(News to Me) Wongawilli Colliery

Authors Note: Apologies this is so late in coming, I’d processed the photos and then forgotten to upload one for the purposes of this article.

On April 24 of this year, 8117 (the Port Kembla shunter) departed Port Kembla yard with a small army of Pacific National drivers and crew on a light engine run through Unanderra to Wongawilli Colliery (the branch leaves the main near Kembla Grange) on a training run up to the Colliery and back.

From the Monday following this date, Pacific National began running two trains to and from Wongawilli a day (although not every day of the week). Currently the train is a single 81 class and a short rake of wagons, hauling coal from the colliery. I’ve as yet been unable to get a photo of this working, but it is something to keep an eye out for if you’re around Unanderra at midday.

The photo above shows 8117 racing across The Princes Highway on the very wet 24th of April. This photo wouldn’t have been possible without an anonymous friend who continues to provide good information (and correct my many misconceptions about how the railways actually run). His constant information and assistance is always welcome. Thanks!

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