Easter 2012 road trip

Needless to say this post is more than a little bit late, but over the Easter long weekend the wife and I hit the road for three days, once again chasing trains. The basis of our locations was meeting some friends in Junee (though we were so disorganised we arrived very late, and didn’t see most of them the next day), and then checking out the LVR steam shuttles between Parkes and Forbes. Here are some of the more interesting pics (they got better as the weekend moved on).

Day one
Between Sydney to Junee, there are so many good spots to photograph trains, that it was hard to decide where to stop along the way. This was to be our downfall, and luck was not on our side on this day. First stop was to check for any activity at the relatively new mill at Maldon, which replaced the use of the Mungo Scott mill in Summer Hill. The rather unusual combo of PN’s 8139, Greentrains’ C506, and Graincorp’s 4897 still in a tatty, stripped down Freightcorp livery were pottering about, but the view was to be obscured by the wagons they had been shunting.

Knowing we couldn’t hang around any one place for too long, we headed straight to Moss Vale station, where some 81’s we stabled in various parts of the yard. I could see something slowly approaching in the distance which turned out to be 4897/C506/8139 again, light engine. These moved to the down end of the station, then came back to what I think is the refuelling road.

8123 stabled at Moss Vale:

With not much happening, we decided to head down the road to Werai Curve – I had seen many photos taken here, and it is a spectacular spot for rail photography (see my Southern Highlands – 25 April post for better examples). As we were driving down the side road, my wife spotting something coming – we were in the wrong spot, the camera was in the boot, and it setup for the awkward lighting at Moss Vale, so it was a rush to get any shots, only being partially satisfied by a trailing shot of the rear of the train:

Disappointed, but concious of the time, we next drove straight to Goulburn, where again things were very quiet.


After that we drove down the old Hume Highway through the Cullerin ranges in the hope of a nice shot of 4PS6 – it wasn’t to be. Instead we setup at Oolong, where I had everything lined up nicely, until I got sick of my phone complaining about a low battery, and went back to the car (on the other side of the level crossing) to charge it. I plug in the phone, and hear a rumble … 4PS6 was approaching lead by NR2/NR23/AN1, and of course I was stuck on the other side of the crossing from where I had preparing the camera settings. Again only a trailing shot saved it being a total loss.

Then we headed to Yass Junction, where in fading light I finally had a little more luck.


Eastbound grain lead by 8184/8133 crosses westbound grain lead by 8145/8162:

Day two
In an attempt to meet up with friends, we had a look around the Junee station/yard area, where there was quite a bit to see.





Even my wife got an interesting pic:

We then got word most the others were at Bethrunga Spiral, and we were about halfway there when we got an offer for a look around Junee Roundhouse, which we would otherwise miss due to the impending long drive to Parkes. It was a tough decision, but the roundhouse won out in the end … many thanks to our friend for a look around bits the public don’t usually get to see …




… and the more public museum area …



Following this, I thought we still had time to catch up with the others at Bethrunga, but it was not to be with us initially taking the wrong side road, and them having to get back to Junee leaving probably just before we found the correct spot. I wasn’t really happy with my shots when NR78/NR28 came through, so we gave chase to just south of Cootamundra.

Then as time was getting on, it was a drive straight through to Parkes. After checking in to the motel, I went to see what was at the station, to find 8137/C509 idling away, and the quad ALCo combo of 48101/48108/48146/48123 pottering about – thankfully they paused at the platform for long enough for this shot …

Day three
Parkes – following a quick breakfast and coffee, it was straight to the station to capture the LVR steam shuttles to Forbes. 3237 was to be found warming up in the sidings at the end of the platform.

We headed down the road to catch the first shuttle go by. Unfamiliar ground and a lack of pre-planning (bar identifying one possible location on Google maps) lead to random locations, and the results were mixed.

And then we gave chase to Daroobalgie, but it beat us to the level crossing, so no getting to the spot I wanted.

Then it was on to Forbes to catch the shuttle at the station.

We headed back to Daroobalgie whilst the loco was running around the train, to allow plenty of time to set up – the result was worth it, with one of my favourite shots of the weekend, even if I cut the back of the train off.

With time to spare before the next shuttle, we went just past Forbes to Red Bend, to find 48101/48108/18146/48123 (the locos from the previous night shot) idling away on a grain train.

Then it was back to Daroogalbie, and wanting a different shot, we decided to explore the side road we found ourselves on earlier. Whilst waiting, 8159/8152/8144/8183 headed north with the Manildra train.


A little while later, the second shuttle came through …

Having had a good steam fix, we decided to forego the return and third shuttles, and see what else was about. There were 49s …

… a lone Indian Pacific liveried NR …

… J103 and J102 …

… and of course a satellite dish.

With time moving on, and the road back to Sydney calling, we headed off. With word of a train near Bumberry, we stopped between there and Manildra for one last ditch attempt before the sun went down. We waited …

… and waited …

… and waited …

… but eventually non other than 48123/48146/48108/48101 showed up with their grain train. The light however was all but gone, and the silhouette shot I had been lining up, well, you can see didn’t quite work …

Overall though it was a good weekend, with much seen, and a few good shots out of it.

Thanks again to the friends in Junee, and apologies that we barely saw you, and I promise next time to stay in one spot instead …