Southern Highlands NSW – 25 April 2012

On Wednesday, despite it being about 11 degrees celius there with strong winds, the wife and I went for a drive up the Southern Highlands of NSW, with the primary focus being to photograph trains. The main south line is a busy area, and Wednesday was no exception. We had an excellent run up until about 2:30pm, and then luck turned against us. Trains of interest were being held in various places, and when we went looking for them they inevitably went past the other way. As a result, most the below are from the morning and around lunchtime.

It was a day of firsts for me also – the first time at Burradoo and Robertson, the first proper go at Werai curve (very successful), the first time to see an LDP (though I did catch the very similar TT and WH classes earlier in the year), the first time to photograph an El Zorro train, and the first time I’ve seen a train made up of all CFCLA leased locos and rolling stock (the same El Zorro train).

I wasn’t feeling particularly arty on the day, but just wanted good, standard train shots, and a few landscape oriented train shots also – I hope you enjoy.

The first stop for the morning was Burradoo – on Google street view it looked a prime location with a long, low bridge to create a nice scene. Upon arriving though, the sun wasn’t quite where I expected only offering light on the end of the trains. Also there were roadworks, with a big pile of gravel beside the bridge preventing the full length shot. Still, I gave it a bit of a go, standing partially up the pile of gravel …

A southern bound XPT passes Burradoo.

3MB4 led by NR68/NR65 passes Burradoo.

Next was a quick stop at Moss Vale station.

A CityRail Endeavour sits at Moss Vale.

QRN National intermodal led by LDP008/CLF4 leaves Moss Vale following a crew change.

Then we moved on to Werai curve – it is known as a hack spot, as almost every angle is good. However with patches of cloud continually crossing the sun the lighting was difficult to predict. I think I did ok.

Pacific National grain 3924 led by 8163/C504 at Werai.

We could have stayed at Werai longer, but with the expectation 3924 would head down the hill to Wollongong, and knowing something else was coming up the hill, we gave chase. First stop was the level crossing at Sheepwash Road.

Then on to Robertson, to see what was coming up the hill. The lighting wasn’t great at this point, and the train caught me by surprise as I was scouting out a location, so not the best shot (it was made up to me later though).

El Zorro grain 9391 led by C502/GL103 at Robertson.

By this time I thought 3924 had already passed, so it again I was caught by surprise to hear the sound of the EMDs approaching as we were about to drive off …

We sat in the car to eat lunch, and then I had to decide whether to hang around here for the Tahmoor coal train, or head back to Werai – Werai won.

Northbound steel train led by NR12/NR20/NR83 through Werai.

I had a specific focal point set on the camera for the loco shot – didn’t think to set it back for the wagons, or this would have been a favourite of the day.

We had to head back to Moss Vale for a pit stop, where we saw 1PS6 led by NR61/NR15/NR38.

A few other things were happening at the station – a CityRail Endeavour moved on to the platform following 1PS6, 8157/8166 had just arrived light engive most likely from Maldon, and the El Zorro grain train was lurking around.

Not wanting to miss another opportunity at the El Zorro grainy, we dashed back to Werai, but this time on a small bridge at the other end of the curve. First a southbound Countrylink Xplorer went through, and then the El Zorro grain – this has to be the shot of the day, and made all the standing around in the cold wind worthwhile.

A Sydney bound Xplorer came through soon after …

… and then I decided to try a mid-curve shot through the trees for whatever came next.
2223 led by 8141/8183 through Werai.

This was the point where our luck was to run out. After waiting another half hour or so, we headed back to Moss Vale to look for the missing PN NY steelie, only to see the middle of the train passing by. The Tahmoor coalie appeared to have just left also. Then we headed further north to look for the PN BM serivce, only to miss seeing it altogether. We wound up at Maldon, waiting for QRN’s BM service which had been held at Glenlee, but the light was already bad for that, and a passing four car Endeavour – the nice lashup of G516/X53/CLF3 proved an impossible photo.

3BM7 led by G516/X53/CLF3 at dusk through Maldon.

Disappointed at the last few hours, we headed to Douglas Park for a couple of night shots at the level crossing.

A CityRail Endeavour passes through the level crossing at Douglas Park.

Overall a successful day, but I need to find more spots between Burradoo and Maldon as a lack of knowing where to go was partly to blame for missing a shot of PN’s BM service. If you are interested, more photos from the day can be found on Flickr – NSW – Southern Highlands


2 thoughts on “Southern Highlands NSW – 25 April 2012

  1. I am very impressed with your photos and all of the running back and forth that you did.I hope to spend a day Trackside early next week,at the Curve at Werai.I will be prepared with my esky of fluids and food, and a chair to enjoy the passing parade of rail traffic .But i do have 2 questions-is the road into the curve,along Gatehouse Lane? and are the photos from the bridge taken from burnham road?
    Keep up the good work,hope to see you there.

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