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Date: 05/15/23 22:01
Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Hi all. 

Whilst back in the land of the long white cloud now (NZ), just under a month ago we found ourselves travelling down from Brisbane to Sydney in a roundabout way. Our second night on the road was at the Nambucca Valley Railway Carriages. A great little spot just of the A1 (Pacific Highway) near Nambucca Heads. Dave & his wife run a bed & breakfast operation here, with two rooms each being in seperate railway carriages. Whilst not actually railway carriages (to many hassles finding and rebuilding them) Dave put his skills to work on creating replicas. As these photos show, the results are fantastic. It's a rural setting, with gum trees around, and best of all, the main line between Brisbane and Sydney at the bottom of the garden. He has built a sign, and a seat down there to watch the various freight and passenger trains roll by (best viewing of them heading North). From memory around 17 train movements in a 24 hour period (several of which are passenger trains in each direction). 

Both the red & green carriages are identical, providing a queen sized bed, kitchenette, bathroom and a lounge seat and table. 

More to follow.

Allister 
New Zealand.








Date: 05/15/23 22:06
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Hi again.

Part 2.

As the images show, the interior of the carriages (ours anyway) was spotless, and plenty of space. Could have quite easily stayed on longer. The spot is quite and private, and Dave & his wife offer a fire pit and outdoor lounging if the weather is suitable.

Video shows a freight train heading North in the late afternoon. Only saw the one freight train during daylight hours, but that was mainly due to arriving at around 4pm. Got dark about 6pm (at the latest), so heard plenty during the evening and night. But unlike the North American locomotives, these (a mix of GS & GM based units) are very very quiet.

More to follow.

Allister



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Date: 05/15/23 22:19
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 3.

The following day we headed West, making our way over the dividing ranges enroute to Tamworth. At the top of the pass (Waterfall Way) is a small town called Dorrigo. It's a small sleepy little town of just over 1000 people, and located at 731m ASL. Of railway interest here, is this was the end of the line (connecting to the main line down towards the coast). A group of people procured the track (took a number of years) and have established a museum at Dorrigo called the Dorrigo Steam & Railway Museum. There must be between 80 & 100 locomotives, and many many wagons and passenger carriages stored in various conditions (sadly in the open) in a couple of yard area. Sadly public access is very limited, but the pictures attached show a sample of what's on display for the public to see (from the roadside). Visit www.dsrm.org.au to find out more.

More to come.

Allister








Date: 05/15/23 22:23
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 4.

Next stop of railway interest was the town of Tamworth. Famous for the Golden Guitar awards, it sits in flatish productive farm land. We didn't see a lot of railway action here (actually didn't see any), but again we arrived late afternoon, and left early morning. The stations are built in a Victorian theme, and have generally been maintained in very good condition. Tamworth see's regular passenger trains, and a number of freight trains in a typical day. 

More to come.

Allister.
New Zealand.






Date: 05/15/23 22:29
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 5.

Werris Creek was the next stop, as we worked our way South. Several railway lines join here, as the track heads South to Musswellbrook and onto the coast at Newcastle. The station is a nice two storey brick building, that is in a triangular shape. The shape loosely follows the diverging track as it seperates and heads North & West. A garden monument is adjacent to the station, and provides some information into the history of the railways in the area, and the many people whom have passed on. 

Normally a hive of coal train activity, this particular day was Anzac Day, so not a lot was moving. 

More to follow.

Allister








Date: 05/15/23 22:39
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 6.

Further South, and activity starts to heat up. It's now around midday, and coal trains are starting to flow. An empty is first up, lead by Pacific National 9302, heading up hill to the crest just before reaching Werris Creek.

Just South of Willow Tree, manned helpers join the push on loaded coal trains as they head South, up and over Ardglen before cutting off (on the fly) just before reaching the summit at Nowlands Gap. 

The last clip, is a shot of the 3 x 90 series helpers, pushing on the rear of the coal train. My estimate is that these coal trains are around 10,000 tonne (84 wagons @ 120 tonne each). 

Enjoy.

Allister
 



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Date: 05/15/23 22:46
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 7.

Further South West, we see a loaded train (low covered containers) heading East. Lead by Aurizon ES40aci #6046. Before long this train would pass through the small town of Ulan, and it travels East. A number of large coal mines dominate this area, and coal trains are often seen either empty, being loaded or full and heading to Port.

Further East again, and we're now East of Singleton, on the double track mainline to Newcastle. This line sees heavy traffic on a normal day. Mainly coal trains, but mixed freight and passenger services are seen. One never has to wait too long before a train turns up. Helps with a little section of triple track as well. 

Enjoy 

Allister








Date: 05/15/23 22:50
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 8.

Aurizon coal train heading to Newcastle with a full load of coal.

A westbound mixed freight, that's dropped down from the hill (behind) and has hit the flat land just a few km's from Singleton.

The same mixd freight heading into the distance, with yet another loaded coal train heading East. This coal train would have been no less than 10 minutes behind the Aurizon one. 

Enjoy.

Allister
 








Date: 05/15/23 22:58
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

Part 9. Last lot of images.

An empty Pacific National coal train heads West in search of a load. Here it is decending the hill at Minimbah Bank, which is a three track section. A roadside bridge makes a good (but noisey) viewing platform.

Second image is of a Aurizon loaded coal train climbing Minimbah Bank. It's a pretty average photo, but shows the climb the train takes, as it heads East. The road bridge is out of frame to the right (that the first photo is taken from).

Finally, where it all ends up. Newcastle NSW is a port town. Coal is massive business here, and it all ends up at Kooragang Island. It's dumped from the trains into massive stock piles awaiting the many ships that dock here to load. On the day we travelled through Newcastle, there was 8 ships either being loaded, or about to be loaded with coal. So a massive export operation. A big ship is seen entering the heads, and making it's way to berth, and load up. From memory there were five or six tugs assisting. 

Hope you've enjoyed the trip report.

Cheers,

Allister 
New Zealand.
 








Date: 05/16/23 06:50
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: pedrop

Fantastic series. I like the NZ trains, specially those coal hoppers. 
It's a pity to see the old steamers without a shed to protect them. 
The B&B carriages are very great.
Thanks to share all these pics with us.

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano MG,
https://youtube.com/c/minasgeraisrailways1



Date: 05/16/23 08:31
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: FiveChime

Great posting! We rarely see much coverage from that area on TO and your variety brings forth much interest!
Thanks, Jim Evans



Date: 05/16/23 12:34
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: NMlurker

Very much enjoyed this coverage. The Hunter Valley is a bit of a railfan paradise for a visitor (it might get a little monotonous after awhile) and if you like coal trains. I saw up to eight freight trains per hour through the East Maitland area back in 2019.



Date: 05/16/23 17:10
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: tomstp

Are those steam locomotives all  lined up going to be restored?



Date: 05/16/23 21:53
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: Ritzville

Very enjoyable series!!

Larry



Date: 05/17/23 01:28
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: MitchGDRMCo

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are those steam locomotives all  lined up going
> to be restored?


Lol Dorrigo is a resting place for them until someone buys the joint and scraps the lot.



Date: 05/17/23 15:42
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: ajgreen

According to an older gent whom pulled up beside us on the roadside (I believe he could have been the manager), he mentioned a lot of them were taken/delivered to site. A lot of the valuable fixures and fittings were removed for security. He went on to say they spray the locos with old oil, to help with the resistance to rust and decay. I guess the aim will be to get some of them running sometime in the future, but they have got so many, where do you start? I hope they do, and get some of the trackwork back up and running (think they have about 75km plus the yards). 



Date: 05/18/23 00:10
Re: Recent Australia Travels
Author: 55002

Great series of photos, many thanks. I've done a bit around the Hunter Valley, but never knew about the stored steamers. Chris uk.



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