The Story Of Four Trains… And A Spare Tire

If anyone had told me that laziness would be a catalyst for success, I wouldn’t have believed them. When I had made plans the day before to meet Fred in his home “town” of Woy Woy for lunch, I also planned to arrive early, to get a shot of the Centennial Coal/SSR “Unit 80” coal train. Due to a reduced stockpile at Newstan (where the train normally loads) the train was instead running between the NCIG (Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group) terminal on Kooragang Island and Centennial’s various western mining operations.

When I awoke the following morning, the thought of replacing a warm bed for a bitterly cold (and possibly wet) experience was not a welcome one – rationalising that LDP Class were not worth getting cold or wet (or both) for, I rolled over and went back to sleep. When I later arose, munching on peanut butter toast and idly flicking through received text messages on the phone, I stumbled upon one from Fred, suggesting we push our meeting time forward. A quick phone conversation revealed that his morning plans had fallen through, and he suggested going out for some photos of the SSR coal train climbing the Blue Mountains.

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