Aspects of Australia - Part 1

Aspects of Australia in 1986

And we begin with a drive from Bosbury to Heathrow Airport, London.

Where, at that time, excellent views could be had from the top of the car park.

As we make our way to the wonderful city of Sydney.

Sydney being particularly graced by its famous bridge.

The bridge can be viewed from the railway too. This is Milson Point station.

This train is on the old line to the pre-bridge ferry station, an interesting picture
that has hung in the Ledbury Station gallery for many years.

There is still some old single deck stock about too, often travelling "doors open"
and sometimes, as here, in character formations of mixed stock.

Sydney also has some of these, the Australian versions of the British Inter City 125,
trains that are still calling at Ledbury Station some 30 years on!

Sydney also has a few of these! This is Peter with Mr. Cholmondley
a Morris Commercial J-Type rebuild that is destined to take several years.

And here's another Sydney J-Type, the restored van of the National Roads and Motorists' Association

We move to Tasmania, to a remarkable 3 ft 6ins gauge Emu Bay Railway, a pioneer railway with an amazing history.

This is the Burnie end of the line, the exporting port for the copper, lead and zinc ores hauled here by train.

The Tasmanian terrain through which the Emu Bay passes is very dissected and often thickly forested.
Our out bound train was composed of 41 empty ore wagons and 8 diesel locomotives.

Plus this amazing van at the rear in which the guard and I travelled.

31 waggons and 2 locomotives are left at Primrose Mine and we continue onwards to the current terminus of the line at Melba Flats,
82.5 miles from Burnie, where the guard unclips the points for the remaining empties to be dropped off and full ones picked up.

Our 6 locos then begin the return journey with our very heavy ore train.

Back at Primrose Mine a relief crew have arrived from Burnie and their car stands beside the 2 locos that were left here earlier.

And here come the remianing 6 locos to join to these 2 as all 8 are now needed to return our heavy train.

But even with 8 locos our progress is little more than walking pace at times.

This is the descent to the coastal plain, the only place one can photograph the front of the train
in a picture taken from the guards van.

And so to Melbourne, by ferry from Devonport, a rough crossing if ever there was one.
This is Flinders Street station as one of the many stylish Melbourne trams passes by.

And this is Warren with his 92 year old Grandmother and his recently restored Wolseley 6/80.

Warren is also working on one of these, again a project with some time to run!

We travel around Victoria and visit Bendigo, where the Central Deborah gold mine is now a heritage centre.

But the Cumberland Hotel in Bendigo is for real in the modern world.

As is the Maldon Hotel in fascinating Maldon.

But Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is a quality museum with outstanding horsedrawn action.

Where the panning for gold felt real enough!

And it was absolutely fantastic to find this baked potato J-type in a nearby park.

And some railway action now in Victoria on the 5ft 3ins broad gauge network.

Although here, at Flinders Street station, we have standard gauge in the foreground too, the end of the standard gauge track from New South Wales.

With 3 different track gauges in Australia mixed gauge can sometimes occur and can be complex as here, in Adelaide, South Australia.

And action at Adelaide's Keswick station with a Budd railcar to Whyalla to the front
and a Bluebird behind for Port Pirie and connections with the Sydney bound Indian Pacific.

And nearby, a local train heads for Adelaide's city centre station

Newer Adelaide stock looks like this, a distinctive design with the driver "upstairs"
giving an uninterupted forward view for front seat passengers. Excellent indeed!

Adelaide also possesses a fun tram line to the coastal resort of Glenelg.

Plus this recently opened guided busway.

We now experience our first Outback journey and it starts from Port Augusta on the standard gauge transcontinental line.
Port Augusta is now also the junction station for the new Alice Springs line.

This photo looks eastwards from Port Augusta towards the Flinders Ranges on the route to Broken Hill and Sydney.

And a view northwards as The Ghan trundles through the arid South Australia on its way to Alice Springs.

And arrival at Alice Springs. In 1986 this was journey's end but nowadays this remote line continues to Darwin.

We now head westwards from Port Augusta on the Indian Pacific and have reached the Nullarbor Plain.

And another view of the Nullarbor.................over 300 miles of railway without a bend!

Very occassionally there is a passing loop and an isloated Outback station.

This is Cook, the most important stop en route, where the diesel locomotives refuel and where passengers can stretch their legs.

The hospital in Cook is threatened with closure and recruiting patients!

..............And so to Perth.

And the 3ft 6ins narrow gauge again and where some of the Western Australian rolling stock appears dated.

This X-Class loco hauled set for example, seen here crossing the Swan River.

End of Part 1

Click here for Australia Part 2

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