Below are a few scenes from a recent visit to Pothana Lane in the NSW Hunter Valley (near Branxton).
5917 was recently restored by a dedicated group of hard-working folks at the Lachlan Valley Railway depot at Cowra. Running it’s first trail under it’s own steam in August 2007, the privately owned locomotive has been run on various tours in 2008 (in tandem with the LVR’s own 3237).
Earlier this month, 5917 snuck into Sydney, and is currently residing in the Large Erecting Shed, at Eveleigh (Redfern). The home of 3830, and once home to 3801, Eveleigh is the base of operations for 3801ltd. 5917 is on lease to 3801ltd, and is to be used on four Cockatoo Run trains before the end of the year (obviously subject to weather conditions).
According to the 3801ltd Website, 5917 is scheduled to run on Sunday the 30th of November, Sunday the 7th of December, Thursday the 11th of December and Sunday the 14th of December (pending a total fire ban being in place). This is an excellent chance to combine the great trip up The Illawarra Escarpment with a day out behind a steam locomotive that has not been seen in Sydney since it’s most recent restoration to running condition!
With the end of the lease of 3801, The Cockatoo Run has been without steam power for some time now. First 3830, and now 5917 – steam returns to 3801ltd and The Cockatoo Run, and it’s a very exciting time for everyone involved! I know the author will be doing his best to get out and ride behind the loco, and perhaps even chase the train as well. Of course, running a steam locomotive is not cheap, so if those of you out there DO elect to chase the train, it wouldn’t hurt to make a donation to 3801ltd to help cover the costs of the running of the train, for without donations, there would be no steam to photograph!
Photos from this article are from Lachlan Valley Railways June Long Weekend shuttles between Harden and Cootamundra.
Please note that, despite the recent flood of 3801ltd articles, the author is not directly affiliated with 3801ltd, and does not presume to speak for the organisation at any time.