Sunday, September 18, 2016

Victoria - November 2015

Flinders Street Station. 21/11/2016.

After arriving at Southern Cross railway station I had two days to explore Melbourne. I had a few things on my list, visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground, spend some dollars at Train World and get to Stony Point.

First up was a trip to Stony Point, an outer south east suburb of Melbourne. I've been wanting to get there ever since I started searching Victorian Railways on the net. 
As I waited for an electric multiple unit to Frankston I managed to grab a shot of P14. P14 is one of 13 locomotives rebuilt from Victoria Railways first series of T class locomotives. P14 was originally T330 and re-entered service with Vlinein August 1985. While looking work weary it is still soldiering on on suburban passenger trains.

VLine P Class diesel locomotive P14 at Southern Cross Railway Station.

Shortly after I was on an EMU and making my way to Frankston. Arriving at Frankston I had to change over from the EMU onto a Sprinter diesel multiple unit to complete my trip to Stony Point. It wasn't long before the Sprinter arrived at the south end of Frankston and once cleared by the home signal approached the station

Sprinters 7008 and 7012 enter Frankston Station from the South.

With rain now falling we made our way through to Stony Point. The Sprinters were great. A little rougher riding and definitely noisier than Melbourne's EMU's but what a great passenger train. It wasn't long before our train arrived at Stony Point where I managed to grab a quick shot of the train.

Sprinter's 7012 and 7008 rest at Stony Point before starting its return trip to Frankston.

After about five minutes, we started the return journey back to Frankston. A change back onto an EMU and I was quickly making my way back to downtown Melbourne. 

Getting off at Richmond I was able to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground and have a tour of this famous sports ground. The tour was fantastic and I was able to tick off another thing on my bucket list.

As I made my way back to Richmond station I heard some diesels coming from Flinders Street. I missed getting a head on shot of the leading T class diesels working a Metro works train but did manage to grab a going away shot and one of B76 following up on the rear of the train.

T Class diesels approach Richmond with a works train.

B76 trails the works train into Richmond.

What a great way to end my first day in Melbourne.

I was out early on my second day in Melbourne to try and get as much as I could done. First up was a short trip through to Flinders Station, possibly the most famous and definitely the most photographed railway station in Australia. Here I was able to grab a few shots of this fantastic building.

Flinders Street station board.

I also managed to grab a shot of VLocity DMU as it came into Flinders Street. These things look awesome. 

VLocity DMU slows to a stop at Flinders Street railway station.

From Flinders Street I headed north to Kensington. I've been interested in Kensington ever since I saw a photo of a train unloading grain at the flour mill there. Unfortunately there was no grain trains when I visited but I did get some shots of an EMU, the flour mill and Kensington railway station.

Comeng EMU heads towards through Kensington towards Melbourne.

Boarding another EMU I headed to North Brighton to visit Train World. Billed as the Australia's premier train shop I was stoked to actually get to this store and I was not disappointed. What an awesome store. This is the best model railway store I have ever visited. I spent a few hours looking around and even bought a few things. Hopefully I'll be in Melbourne early in 2017 and I'll definitely be paying Train World another visit. 

If you can't get to Melbourne you can check out Train Worlds website at www.trainworld.com.au 

After finishing up at Train World I wandered back to the North Brighton railway station where I managed to grab a shot of another EMU, my last train shot in Melbourne.

Comeg EMU arrives at North Brighton on the Sandringham Line.

That was the end of my rail related adventures in Melbourne and that's about it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New South Wales - November 2015

Canberra Railway Station. 19/11/2015.

After finishing up some work in Canberra I was able to take a few days off before heading back to NZ. I started my rail fan holiday at the Canberra Railway Station. After checking in I was able to have a wander around the platform. 

Canberra station fueling point.

The Canberra station yard is pretty basic with only three tracks and a fueling point for he diesel multiple units that use this station. 

The Explorer DMU waiting for its 06:50 am departure to Sydney. 19/11/2015.

I also grabbed a few photos of the Explorer diesel multiple unit that was my ride to Goulburn. The unit was looking a little worn on the inside but was clean and comfortable and the staff were really helpful and friendly. 

The run from Canberra to Goulburn was a great trip with plenty to see. What really surprised me was how well the remaining stations on the line were maintained and the amount of old rail infrastructure remains. In NZ any old infrastructure seems to disappear pretty quickly but travelling through the ACT and into NSW there was a lot to keep a foamer interested.

It didn't seem to take too long before we arrived in Goulburn and I left the Explorer to continue its trip to Sydney. 

Sydney bound Pacific National intermodal freight with two NR locomotives at the business end. 19/11/2016.

Not long after the Explorer departed Goulburn a Pacific National intermodal freight made its way through the station. With time on my hands I was able to explore the Goulburn station and have a good look around.

Goulburn Railway Station

Goulburn railway station information board.

Goulburn is a well known railway town in Australia and you can really feel the history of the place. I would have loved to have visited this place in the 1970's and 80's to see class 422, 44 and 48 diesel locomotives at work.

With a communications fault at Moss Vale my ride to Melbourne was delayed an hour. The station staff at Goulburn were great and kept everybody waiting for the XPT updated. In fact I take my hat of the all the NSW trains staff. The stations looked great and the staff were friendly and helpful. Good work!

We were informed the XPT was not far away and I was able to set up on the pedestrian over bridge to grab a shot of the train as it approached Goulburn station.

The XPT arriving at Goulburn. 19/11/2015.

Racing down the over bridge I was able to clamber on and find my seat. Shortly the XPT was winding up, passing the workshop at Goulburn and the junction with the line to Canberra. 

As we headed south to Melbourne I was surprised by the Main South Line. I was expecting a fairly flat run but there were plenty of curves and grades. The XPT, a cousin of the British Rail HST seemed to take it in its stride. We passed through a number of stations. Gunning, Yass Junction, Harden, Cootamundra, Junee and Wagga Wagga, The Rock and Albury. All interesting in their own right.

Shortly after leaving Albury we crossed the border into Victoria. 

As we made our way through the outer suburbs of Melbourne there was a bang and we quickly ground to a halt. Train staff were walking up and down the train. We were soon informed that some young children had placed something on the tracks. Once the all clear was given we continued our run through the Melbourne suburbs. 

We were soon approaching Southern Cross station, the end of the XPT's run from Sydney to Melbourne. After hopping off and collecting my bag I was making my way through Southern Cross and seeing for the first time N class and P class diesels. Locomotives I've read about, seen pictures of and you tubed were here in the flesh. I wanted to stick around but I was absolutely knackered and it was time to find my hotel.

And that's about it. The Victoria part of my break away will be coming shortly.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016!


Pacific National intermodal freight cruises through Goulburn. 19/11/15.

2016! Already! 

Hope everybody had a great Christmas and a good start to the new year.

I can't believe how fast the last year has passed by. Unfortunately rail fanning took a back seat to family and work in 2015. The rail fanning highlight for me last year was a trip from Canberra to Melbourne using a combination of an Explorer DMU and the XPT plus a few days exploring Melbourne's suburban network. A post on my travels through New South Wales and Victoria will be coming shortly.

Until then take care and enjoy the start of 2016.




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Shot for the day

DXB 5080 leads 923 Middleton - Dunedin freight through Ravensbourne. 24/09/15.

With the bosses away this week I managed to sneak away from the office early today and grab this shot of 923 as it neared its destination of Dunedin.

And thats about it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Otautau's Grain Transfer Facility

Otautau grain transfer facility.

On a recent work trip to Southland I made a little detour through the small Southland town of Otautau. Otautau is a station on the Ohai branch line. The reason I wanted to go through this town was to get some shots of a structure I've been hoping to have a look at for a long time, the Otautau grain transfer facility.

I don't know why but I really like grain facilities. It could be from my youth in Marton that had a number of grain silos and the malting plant or my time in the midwest in the states where every town had an elevator and grain silos.

Either way I just think they look good and this one especially sticks out. While I don't have the space at the moment this is one grain facility that I will build a model of in the future.

So without further ado here are some shots of the Otautau grain facility.


















The grain facility hasn't been used for awhile and is starting to look rundown. Looking at the siding leading to the silos it hasn't been used to transfer grain from truck to train for a very, very long time. Would love to see a photo of a wagon being loaded here. 
From a modeling point of view this would look really good with a few V/line VHGF wheat hoppers being loaded.

And thats about it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A visit to Dunedin railway station


Dunedin Station. 1/6/15

After tidying up a few jobs in town I decided to head down to the Historic Dunedin railway station to see if anything was happening. It was pretty quiet, not even a shunt heading out to the port or back.

This gave me a good chance to have a look at Dunedin Railways loco's and carriages. Dunedin Railways is the new name for the Taieri Gorge Railway, a tourist passenger train operator based in Dunedin that operates services to Pukerangi and Middlemarch on the former Central Otago railway and over the KiwiRail network to Palmerston and Oamaru.

If you're visiting the lower South Island a trip on a Dunedin Railways train up the Taieri Gorge is a must. Well after that unpaid advertisement for Dunedin Railways back to their locos and rolling stock.

Dunedin Railways DJ 1227 ready for another trip up the Taieri Gorge. 1/9/15

Dunedin Railways operate its trains using a fleet of five ex New Zealand Railways DJ class diesel - electric locomotives. The 64 members of the DJ class were built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and came into service in 1968 and 1969. The light weight triple bogie locomotives were used exclusively in the South Island and completed the dieselisation of the New Zealand railway network. The last steam loco's being withdrawn in 1971.

 DJ 1227's brass number plate and Mitsubishi builders plate (sticker).

Alongside the DJ's, Dunedin Railways has a fleet of ex New Zealand Railways and KiwiRail carriages.

The fleet is made up of wooden and steel carriages. Me, I prefer the wooden carriages because you can still lift the window and lean out (but not to far) to enjoy the passing scenery. Heres a few images of the older wooden type carriages still in service.



And some of the steel carriages....





In the last year Dunedin Railways has started to repaint and rebrand their steel carriages in the new Dunedin Railways livery. There has been a lot of different liveries on passenger carriages in New Zealand over the last few decades but the new livery is, in my opinion, one of the best I've seen.




Operating alongside the carriages is an open observation carriage that has been rebuilt from an ex FM guards van. This type of observation carriage is also used on the Tranz Alpine and Coastal Pacific passenger trains operated by KiwiRail Scenic. 


AG class open observation carriage.

With the weather closing in I quickly grabbed a few shots from the stations pedestrian over bridge. Dunedin Railways passenger services depart and arrive from the main line and the famed south dock.

 Dunedin Railways carriages resting in the South Dock at Dunedin Railway Station. 1/9/2015.

Another train ready to depart for a trip up the Taieri Gorge. 1/9/2015.

Having a good look at the locomotives and rolling stock, I was really impressed by the condition and up keep of the equipment. Good work Dunedin Railways! 

If you're visiting the lower south, make the time to travel on one of Dunedin Railways services or at least pay the station a visit.

And thats about it.