08 October 2018

50 years ago it did rain

Was just searching through a whole pile of railway photographs and was struck by the number from 1966 to 1975 taken in gloomy, rainy weather. Maybe photographers were tougher then, or the equipment was more susceptible to reflecting the local conditions.  I don't think it was the former because the photographer in this case couldn't be tempted off the front verandah of his grandmother's home.  

I have tried to lighten the photograph a little and clean it up a bit.  But it was a wet and soggy afternoon when this 49 (thought to be 08) trudged through Eumungerie on an up stocky.




22 May 2018

Candy abounds!

It has been several days since the Modelling the Railways of NSW 35th Convention, where I had the opportunity to co-present (read, evangelise) about the Coonamble branch.  If you were at the Convention and attended one of my sessions, thank you for not throwing anything at me, including hard questions. I frankly had a ball; listening to myself speak has always been one of my favourite past-times.  But now life will return to normal, which means blogging!

One of the drawbacks of presenting (perhaps the only drawback) is the reduced opportunity you have to attend other sessions.  I only got to one other session and it was on a subject which perplexes me to this day - signalling.  It was a beaut session and I can now confidently say that the signal in the photo below is a short one.

I think I promised to post a larger version of the photograph above showing the silo complex just too intimidating to climb or model.  And here is a going away shot of the same train...

Its late so I will wrap things here but before I do I will try to redress the dominance of Indian red locos on this blog - a fair comment by a patron last weekend.  Here's two photos, both from around 1985, of candy-liveried locos heading north through Eumungerie. First up, a pretty 4844 on a pretty standard empty wheatie.

I haven't shown enough photos of shy locos on this blog... so here's one of 4874 hiding behind a pole.


20 February 2018

Something to look forward to...

Folks, time for an announcement of sorts.

I haven't been totally lax about things Eumungerie. After taking stock of how this blog is travelling, I decided about 4 months ago additional measures are necessary in order to spread the gospel of the Coonamble line.  So, I did something I rarely do - volunteered for something.

And so it has come to pass that I will be one of the presenters at this year's Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention at Loftus TAFE on 19 May 2018.  The Convention is always a great day out and this year there are some brilliant topics listed (including Coonamble line) and some seriously august and knowledgeable presenters (excluding yours truly). 

As I was worried that I wouldn't have enough information to make a reasonable presentation, I have put together a few slides.  So far it works out to be a 138 slides over a 3 and a half hour presentation - excluding pauses for applause, of course. So I think I will have to cut things down a bit!

Anyway, details about the Convention are starting to be made public at: http://www.mrnsw.org.au/ - I hope that my many readers of this blog (including the Russians and Chinese government officials) will attend the Convention and say g'day to me, even if you choose other sessions. Just come to help me empty my wallet at the trade stands perhaps?  Several readers will have to be there as they seem to be on the speaker list.

I will endeavour to drop a few tasty morsels onto this blog as the Convention draws near.


26 January 2018

The Mail arrives!

Apologies, its been nearly a year without an update.  I do have a sense that this blog will be much more active this year though - probably in a couple of months after several things fall in place.

Your scribe's interest in this location is yet to wane - in fact its getting more intense. The best evidence of this is that there is a fabulously expensive house reno on the cars this year just so I can re-establish a HO layout covering Eumungerie in the garage... that will be more of a 2019 project however the layout is now reassembled and being upgraded.  This means that at some stage I will be posting a few snaps about the recreated Eumungerie, as well as few of bloody fingers from half-blunt Exacto knives etc.

In the meantime, here is a photo of Eumungerie which has only recently surfaced from our family photo collection.  I don't know who took it or when and its a bit over-exposed, but its a rich mine for anyone wishing to model Eumungerie (ie me):
  • The location of the station lamp is shown and its not where I thought it would be (near to the door).  
  • The colour of the weighing scales is not the one I remember or you see typically these days (red, not black).
  • The pub has done good business - the kilns and gas cylinder testify to the thirstiness of the town.
  • The woman on the platform is the local post-mistress (that was their title in those days) waiting to hand the guard some late mail as the train arrives. 
So, enjoy the arrival of the up Far West Express at Eumungerie!


17 April 2017

Moving trains at Eumungerie

It has been a while but my efforts are almost fully diverted to working out fast ways to slice videos into snippets for uploading onto Flickr. Along the way I have discovered two more short videos of workings through Eumungerie.

The first comes from 1990 - 5 October to be precise. It shows a 48 class working the Up Goods to Dubbo.  The wagons are tarped - am guessing that there are bales of wool tucked up safely underneath those tarps.

This next video has 48143 and 4894 pulling out of Eumungerie on a down ballast on 21 January 1992.  As the locos accelerate, keen-eared listeners will hear commentary from Bill MacMillan, one of Eumungerie's stalwarts.  Bill's father was the first manager of the timber mill at Eumungerie - the enterprise which gave the nascent village purpose and permanency in the first years of the 19th century. The other voice you here is the Senior Train Hunter (Bill's nephew) trying to hold old Bill at bay with as few words as possible!

Enjoy! Back to the serious stuff later.


17 January 2017

A short video about grain

Over the last couple of weeks I have been experimenting (without a real lot of success) in uploading videos to Blogger. Unless it is done through YouTube there are issues.  

This means double handling for someone like myself who has committed to uploading to Flickr as it allows you to post photos, videos and even document in the same place. Someone who knows the dark arts of Blogger is welcome to let me know about shortcuts!

Here is what I would describe as one of my successes... from 2007, 48102, 48125, 4894 and 48144 haul a down empty grain through Eumungerie. Nice Alco dribble.

I will be back soon, hopefully with a few more videos!


24 December 2016

Same spot, different times

I have been pondering the essence of locomotive depots recently - what is absolutely essential, what is probably needed and what is otherwise nice to have. This pondering led me to think a little about Dubbo's depot - which was pretty small (geographically speaking) relative to most other NSW loco depots. And this pondering even led me to assemble a montage of photographs, taken from nearly the same spot over the last 50+ years. 

I won't bore you with all the photographs - lets just have a look at one every 10 years or so.  What has struck me is the weird stuff - things moving around and other things just hanging around long past use-by dates.

Lets start with a baseline in January 1967 - this shot is a bit closer than the others I will post. Apart from showing 3649 and a P class shunting a S wagon with a very clean tarp, the position is clear from the palm tree and the edge of the signal gantry.  At this time there is the old shed in the process of falling apart, alongside the newer shed.  A line of buildings forms the northern edge.

Fast forward to May 1979 and... it is eerily similar.  OK, the old shed 'fell down' but we have steam era gantries and buildings.  The trees remain and a steam boiler balances on its end further down the yard as a sanding tower.

Jump forward to October 1987 and there has been some change - the diesel fuel pad has been installed and the steam boiler has wandered westward to a position adjacent to the pad. The shed is still there, and so are the trees.  Hey, there is even a S wagon in the shade of the shed.

Next stop, 1997. The shed, fuel pad, sanding tower and even the S wagon are still all there. What's new? The locos are larger - 8213 almost seems to be cramped inside the fuel pad. And those trees - is that new growth?

Onto 2005. Shed, tick. Fuel pad, tick. Wandering sanding tower, tick.  The trees look healthy- even the one which has grown in front of the shed in the right of way - so the shed is there but not being used? At least the western end of the shed is not accessible. And our S wagon (I am presuming it is the same one) has traveled back down its track to the eastern end of the shed.

OK, last one - 2012. The sanding tower has gone, so has the S wagon. The buildings that remain are boarded up. The western end of the shed is no longer obscured by foliage and the palm trees look like they have had a haircut. Has there been a renaissance for the shed? Sadly, no. zoom in and you may be able to pick out the fine lines of mesh across its entrance.  A close check of the roof gives an indication of its purpose - it is a very large pigeon loft.

So, I could go on and on and on but it is Christmas and we all have better things to do. In a reductionist world, what is the essence of a NSWGR loco depot? I think it could be palm trees and S wagons.  All the rest is relatively impermanent! 

Merry Christmas folks!