A WHIZ AROUND OZ
Australia and Kuala Lumpur – Sunday 30th March – Monday 29th April 2013
Photography Credits - Howard Forster HF Chris Campbell CC Ann Forster AF
Howard Forster and Chris Campbell An opportunity
to visit a number of interesting railway sites in Australia arose on
examining the itinerary of a circumnavigation by Princess Cruises. The
timing of the trip depended upon when the price had fallen to an acceptable
level.The day arrived when the price including flights from Newcastle
and stopovers in Kuala Lumpur, (as we are not as young as we would like
to be), was less than £100/day.
Broadmeadow, the former No. 2 depot in NSW is being set up as the Hunter Valley division of the NSW Transport Museum. Shane Blatchford, chairman of the project and Joe Millier gave us a most informative tour of the site which contained a 38 road covered roundhouse and an open one with 44 roads.
On site were 1219 4-4-0, 2606 2-6-2ST, 3203 4-6-0, 5096 2-8-0, 4102 Bo-Bo DE, 4801/5 Co-Co DE, IR1427 Co-Co DE ex DSB, 42202 Co-Co DE, 48531 Co-Co DE,952/4 DHRC, 4638 Co-Co E, 7100 Co-Co E.
Newcastle Museum, On display but difficult to
photograph, were 20N (K 1620/70) and toastrack tram L/P 284. Newcastle
Sunday 31/03/2013. Enfield and Chollera Yards yielded 11 diesels; a further 15 were at Clyde Yard. Valley Heights is the Blue Mountains division of the National Rail Transport Museum. A visit had been arranged with Andrew Tester, their Publicity Manager, who was waiting for us on arrival and gave us a very informative guided tour.
In the yard being restored were 5711 4-8-2, 1308 4-4-2T and 1022 0-4-0ST. The roundhouse contained 5461 2-8-0, 3214 4-6-0, 4601 Co-Co E being restored, NSWGTW 103A 0-4-0Tm, and APC 2 0-6-0ST (RS 2994/08).
On returning to Sydney we had a last look at the monorail which was scheduled to close on 30th June 2013. From opening on 21st July 1988 it had not been very successful, partially due to the flat fare system which made it very costly for short journeys, and it did not really connect areas between which large numbers of passengers wished to travel.
The NSW Government wished to expand the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre near Haymarket. As the monorail circuit impinged upon these plans, the NSW Government purchased the monorail from Metro Transport Sydney on 12 March 2012, to enable it to close it down without having to negotiate with private owners.
Two carriages from the six seven coach rakes, together with a length of track are scheduled for preservation in the Powerhouse Museum.
After taking our wives to the Dawn Princess berthed at The Rocks and returning the hire car, we set sail from Sydney Harbour.
Tuesday 02/03/2013 Brisbane. A hire car was used to reach Kunkala, the main base of The Rosewood Railway. This railway had suffered from a washout of part of its track, and as a result could not operate its service.
On site were: 720 4-8-0, 738 4-6-0, DL3 2-6-0 DM, 1179 A1A A1A, DH38 B-B DH, 1815 DRC, RM64 PRC. Off site 763 4-8-0, 935 4-8-0 and 855 4-6-4T were dumped in poor condition. Ipswich Workshops. Queensland Railways still use part of the site.
There are three sections in the parts no longer in normal use.
The first section contains several steam and diesel locomotives as well as play areas for children.
In the second section which is still in workshop condition, are maintained and housed the working steam locomotives of the Queensland fleet. It may be the largest steam locomotive workshop in use at present, with 11 locomotives seen at the time of the visit. Access is restricted to guided tours around that section.
The third section, in a separate building, is the store shed which contained five steam locomotives. As it is out of bounds, we asked to see the curator, David Mewes, who was a mine of information and gave us an excellent guided tour of the workshop and store shed.
In the first section were: 398 0-6-0, 444 4-6-0, 1262 Co-Co DE, 1281 Co-Co DE, DL1 2-6-0 DM, RM14 Panhard RC, and 3 FLASH 0-6-2T (Perry 6160/48) 610mm ex Qunaba Mill Bundaberg.
The second section contained: No.3/6 0-4-2, 732 4-6-0,1079/89 4-6-2, 974/1000 4-8-0 221A 2-8-2, 1009 4-8-2+2-8-4, 1051 4-6-4T, No.4 4-6-0T (HE 1239/17) 610mm ex North Eaton Sugar Mill and ROD 327, 02 B-B DH (Wlk 584/68).
In the store shed were:48 4-6-0, 2 4-8-0, 700 4-8-0, 290 4-6-0 and 771 4-6-2.
Beyond the store shed there were a number of diesels which belong to QR Heritage Division, non of which had been restored. 1159/1270/1450 and 1620 were noted.
Swanbank. A securely fenced site enclosed the stock of the QPSR. Visible was 1707 Co-Co DE, the sole remaining member of the class. Redbank, the whole modern complex is now owned by Aurizon who in August 2012, closed the foundry, wagon works and locomotive maintenance depot; the jobs of the remaining hundreds of workers in the main workshops remain under threat as Aurizon is looking for further costs reductions.
Locomotive maintenance has been transferred to Woomba and Townsville. Behind the site security fence, there appeared to be locomotives in the former maintenance building.
In the yard was AHRS 1650 Co-Co DE. A considerable number of diesels were stored in the works yard, those identified were: 1722D/1727/1743D/1747/1750D/1762/ 1763D/ 2102D/2116D/2155D/2161D/2172F/2209D/2255/2256/2267 and 2271.
A South African Company purchased 39 surplus locomotives from QR, the 33 which were shipped in August 2012 were reported to be:1721D/29D/39D/40D/2D/8D/ 55D/7D/ 66-9D/72D/5D/2600-12/2111D/6D*/32F/3101-3. In addition spare parts from 1722D/7D/47D/50D, were also shipped, their bodies were still in the yard at Redbank at the time of our visit as well as 2116D*(possibly stripped for spares?). Aurizon has sold 20 more locomotives to South Africa, they were due to be shipped with the remaining six from the previous sale. Some of the locomotives in the yard at Redbank were presumably part of the batch awaiting shipment.
Thursday 04/04/2013 Airlie Beach. A visit was made to the Proserpine Museum where 7 4-6-0T (HE 1317/18) 610mm was on display. Saturday 06/04/2013 Port Douglas. From here a visit was made to the Great Barrier Reef 20 miles offshore. Near the harbour, Port Douglas Tramway FAUGH-A-BALLAGH 0-6-0T (which carries plates JF 8733/01), 610mm was plinthed. Cairns The yard appeared to be out of use. The only locomotive present was an unidentifiable Co-Co DE in store. Former EBR 1101 B-B DH was noted at the Cairns – Kurunda Railway depot.
Tuesday 09/04/2013 Darwin Spare locos for the Ghan, Genesee & Wyoming ALF22 and FQ02, were parked near the entrance to the freight terminal. A jobsworth female security guard on the gate refused a request to walk in to photograph them. No.1 SANDFLY 0-4-0ST (BLW 7860/86) has been totally dismantled, cleaned and then cosmetically restored and reassembled, by members of the Darwin Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts Club. It is now on display with their collection of motor vehicles in the Old Quantas Hanger.
It covers five lines, all 1067mm gauge, Armadale, Fremantle and Midland operated by 48 A series two car EMUs and Joondalup and Mandura with 46 three car B series EMUs, with a further 22 sets currently being delivered due to the increasing demand on rail services.
TRANSWA provide DMU services to Bunbury on 1067mm gauge lines, and from East Perth to Kalgoorlie and Northam on standard gauge track.
The ship berthed near Fremantle Station, from where a train to Perth connected with a train to Bassendean. A day ticket made travel easy. East Perth S 542 4-8-2, was noted plinthed at the station.
Bassendean A visit had been arranged to the ARHS Museum. Graham Watson, Archivist, was waiting to meet us on arrival, and gave us a very informative guided tour of the well planned site.
The majority of locomotives were as listed in the LCGB Preserved Locomotives book. The following changes had taken place: Dd 596 4-6-4T is now inside Gosnells Railway Market. R 174 4-4-0 has arrived from Midland. W 947 4-8-2 in poor condition, was awaiting a move to Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.
A six wheel steam crane with no identification was on site. An addition from Mount Newman Mining was standard gauge 5499, an Alco 636 Co-Co.
After a most enjoyable visit, Graham Watson volunteered to take us to our next site Bennett Brook Railway in Whiteman Park, Bassendean, which belongs to the West Australia Light Rail Preservation Association. It was fortunate that the cousin of Graham Watson was there that day and was able to take us into the majority of the secure sheds which housed the rolling stock.
At weekends, trains operate on the 610mm gauge railway on a fairly extensive system within the grounds of the park. Not all of the buildings could be accessed so a complete listing could not be made.
Locomotives noted were: South African Rly NG15 123 2-8-2 heavy repair, NG15 118 2-8-2 minor attention, LV&S 0-4-0DM (Planet 2150/38), Inkerman Sugar Mill BT1 BETTY THOMPSON 0-4-2T (Perry /1939), Maylands Brickworks 4w PM (homemade), Isis Sugar Mill 0-6-0 DM (JF 4110019/50), ‘The Big Grange WA’ steam outline 4w DH (Kless), Wyndham Jetty WYNDHAM 27 4w DM (Gemco), Whiteman Brickworks 4w DM (Planet 3996/62), Whiteman Brickworks 4w PM (Ridley). Magnet Tramway TAS 0-4-4-0 Mallet, dismantled and having an overhaul, was locked up and not seen, as were an 0-6-2T, a Krauss 0-4-0T and another 4w PM by Ridley.
We were grateful for the lift as it turned out to be quite a distance from the main entrance to the railway complex. Graham stayed with us and then gave us a lift back to the suburban railway, on which we then took a train to Midland at the end of the wires.
Freight trains bypass Perth main station by turning south after Midland. Four trains were observed,CBH 001 and 002 on a grain train for shipment from Kwinana, CBH 016 on grain empties, NR86/106 on an eastbound freightliner and (Aurizon) QN ACA6005/12 on empty gondolas.
A bus was taken to Kalamunda History Village where G 118 4-6-0 was preserved. Trains were then taken to East Perth and Gosnells before returning to Fremantle. Cooperative Bulk Holdings, CBH Group, were formerly known as the Grain Corporation of Western Australia. They decided to haul their own grain trains to their export terminals at Geralton and Kwinana and the joint terminal at Albany.
22 new diesel electric locomotives were purchased and in June 2012, on contract to CBH, WATCO WA commenced operations. CBH 001-011 are MP27CN, CBH 012-017 are MP33CN, both batches are for use on the narrow gauge. CBH 118-122 are MP33C for use on standard gauge trains.
Construction of these locomotives was international. The engine blocks were cast in Germany. Diesel engine manufacture took place at the Cummins factory in Daventry. Then final assembly was carried out by Motive Power Inc (formerly Morrison Knudsen), at Boise, Idaho. All were delivered in 2012.
Wednesday 17/04/2013. We should have been at Bunbury, the captain came up with the excuse that there was insufficient depth of water to dock, so we missed it out. (On returning home I checked the port log and found that he had missed it out on previous trip also) Using tenders to go ashore is common, so he did not make the effort. As a result a hire car had to be cancelled, Picton Yard and the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway missed, as well as the three locomotives at Collie which had recently been cosmetically restored.
Thursday 18/04/2013 Albany. This was mainly a tourism day, a hire car which was waiting at the berth, enabled us to visit the Valley of the Giants to see the Tingle and Karri trees which grow up to 300ft tall. Back in Albany the depot was locked up and deserted. A grain train arrived for discharge at the terminal hauled by CBH 005/012.
Sunday 21/04/2013 According to previous weather records, this should have been the driest and sunniest day of the trip. It was raining and there was a stiff breeze, so the captain decided to miss out Adelaide. That decision was a major disaster as far as we were concerned, a hire car had to be cancelled, Port Adelaide, rated by some as the best railway museum in Australia, Steam Ranger Tourist Railway at Mount Barker and Dry Creek depot were all missed as a result.
Monday 22/04/2013 Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world, with nearly 500 trams running on 30 routes over 250 km of tracks. 12 of the W class built between 1923-56 are normally used on the City Circle tourist route 35 on which travel is free.
Route 109 connected the port with Southern Cross Station. V/Line A60 Co-Co DE was on 16:15 to Bacchus Marsh, it also repeated the working on 24/04/2013, which was its last train in V/Line service. All four V/Line A class have been withdrawn from service and stored. PN still has the remaining seven in service. Around the station, on the standage and at the Bombardier depot to the north of La Trobe Street were: A70, N452/4/9-65, P11/4/7/8, Y129
In the rush hours services are intense. PN NR59 was on 8:10 Overlander to Adelaide, in the adjacent platform was Countrylink XP 2014/5, the Australian Speed Record holder, on the 8:30 to Sydney. Also present were N452/5/9/64/74 and Y161. A suburban train was taken to Belgrave in order to visit the Puffing Billy Railway.
Permission to visit the well equipped workshop was given. It contained 1694 Climax and 12A 2-6-2T, both after heavy repair almost ready for service. CARBON 0-4-0T was being restored. Outside were G42 2-6-0+0-6-2 in steam, DH5 (QGR DH5) B-B, DH31 (QGR DH59) B-B, VR D21 (TGR V12) 0-6-0DM. In a shed were 8A 2-6-2T in steam and 7A 2-6-2T. 3 0-6-0WT (O&K 12331/31) was dumped and parts of S African Rly NGG16 129 2-6-2+2-6-2 were nearby. NGG16 127 was at Menzies Creek. 6A 2-6-2T was on the 10:30 departure to Lakeside and 14A 2-6-2T was on the 11:10 to Gembrook.
The staff were very friendly and helpful, and there were no restrictions on photography on this superbly preserved working railway. On the journey back to Melbourne a stop was made at Bayswater in order to photograph VR D3 666 4-6-0 in King’s Park Children’s Playground.
Back in Southern Cross N462/71 were noted before taking a free City Circle Tourist tram from La Trobe Street to Docklands, from where it is a 10 mins walk to South Dynon Depot. Opened in 1961, it was designed for both standard and broad gauge, each with its own turntable.
At present the maintenance and service facilities are operated as a joint venture by Downer Rail (Clyde Engineering) and Bombardier V/Line Maintenance. Due to its location adjacent to the PN Freight Terminal, PN has a crew depot on the site also.
Around the depot were: Aurizon G516, El Zorro(Cargill) G521/32, Engenco 442s2 (NSWGR 44217), PN A71/3/85, BL29/34, DL50, T399 (stored)/400, X37/42/9, Y119/24/42/7/52/7, 8173, Seymour RHC C501, V/Line N464/7 and Yarra Valley Tourist Railway T341 in VR livery. On returning to Southern Cross, the following were noted at the station, on the standage and at the depot: N452/4/60/2/3/5/71/5, Y129/61.
Wednesday 24/04/2013 Burnie Tasmania. Former TGR railcars DP13/4, now owned by Burnie City Council, were still at the station after having last worked in 2006. In May 2012, arsonists who were subsequently caught, had set fire to DP13 which was badly damaged, part of the station building suffered slight damage.
A hire car was collected and then we headed for the Don River Railway & Museum. Australian National Railways donated the station, signal box and turntable. The buildings containing the workshops were purpose built and opened in 1999, with the help of a Federal Government Grant of $500,000. M4 4-6-2 was tender first on the 10:00 departure to Coles Beach. DP22 DMRC and trailer PT3, which are also used on the passenger services were not seen.
Inside the workshops were: EBR 8 4-8-0 (D 3856/00), Kiama Mun Council PWD 0-6-0T (JF 5265/87), CCS23 2-6-0 (BP 4415/02), CCS25 2-6-0 (BP 4417/02) both under repair, A4 4-4-0 (BP 3392/91) frames and wheels only, Ida Bay Railway 6 0-4-2T (HE 1844/36) 610mm stripped down, EBR 1002 Bo-Bo DE (Walkers /63), Tasrail 866 Co-Co ( Goodwin Alco /63) ex SAR.
Outside were: H7 4-8-2 (VF 5955/51), M3 4-6-2 (RSH 7423/51), MA2 4-6-2 (RSH 7421/51), MA4 4-6-2 (RSH 7422/51), QGR 4D9 131 2-4-2T (D 1415/80), U6 0-4-0DM (Moore 1950), V2 0-6-0DM (Drewry 2228/47), X4 Bo-Bo DE (VF D91/50), Y6 Bo-Bo (EE/TGR 1970), BDM RH (279571/49). Deloraine At Apex Park, surrounded by a steel security fence, was E1 4-6-0 (BP 4967/07), it carries the number E2. In Lions Park Perth (Tas), H6 4-8-2 (VF 5954/51), without a tender, was plinthed. Launceston.
Thursday 25/04/2013 Hobart. Anzac day is a major event in Australia with most people off work. A hire car was used reach a viewing point overlooking the container terminal in which D 2020, ZC (MKA) 2133/8 and 2050 class 2053 were parked.
South of Hobart on the road to Margate is a small retail complex at which is located The Margate Train. MA3 4-6-2 (RSH 7426/51) and seven coaches in which visitors can dine, have been well placed by the car park.
The catering coach was used on the final journey of The Tasman Ltd, on 28 July 1978. For a set of toilets, railcar DP24 had been converted. The train provided a fitting setting for our last food on Australian soil.
Sunday 28/04/2013 After having sailed back to Sydney, we flew to Kuala Lumpur and stayed overnight.
Monday 29/04/2013 Kuala Lumpur The construction of KL Sentral Station which opened in 2001 and its rail links could have been better. The journey from our hotel to KL Sentral Station was taken on the elevated monorail.
10 two car units were providing a frequent service on the twin track route which although shown as terminating at Sentral Station, stops short and involves descending to street level crossing several roads and then ascending to concourse level in the Sentral Station.
It looks as if some of the designers of the Heathrow terminals had a hand in the layout, there are no tracks at concourse level which could have been better laid out, and there are steps and escalators everywhere. With parallel tracks it is remarkable to have them at three different levels.
KTM Intercity and KL Komuter trains utilise the metre gauge tracks. The LRT line which has driverless trains with 3rd rail pickup, and the privately operated KLIA Express, both run on standard gauge track. National Museum. Three locomotives were in the grounds: Bagnall 321.01 0-6-2T, Kitson 531.01 4-6-2, being repainted at the time of the visit, and EE 22102 Co-Co DE. Also preserved was a Swiss built coach dating from 21/10/23, which had been used on the funicular railway at Bukit Bendera, Penang, until it was withdrawn from service in 12/77. It weighed 7.5 tons and could carry 50 passengers.
A short journey was made by KL Komuter train to Kuala Lumpur Station, designed in Western Colonial style and opened in1910. Since Sentral Station was opened it is served only by suburban trains. Almost as impressive is the KTM HQ, built in matching style on the opposite side of the road to the station.
That evening we departed by air for home. Overall it had been a good trip with remarkably fine weather for most of it. It was noticeable how much food prices had increased in Australia since our previous visit in 2009, even when making an allowance for a deterioration in the exchange rate.