Cowan

GM22 leads four other streamliners through Cowan with M820. This train experienced delays further north, and would continue to be delayed before it could reach Sydney (see below).

On a day in which many people filled The Gabba in Brisbane to watch Day 2 of The Ashes series, passengers and train crew on the Central Coast line (known as “The Short North” to railfans and railwaymen alike) were having a less than exciting day. Problems seemed to come thick and fast disrupting both NSW TrainLink passenger services and freight trains in both directions. Myself and a handful of other enthusiasts gathered at Cowan Station to bear witness to the proceedings.

The troubles began at Wickham early in the morning when a motorist damaged level crossing equipment at Wickham (Newcastle). Train services were suspended in both directions between Broadmeadow and Newcastle and buses were called in to replace (and later to supplement) train services. This then had a flow on delay to freight services heading south from Broadmeadow yard, as they were unable to leave on their paths – forced to wait in the yard for the late running passenger services to pass, to permit the slower freighters to follow. Continue reading “Cowan”

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2012 Top Ten

Last year, when I complied and submitted my top ten photos for the year, they all felt somehow right, like each one had earned its place in the list. Everything felt natural, as if “yes, these are the top ten photographs for 2011”. This year couldn’t have been harder. I’m not going to get ahead of myself and say that I had “too many” good photos to choose between them. I’m not conceited. That being said, I’m not going to play the “I can’t find one good photo, let alone ten” card either, because I know I got plenty of good shots this year.

The problem is the curse of knowing too much. That XPT shot at Donnybrook, look at the colours there! That’s a shoe in. A closer look reveals that it’s crooked. The headlight shot from the final ZZR train of the year? Looks like I’ve cut the top of the signal box off slightly. Too much blur here, not enough there. I managed to find something wrong with almost every shot that I suggested – that’s not to say that they are necessarily “bad” shots. Just that I know how they could be better, because I pressed the shutter.

I could go on and on about shots that could be better, but that’s not the point of the exercise. The point is to highlight my favourite ten photos from the year, and provide a bit of back-story to each shot. The year in review will be summed up in a separate blog post. Continue reading “2012 Top Ten”

(News to Me) The Final Run of T176/7

GM22 leading 4471 out of Yennora with T176The previous Friday (27th June) saw a handful of railfans out and about trackside along the Metropolitan Goods Line to get their “final shots” of Patricks Portlink train T176/T177. For years now this shuttle has run between Yennora Distribution Centre (owned by CRT Group) and Port Botany using a variety of leased motive power. On the date in question, GM22 and 4471 did the honours, rolling out of Yennora at 0848.

The train made excellent time between Yennora and Port Botany, although it lost it’s path out of Port Botany in the afternoon. At 1338, 4471 lead the charge out of Botany with GM22 trailing behind, much to the delight of the few enthusiasts on the road bridge.

4471 Heading up a PPL Service at BotanyDisappointingly, the pair were not to return to Yennora until later that evening, having lost their path onto the busy west/old south lines, and were held somewhere around Enfield until after the peak hour was over.

At 1600 hours the same day, Patricks Portlink Accreditation ceased – they are now running under a temporary Pacific National accreditation. It is unknown at this stage if they will renew their accreditation, having reportedly lost the Yennora contract (as the Distribution Centre is owned by CRT Group, which is in turn owned by QRNational, who have recently begun providing their own shuttle between Yennora and Botany, as can be seen here).

More information will be provided when it comes to hand! Anyone with good information on this can feel free to contact me through this website.