30th
0513
G531
1008
G512
1148
G531
G527
1520
G515
1533
VL356
1900
G525
1912
G527
1943
VL360
2349
G527
Sun
29th
0506
G531
1151
G531
G527
1918
G531
2328
G527
Sat
28th
0542
G527
1201
G527
1432
X31
1930
G531
1937
X31
2326
G527
Fri
27th
1435
G532
1958
G515
0015
G527
Thu
26th
0956
B80
1516
G515
G532
1612
X31
1950
G515
2047
P18
Wed
25th
1438
G515
1947
G532
Tue
24th
1431
G515
1947
G532
Mon
23rd
1015
G512
1433
G515
1548
VL356
1941
G532
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sun
22nd
No trains recorded
Sat
21st
1502
G515
1928
G532
Fri
20th
0505
G531
1433
G515
1942
G532
Thu
19th
0504
G531
0951
B80
1147
G527
1432
G515
1531
X31
1921
G531
G527
1957
G532
2355
G527
Wed
18th
0427
G536
G541
1358
G536
1435
G515
1913
G527
2038
G541
1945
B76
Tue
17th
1153
G527
1451
G515
1859
G541
G525
1912
G531
1947
B76
Mon
16th
0441
G527
G531
1427
G515
1859
G527
2017
G515
Sun
15th
No trains recorded
Sat
14th
0533
G531
1221
G527
1510
G532
2016
VL360
Fri
13th
0536
G531
G527
1031
G512
1622
G515
1558
VL356
2119
VL360
2347
G527
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Thu
12th
0034
G541
0531
G531
1152
G527
1542
B76
1913
G531
G527
1959
G515
0007
G527
Wed
11th
0508
G541
1146
G527
1430
B76
1858
G525
1933
G531
G527
1956
B80
2357
G527
Tue
10th
0027
G541
G536
0543
G527
0956
B76
1144
G531
1430
G515
1521
B80
1913
G531
G527
2003
B80
2347
G541
G536
Mon
9th
0553
G527
1304
G531
1840
G536
1924
G527
0002
G531
G527
Sun
8th
0502
G527
1344
VL356
1946
VL360
0010
G527
G531
Sat
7th
1316
G527
G531
1526
VL356
1933
G527
2000
G512
2306
G527
G531
Fri
6th
2351
G541
G536
0559
G527
1428
VL356
2001
G512
0033
G531
Thu
5th
0403
G541
1009
B80
1202
G527
G531
1437
G512
1532
X31
1912
G527
2016
G512
0015
G527
G531
Wed
4th
0422
G532
0524
G527
1024
G532
1146
G527
G531
1511
G512
1849
G536
1953
G527
2021
B76
Tue
3rd
0108
G532
0457
G541
1124
B80
1041
G532
1153
G536
1435
G512
1548
B80
1927
G527
G531
1934
G536
2030
B76
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Mon
2nd
0413
G541
G536
1200
G541
G536
1450
G512
2023
B76
Sun
1st
0348
G515
February 2020
Sat
29th
No trains recorded
Fri
28th
1127
G536
1432
G515
Thu
27th
0534
G541
1153
G541
G536
1446
G515
2038
G541
G536
1949
G515
Wed
26th
0341
G541
G536
1033
G515
1126
G536
1430
G512
1540
G515
1912
G541
1943
G515
2342
G536
Tue
25th
1202
G541
G536
1432
G515
1911
G541
1944
G512
2325
G536
Mon
24th
0550
G525
1129
G525
G527
1447
VL356
1912
G525
1941
G512
0015
G536
Sun
23rd
0205
G525
2308
G525
G527
Sat
22nd
0412
G525
1151
G527
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Fri
21st
0510
G541
1434
VL356
1931
VL360
2359
G525
G527
Thu
20th
0548
G525
0953
G512
1153
G525
G527
1431
VL356
1527
B80
2039
G525
1933
VL360
0002
G531
Wed
19th
0440
G541
1141
G531
1351
VL356
1825
G527
1916
G541
G531
2029
VL360
Tue
18th
0414
G515
0507
G525
1032
G515
1232
G525
G527
1427
VL356
1918
G531
2015
G525
1956
VL360
Mon
17th
0957
B80
1128
G531
1433
VL356
1530
B80
1850
G525
G527
1915
G541
1946
VL360
Sun
16th
0138
T386
Sat
15th
1438
VL356
1847
VL360
Fri
14th
0439
G515
1021
G515
1425
VL356
1954
VL360
Thu
13th
0512
G515
1025
G521
1020
G515
1434
VL356
1605
G521
1946
VL360
Wed
12th
1434
VL356
0403
VL360
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Tue
11th
1031
G512
1512
G512
1429
VL356
2040
VL360
Mon
10th
1431
VL360
1951
VL360
Sun
9th
1454
G512
1955
G512
Sat
8th
1903
G512
Fri
7th
0028
G521
1102
G521
1510
VL356
Thu
6th
0022
G521
1038
T373
1036
G521
1424
G512
1540
B80
2104
G512
0127
T386
Wed
5th
1450
VL356
2001
G512
Tue
4th
1434
G532
2130
G512
Mon
3rd
1445
B80
1942
G532
Sun
2nd
1442
G532
1939
G532
Date955093489552957193439553955794769572955995569475955895557088
Sat
1st
1716
G532
2027
B80
January 2020
Fri
31st
1020
G512
1443
G512
1116
G531
1609
G532
2323
G541
G531
2046
G532
Thu
30th
1038
G512
0949
G532
2112
G512
1200
G525
1500
B80
1551
G521
2137
G536
G525
1949
G532
Wed
29th
0600
G512
1121
G512
1141
G536
G525
1436
VL356
1909
G536
1937
B80
Tue
28th
1109
G525
1547
B80
1934
G536
2034
B80
VL356
Mon
27th
1152
G525
1449
G521
1930
G525
G536
2014
B80
Sun
26th
0334
G521
Sat
25th
No trains recorded
Fri
24th
No trains recorded
Thu
23rd
No trains recorded
Wed
22nd
No trains recorded
Tue
21st
No trains recorded
Mon
20th
No trains recorded
Sun
19th
No trains recorded
Sat
18th
No trains recorded
Fri
17th
No trains recorded
Thu
16th
No trains recorded
Wed
15th
No trains recorded
Tue
14th
No trains recorded
Mon
13th
No trains recorded
Sun
12th
No trains recorded
Sat
11th
No trains recorded
Fri
10th
No trains recorded
Thu
9th
No trains recorded
Wed
8th
No trains recorded
Tue
7th
No trains recorded
Mon
6th
No trains recorded
Sun
5th
No trains recorded
Sat
4th
No trains recorded
Fri
3rd
No trains recorded
Thu
2nd
No trains recorded
Wed
1st
0835
G536
G527
1451
VL356
Filed under: AUS 11 Comments
30Jan/190

The Annual Christmas Pilgrimage – December, 2018

As per usual, it was another trip to Canberra via Cootamundra over the Christmas break. This time was a little different though... no holiday pay! I'm now a contractor! Regardless, both trains and family needed to be visited! The trip started at the usual sparrow-fart-o'clock and I caught the up Albury somewhere along the parallel stretches of highway and railway.

DSC05625

Awful lighting and a bad angle... I then totally missed the southbound XPT. I heard it growling through as I was filling the tank at a service station. From there, there was nothing on the rails. I grabbed a pie or two at Culcairn, but wasn't impressed at all... maybe the baker had been in a hurry. The first sign of movement was the southbound Harefield shuttle prepped at Junee. Of course... just as I approached it started to head south!

DSC05626 DSC05629 DSC05632

I then whipped the MR-2 around and got to the favourite position... The train had crawled out of Junee, but nearly beat me up the hill? Nice effort!

DSC05634

DSC05640 DSC05641DSC05642

Crap lighting... the clouds really didn't want to play ball. From there it was more quiet rails. After checking in at the usual motel I was told the pool had a leak and had been emptied. The MR-2 hadn't had aircon for a few years, but it was ~35 outside and I was looking forward to a swim. Instead it was aircon in the motel room whilst I got a bit of work done.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with good friends from Cootamundra. Thanks Laurie for driving and knowing all the good spots to get the SSR grain rake! The proof is as follows...

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DSC05671

DSC05689 DSC05696 DSC05710

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I hear they're now calling the Qube QBX locomotives 'Chiko Rolls'... pretty hilarious actually. Two separate consists came through in quick succession! We then retired for the afternoon before a great meal at the local.

The next morning was spent getting in front of a northbound SCT service. It'd beaten me out of Cootamundra, but I got it before Yass. I hereby dedicate the next block of photos to my favourite location: Yass Junction Station.

DSC05731 DSC05734 DSC05740

DSC05750

DSC05752 DSC05754 DSC05756

I expected to then just dawdle back into Canberra... but instead found the SCT pulling to a halt in the station area. The drivers then inspected all axles... they must've triggered a sensor somewhere and been told to check if anything was actually wrong? They held there for 10 minutes and then pushed off again.

DSC05762

DSC05766 DSC05773 DSC05779

That was it for the trip towards Canberra. Whilst there I swapped the AW11 MR2 for a 2015 ZRE182R Corolla and, well, it's not the pocket rocket that the MR2 was, but it's got enough of it's character and so much more comfort! The return trip was therefore a quick one, going through to Melbourne in one day.

DSC05811

DSC05821

There's the 'rolla at Jindalee. Collecting rock-chips on the bonnet that I wouldn't realised until I washed it in Melbourne. Damnit. Anyhoo... on the way back, QBXs were seen bolting into Junee...

DSC05824 DSC05827 DSC05842

And then the XPT passed a CK grain at Gerogery?

DSC05843 DSC05847 DSC05856

And that was another wrap. Home just in time to catch the Air Asia X flight to KL the next morning!

Filed under: AUS No Comments
30Nov/180

High-Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT)

The first HCMT has been 'constructed' at Newport and recently passed through Hawksburn late at night. It was done after-hours to permit slow-running... as I'm sure they've measured the platform clearances... but weren't game to trash their new toy!

Whilst getting ready for the main event... I happened to see a few other consists on the radar. First up we have two SSR T-Class locomotives hauling the inspection vehicle IEV102. Running slowly, you can see it has the light shining onto the overhead, making sure it's within tolerance.

Next was the midnight down steel... but I missed it... too busy playing Pikmin 1 via the Dolphin Gamecube Emulator!

But then the down Apex Gravel train showed up... and came through. This had a full load and was working pretty hard up the grade. Looked and sounded great!

Finally, the main event (at 0130 in the morning)! The consist was pretty random: S302 up front, 20 grain cars, S317 + T + T, a brake van and then the actual HCMT! The extra loading was required as the HCMT wasn't 'braked'. Or that's the only reason I can think of... they couldve just had the 2 S or T on either end, but they may not be able to pull the train to a stop as they'd not be able to brake hard enough. Instead they used the bogies of 20 grain cars to make sure the weight on the end had no impact on the running train.

What a night! And what amazing lack-of-sleep!

Filed under: AUS No Comments
10Sep/180

6029 Returns to Canberra (for a weekend)

The irony... or, at least I think it's irony? I don't know anymore. But, whatever, I didn't need an excuse... what a great reason to return to Canberra for the weekend! 6029 came back to the place where it had been stored for decades and then rebuilt (to then assist in causing the failure of the railway museum) to run tours to Queanbeyan and Bungendore.

Here's the event link, but I can't see that link lasting long at all. It's not overly unique? Anyway, the basic idea was 4 shuttles to Queanbeyan on Saturday morning, followed by a single afternoon return trip to Bungendore. Then sunday was three full return trips to Bungendore.

The Line

It turns out that Canberra was an afterthought. To get to Canberra, railway vehicles first traverse the logging line to Bombala, but only until Queanbeyan where the Canberra branch actually starts. Railways were always about freight... and Canberra hadn't been invented yet... so the line that exists between Goulburn and Bombala was actually due to the need for wood, with an extension to Canberra built later.

It's a very short trip between Canberra and Queanbeyan, hence why they managed to schedule in four shuttles on the Saturday morning. There's not much along the line as it's quite flat between both stations.

Getting to Canberra from Thirlmere

It turns out that this was part of a larger rail cruise. Cruise Express ran their Southern Rail Spectactular event from Sydney to Melbourne and return. It included branchlines, steam engines and multiple consist changes. SRHC even got their standard-gauge consist set up for this specific event! It was also fun watching the consists hold up traffic in either direction...

procession

And again Northbound...

procession-2

Saturday, 1st September 2018

GL112 was attached on the rear and the train made it into Canberra Railway Station (Kingston) for it's first trip at 0900. All went well and I was waiting on the northern side of Jerrabomberra Creek. Beautiful sunlight and only 2 other onlookers.

DSC04610 DSC04612 DSC04620

DSC04623

DSC04635

DSC04632 DSC04636 DSC04640

From there, I attempted to get the return from the back of Bunnings in Fyshwick, but there were no good vantage points. The carpark at DFO would've been on the wrong side, with the sun directly in ones face. A quick shop at Jaycar for a DB9 socket for a mouse rebuild and then off to the back of Nick Scali furniture to catch the 10am outbound.

DSC04646 DSC04650 DSC04653

DSC04656

DSC04659 DSC04660 DSC04662

Another two onlookers... one being naughty on the wrong side of the fence... and then it was off to Queanbeyan to watch the return shuttle.

DSC04671

DSC04665 DSC04675 DSC04679

From there, it was family time for lunch. I managed to watch the 12pm shuttle depart before this... not before seeing a whole range of stupidity though... people just seem to think that crossing a yard is appropriate? They were quickly told to move on!

DSC04684 DSC04687 DSC04690

DSC04693

4201 then rolled in with a NSWRTM water gin!? I love unexpected surprises! 6029 then departed.

DSC04696 DSC04700 DSC04703

DSC04699

Later in the afternoon, I found enough time in the afternoon to watch the Bungendore return trip at the bridge just past Queanbeyan station. Lots of interest here this time and great sunlight. It's an awesome spot for inbound movements.

DSC04707 DSC04721 DSC04736

DSC04727

Sunday, 2nd September 2018

First-things-first on a Sunday morning in Canberra: Jamison Trash'n'Treasure, Mitchell Tip Shop, Woden Trash'n'Treasure and then Mugga Tip Shop. Found a few tid-bits, but nothing to call home about. Actually, Mitchell Tip shop was a bit out of control: they wanted AUD$25 for a monitor and set of computer speakers... what kind of 'gourmet' do they think they're selling? It's literally rubbish!

Made it back home to switch cars and then to Kingston railway to catch up with friends to grab some aerial video of the Bungendore shuttles. In the yard, 42103 and 4201 were hanging around, keeing the crowd entertained.

DSC04737

First stop was to be the bridge at Burbong, NSW. It's a great location, amazingly scenic, but the sun isn't always in the best location!

Fortunately, for a drone, the sun is absolutely no issue. Line-of-sight with too many trees can be... but we managed to find a great location. Nathan even had the 'VR' headset so I was watching the drone's viewpoint as he was flying it... pretty damn amazing!

DSC04745 DSC04743 DSC04755

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The train came in due course and ... it was beautiful. The locomotive was at full-tilt (the exhaust may well exclaim that) and the sights and sounds were awesome. It passed quite quickly but we caught further footage whilst everyone else was packing up.

DSC04767

And now, the best part... the drone footage! (Make sure to turn the quality right up!)

The next spot was in the Molonglo Gorge. I'd actually never been here... even though I'd lived in Canberra for ~28 years. Seriously disappointing actually, as it's an amazing location! The railway line snakes along the gorge hill-side through two tunnels and there's a few spaces along the access roads to get some great shots.

DSC04770 DSC04769 DSC04771

Another pilot had a drone out (exactly the same model) and our flight paths were negotiated to not get in eachother's way. Not exactly an easy thing to do as your viewpoint from the drone can be based on the film you're trying to take rather than the drones around you... and they can also have the same idea... so we had our wits about us. There's also a no-fly-zone towards Queanbeyan, but we were far enough away from it.

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After that, it was back to family time before jetting back off to Melbourne. Usually my weekends are pretty quiet in Canberra, but this one was fantastic. Can only thank the NSW Rail Museum for the entertainment!

Filed under: AUS No Comments
27Aug/180

Melbourne, Australia – August, 2018

There's been a bit of heritage activity around Melbourne recently and I thought I'd post a few pictures up-front, rather than letting them rot away in the albums.

Steamrail's Snow Train

This consist runs twice a year from Southern Cross to Traralgon. From there you can venture off on other tours of the countryside. It's usually run by two R class steam locomotives, as it was this year. I happened to ride on it last year, so instead chose to take photos of it this year.

The train ran on Sunday, 5th August. This perfectly aligns with the usual Sunday trash and treasure market adventures, and so I waited near the Oakleigh market. This also happens to be where the Skyrail comes back to earth, so I attempted a shot of the train coming off the viaduct.

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As you can see, R711 was up front and they powered through beautifully.

Excuse the long wind-up, you could hear the train coming well before you saw it!

707 Operations with R707 and A66

Another Sunday (26th August), another set of flea markets and another consist of vintage goodness. It even went the same way... and so did I. But this time I had enough time to get home and deliver the randomness I picked up before it came past the apartment. Therefore... the usual spot first, with the new location. It's a little harder to get the right shot as the train was on the furthest track!

XTrap through South Yarra A66 approaches Hawksburn A66 approaches Hawksburn

A66 approaches Hawksburn

And the poor steamer was getting lugged along behind. Perfect logic though, no running around when it wanted to return in the other direction!

R707 in tow through Hawksburn

It then came back through and I caught it around the bend at South Yarra. There were a few random trains in between though... like the steelie!

Steel rounds the bend from Richmond Steel rounds the bend from Richmond Steel approaching South Yarra Bridge

G536 on Steel approaching South Yarra Bridge

A multitude of sparks...

ComEng departs South Yarra Siemens approaching South Yarra Station XTrap approaches South Yarra Double ComEng at South Yarra R707 through South Yarra Station

And yes.. then the main event...

R707 through South Yarra Station R707 through South Yarra Station R707 through South Yarra Station

R707 through South Yarra Station

And so that was the first trip... To Berwick and return. The second leg was to Stony Point and back, with a 20min stop at Patterson on the way there.

A66 approaching Patterson A66 approaching Patterson A66 approaching Patterson

A66 approaching Patterson

The stop wasn't overly practical... as it was really for the passengers and there wasn't much platform to stretch out on.

A66 at Patterson for tour photo-stop

I snuck down to the fence and, regardless of the lighting, I snapped away as the train departed.

A66 and R707 depart Patterson A66 and R707 depart Patterson A66 and R707 depart Patterson

A66 and R707 depart Patterson

A66 and R707 depart Patterson

Always perfect to see these tours sell out and history preserved!

Filed under: AUS No Comments
20Aug/180

Melbourne – The view from Tarneit Station

I've just recently posted photos of B74 leading through Tarneit and it occurred to me that I've now got a historical record of the changes to the landscape in the area.

The amount of building that's been going on behind the trains in the scenes below says it all. The first shot is from July 2016, we then have October 2016 and finally July 2018.

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Sure, 2 years is a huge gap... things happen... nappy-valleys get built... but... it's just cool to see the change when I never even intended on recording it! Melbourne's urban (or rural?) sprawl is actually pretty hideous... these poor people will spend a quarter of their lives in their cars parked in traffic jams on highways.

Filed under: AUS No Comments
23Jul/180

Melbourne – B74’s Birthday Bash

Another weekend in Melbourne brings about another Heritage Train Trip. This time it was Seymour Railway Heritage Centre running an excursion to celebrate the 65th Birthday of locomotive B74!

The trip was initially meant to run via Newport and Werribee, so I located myself on the curves into Albion Station to snap it as it came through. The following shot is of a track-machine transfer back in 2016 and shows the angle you can get from the road overpass.

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It was touch-and-go to get there in time... but then I noticed that the train had disappeared at Jacana junction. Broad-gauge trains only do this when they're running through Essendon into town, so I was a little perplexed. Further googling resulted in the revelation that the train would 'run around' at North Melbourne. I assumed it'd then run via the triangle and head into Newport... so I re-located to Brooklyn.

After a little time passed, I checked the radar and noted that the train hadn't actually shifted. Quickly off to the Facebook page for SRHC I went; only to find that the train was to run via the RRL! This was great news... but I was in the wrong location. I've previously caught consists approaching Tarneit before and wanted to do it again with this one. Back in the car... back on the highway... and based on timetables, with very little time to spare.

Regardless, by the time I got to Tarneit, the train had not moved from North Melbourne. Hah. Such is the Australian Railway life. I waited at the station and watched two train-loads of AFL fans head into Melbourne.

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Whilst this was happening, the suspense was building outside... Seems like others had a better idea as to where to find the perfect angle.

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I had a better position inside on the walkway to the platform. There's a good viewpoint, framed nicely by the station and the signals (if you wish), that let me get the previous shot of the steamer in the link above. I was the only one there, with a nice and clear line-of-sight. In due course, the train thundered through...

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And then I was off to Sunbury for computer markets and tip-shop scrummaging.

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13Jul/180

Main South – June 2018

I had to drive to Sydney for work.. so I via'd Canberra and the railway line. Didn't get to see much as I was mainly on-the-clock and had places to be... but fluked a few sightings. First up was perfect timing with the Harefield shuttle. Whilst waiting for it, there was (as there always is) amazing cloud formations to drool over. Not so easy to capture on an SLT though.

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The light is never in the right area in the afternoon and so I've got a favourite place at the top of the climb from Harefield to Junee on an S-Bend. It gives you a minute possibiliy of having the loco on a good angle.

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It also lets you take a photo of the train seemingly driving on the road...

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And then some great angles of the consist traversing the curves...

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There's always a good lash-up on this train. Qube run the shuttle and, since it's such a short trip between Harefield and Junee, use a miriad of vintage locomotives.

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There wasn't much else happening on the rails, so I bolted through to Harden and caught a northbound PN intermodal trying not to roll too fast down the hill.

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The leg from Canberra to Sydney was a little quieter, but I did manage to intercept a northbound SCT service just near Bargo. SCT have recently acquired a bunch of LDPs from QR who no longer do southern intermodal trains, so this was an interesting lash-up.

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Next is the Griffith Explorer passing through Galong. This is train has an every-second-day timetable and isn't an easy one to catch. The weather was also disturbingly cold and wet.

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A few KMs down the track I intercepted the northbound Melbourne-Sydney XPT. It absolutely flew past me!

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Further down in Yerong Creek, I intercepted a north-bound Steel Train.

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In Culcairn I thought I found one of the ex-ARHS Canberra passenger cars, but alas, supposedly it's been here for years. I'm usually too distracted by the local bakery and don't actually check out this corner.

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The weather stayed absolutely awful...

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But I hung around in the cold for the southbound XPT.

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And then continued home through a heavy downpour... car needed a wash anyway.