Friday 29th of August saw a very interesting train assembled in the yard at Thirlmere, at the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. A far cry from the usual consists involving two or more heritage locomotives and a selection of restored passenger cars, this consist was made up of a selection of exhibits and projects being transferred to Chullora (with some on to Broadmeadow) to make way for the planned renovations to the museum due to begin soon.
Many locomotives and wagons, aside from a couple of earlier “trial runs” up and down the loop line (to ensure that they were in running condition) have not turned a wheel (in service or in preservation, excluding being shunted around the museum) in many a year, and it was interesting to see them all lined up, ready to take to the mainlines of NSW again. Locomotives from the mighty 5711, to the diminutive four wheel vans, to trial electric locomotive 7100 (early electric locomotive, a precursor to the later 46 Class), combined with CFCLA units KL81 and 44204 (along with the museums own 4916) made up the consist, which was a sight to be seen!
Initially a seemingly simple task, to photograph the various parts of the consist before the sunset (or, far more worryingly, a 1700 departure time…), it became an impossible task to complete – it is one thing to get a couple of grab shots of old rolling stock, but this opportunity to crawl around it all, in daylight (well, dusk lighting) was something I couldn’t pass up, and I spent a fair bit of time looking over each exhibit in detail, trying to catch things on “film” that not everyone would see, even when standing next to it. As a result, I missed the chance to get photos from the rear half of the consist, but I was more than pleased with what I walked away with.
One thing I did notice, to my amusement, was that as we arrived, there were plenty of photographers around, inspecting the consist and talking amongst themselves. It seemed that as soon as the sun started sinking behind the horizon, everyone was keen to pack up and go home, but this is when the real magical lighting begins! In these days of variable ISO’s between shots and image stabilised lenses/cameras, people have no excuse not to get shots of stationary objects in the fading light – even a simple $50 tripod would have served them well with the longer shutter speeds required. I myself never got over ISO200 at any point, as I was shooting with an Image Stabilised lens, at between f4.5 and f5.6, with a shutter speed of 1/25 to 1/50 depending on the subject. Minimal use of flash to brighten some subjects was used, but sparingly. The effects I got that evening easily surpassed anything I could get in full daylight.
While most of the collection is currently private for various reasons, I have chosen a couple of them to display here, as a kind of “sample look” for Trackside readers. I hope you enjoy them, and get a view of a very unusual movement!
The train departed around midnight, and made it’s way to Chullora. A number of items then made their way to the yard at Broadmeadow.
Thanks goes to Anthony “42209” Johnson, Greg “42101” Gordon and Lee Baxter, both for your support and company on the day, and for always keeping each other motivated to push the boundaries of our hobby.