Metrop or Bust – ARHS NSW/RMS Sydney Suburbs Tour

CPH1 at Lavender Bay
CPH1 at Lavender Bay

On October 18th and 19th, The Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) NSW Division ran a tour around the suburbs of Sydney. Chartering CPH No’s One and Seven from The Railmotor Society at Paterson for the tour, the two days consisted of taking the two railmotors around the suburbs to revisit most of the lines that they ran on in regular service.

Saturday the 18th saw the tour start at Hornsby, on platform one, and proceed to Lavender Bay, then back to Hornsby to continue south to Clyde. Originally the tour called for a run up to Carlingford, but this was postponed due to late running. As a result, the two units then ran up the Richmond Branch, where passengers and crew detrained to grab some lunch. After the societies guard (Ben Barnes) did some negotiating with control, a new path from Clyde to Carlingford (and return) was established (it should be noted that only one train is permitted in the section between Sandown and Carlingford at any one time, due to a notable lack of passing loops along the way, and Carlingford only being a single track terminus). Following the run up to Carlingford, the two units ran via Enfield to Botany, only to be kicked out by an irate shunter (who probably didn’t want a pair of vintage railmotors clogging up his yard, even on a quiet Saturday!), at which point the tour returned to Central.

Points clip as required to negotiate the throw over points in Botany Yard.
Points clip as required to negotiate the throw over points in Botany Yard.

The following day, some folks returned for the second day, while other new passengers who were not on the tour on Saturday replaced those who couldn’t make both Saturday and Sunday. The first run was out to East Hills, where the units paused for a photostop, and then on to Clyde again, this time to visit the end of the Sandown Industrial Branch (CPH Railmotors were used towards the end of their suburban lives for workers trains along the various industrial branch lines in the city). After another quick photostop, the tour ran straight through to Cronulla for lunch. After Cronulla, the units headed south through Waterfall to Helensburgh, before returning to Central.

Despite only leaving the suburban area once over the weekend, many km’s of track were covered, and very different parts of Sydney were seen, from the sun scorched plains of Richmond to the cool, damp forest of the Illawarra. The beaches of Cronulla versus the swamp at Sandown.

For a full report on the weekend tour, see Railway Digest, December 2008.

View more photos of the weekend here.

Thanks and congratulations to The ARHS NSW, as well as The Railmotor Society for the running of the tour. Special thanks also to Ben, our guard for the weekend, and Maree, the carriage attendant for CPH No7.

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