small selection of railway photographs taken in Western Australia during
of the best quality, but hopefully of interest nonetheless.
The Perth suburb of Midland is the location of a sprawling
complex of railway workshops. On 30th September 1982, Clyde-built standard
gauge shunter J101 crosses Montreal Road to enter the works. This loco has
since been scrapped, though the other four members of the class found work
with new owners.
The extraordinary X class were the mainstay of narrow
gauge services for many years. On October 25th 1982, XA1406 Ungarinyin arrives at Narembeen, where it will collect a single four-wheel FD van loaded
with bales of wool. The driver, who had better remain anonymous, stated
that he preferred working with diesels because "You couldn't rely on
the ***** firemen on steamers".
Late afternoon on the Hyden branch as XB
1004 Kadjerden labours up from Pederah heading towards Karlgarin with a light load, carrying
a single-axle trailer and two road graders, tailed by the ubiquitous Z brakevan.
At this time, a lot of country lines were still laid with ancient 45lb/yard
rail and a track upgrade on this section was imminent, wheat loadings having
increased dramatically. 26th October 1982.
On 12th October
1982, N1878 rumbles through Perth City with a heavy freight. Most of
the loading is steel pipe, though the sheeted wagons at the front of
the train will be full of 'super' (superphosphate fertiliser) destined
for the wheatbelt. Missing body panels were an almost permanent feaure
of the troublesome N class, which were all early candidates for either
scrapping, including 1878, or rebuilding to NA and, later, NB specification.
The latter involved regauging of two of the four NA's for use on standard
Clyde Engineering-built AB1535 is a few minutes
out of Bruce Rock, heading north towards Merredin, late in
the afternoon of 15th October 1982. The loading consists mainly of grain
hoppers and baled wool, though out of picture at the rear of the train are
some fuel tankers. Of particular note is the red-brown coloured van at the
front of the train. Although yellow had been the standard livery for many
years, two classes of wagon were always kept in the earlier indian red,
presumably for ease of identification. One was vans used for transporting
poisons, the other, as in this instance, for explosives.
English Electric built seven of these A1A-A1A
locomotives for the Midland Railway Company Of Western Australia. F46, now
in faded Western Australian Government Railways green livery, is seen shunting
at the Swan Cement and Lime works in Rivervale on 12th October 1982. This
locomotive has since been scrapped, but three were preserved. Class leader F40 has a remarkable history; originally withdrawn in 1987, it was preserved, then reinstated to traffic in 2003, working until being preserved again in 2010,
52 years after it was built.
Walkers built five of their famous B-B diesel
hydraulic design for the WAGR. Although originally intended for use in the
Forrestfield hump yard, a duty MA1863, seen here on 12th October 1982, is
about to commence, they were also frequently to be seen on trip workings
throughout the Perth metropolitan area. One was retained for many years as the shunter at
Claisebrook EMU depot and subsequently preserved on the Hotham Valley Railway, but the other four were sold to Queensland sugar
mills in the mid-1990's.
XB1020 Jargurdi and X1025 Loonga stand idle, whilst on
the right can just be seen the nose of a locomotive later given a second
life in unusual circumstances. Withdrawn in 1991, English Electric R1902
eventually became a static display in a park, but following purchase by
South Spur Rail, was reinstated to traffic in 2001. Regrettably, 1902 was subsequently scrapped, in May 2016.
This little track inspection car is typical
of the vehicles used for such tasks. The Polish driver of this one was a
former seaman who had jumped ship 25 years previously. Narembeen, 25th October
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