Chullora and Beyond

Today I met a friend and fellow gunzel (you all know him as 42101) at Lidcombe at 0830 for a walking tour of the goods lines north of Enfield Yard. We started by walking down towards Flemmington Car Sheds, and watched 42211 and 42105 clattering back to Yennora from Port Botany. While I missed the shot by a mere matter of minutes, it was heartening to see the 422 in Interail colours, doing metro work around Sydney. I’ll see it again, see if I don’t 😉

For the first leg of the journey, we walked along the goods line as it passed Rookwood Necropolis. A couple of interesting photospots were found on the side of the road – no good for conventional photography, but certainly good for a unique angle on things. After all, that’s the best surprise of all. Anyone can take a “normal” train photo from an overpass or station platform, but it’s those unusual angles that make people go “well, I’ve not see a 31 class from that angle before”. A quick pause on an overpass to catch NR107 smoking her way out of Chullora with MB4, we continued on towards Chullora North Junction.

Having arrived, looking into the throat of the mysterious Chullora, C508 was assisting 442s3 towards Botany with T236 containers from Leightonfield (normally, you only see a single loco on this working). Shortly before this, 8005 had flown north towards Clyde Yard, possibly to be used on a fuel train.

Onwards we walked, down to the northern end of Enfield Yard, which defies the imagination. I always knew it was a big yard, but looking at it from the Chullora end… it was huge. As is typical, despite being a massive yard in the middle of Sydney, nothing was happening. Plenty of stabled grain hoppers though.

After a quick bite to eat in Hungry Jacks in Greenacre, we backtracked towards Chullora Junction again, and walked down to check out the yard at the workshops there. Not disappointed, we found 42105 had returned from Yennora to pick up some refurbished flat wagons for QRNational, as well as B76 sitting shut down. A short downhill section, and 8030 could be found at the end of the yard looking very sorry for herself.

Back up the hill again, and into a small park on one of the side streets, and we hit a goldmine. 4918 was contentedly idling away on the line to Sefton with a long line of old Tulloch Trailers, fresh out of Redfern. Apparently, the 49 and 4468 had worked their train around to Leightonfield in push-pull style operation before reversing back over Sefton Junctions and into Chullora. We spent a good deal of time watching them shunt, in amongst the normal traffic through the area at this time, including NR79 shunting Chullora Goods Terminal and 4717 and 4708 on the Minto-bound shuttle.

Having contented ourselves with getting some of the last photos of the Tulloch Trailers, we moved to the bus stop to rest our aching feet and got the bus back to Strathfield. A very successful day, full of good company, good exercise and plenty of trains!

All photos accompanying this article were taken on the day from legal and publicly accessible locations.


One thought on “Chullora and Beyond

  1. Sounds like you had fun mate – but if you though Enfield looks big now just imagine what it was like when Delec was in full swing on one side and there were three roundhouses dedicated to steam on the other.

    I think that back in those days there were two or three shunt jobs rostered on for most shifts and most communication between the crews and the signal boxes was done by loco whistles and loud speakers.

    On both sides of the yard Enfield – and up at Chullora too – there were carparks full of cars belonging to the train crews that were out on the road … and those that didn’t come by car came by trains reserved for employees.

    I worked at Chullora for a couple of weeks in 1969 and at that stage there were three (or possibly four) canteens spread around the workshops for the employees.

    I would sign on at Chullora and sign off at Central so I’d catch one of the employee trains to work in the morning.


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