Note: This is the “normal” Friday update – yesterdays post was in lieu of a missing update from last Friday. Things will (hopefully) resume as normal, with the next update next Friday as usual.
It was not surprising that I woke up before the alarm on Tuesday morning, with the sun beaming through a crack in the curtains and onto my face. So much for a sleep in! Fred and I made our way down to the lobby for the short walk to the La Trobe Street bridge, which runs over the yard outside Southern Cross Station. This bridge is quite a novelty to a Sydneysider, given that it is an excellent spot to witness all of the morning arrivals and departures from this busy station. Add to that the fact that most of the services are loco-hauled trains, and you’re in heaven! Did I mention that the bridge also has tram tracks?
Soon after arriving, the trains were coming thick and fast – it was next to impossible to record everything, and we quickly gave up on most of the more mundane V/locity and Sprinter services. The main target, of course, were the peak hour services from Sunbury and Bacchus Marsh (hauled by A and P Class). As well as the parade of V/Line services, NR77 lead The Overland on the first leg of the journey to Adelaide at 0812, followed by the Sydney bound XPT (more or less) on time at 0838.
A handful of services were witnessed behind push-pull P Class locomotives (including P14, 16, 17 and 18), although the “main event” was the arrival of A66 hauling 8116V Bacchus Marsh commuter service at 0848. We were even lucky enough to have A66 stop at a signal shortly before the bridge, allowing plenty of opportunities to record this proud bulldog in a rather eye-catching and unique colour scheme.
Prior to relinquishing our spot on the bridge, an effort was made to catch a couple of the Y Class shunters while waiting for A66 to return to the locomotive sidings. Shortly before departing, we wandered across the road to capture a couple of shots of the iconic “W Class” trams clattering along the street on routes 30 and 35 (the latter being the free “City Circle” tram). As nice as these old units look in their maroon livery, there is nothing finer than seeing a proud old workhorse in the green and cream livery of days gone past. With their numbers slowly dwindling and calls for their removal (from commuter service) getting louder each summer, I always like to take a moment to record their passing whenever visiting Melbourne.
After a quick take-away breakfast, it was off to St Kilda to do some sightseeing (and have lunch). We would later return to the tracks in the afternoon peak to attempt to catch some of the peak hour services returning.