Archive for January, 2012


The last time I had the chance to visit family in Australia was at the end of 2009.  In addition to some great railfanning trips, it was a fantastic chance to catch up with my father and step-mother.  I look forward to being able to head down there again one day, but with finances being the way they are, and with the big move my wife and I made at the end of 2011, that trip may be further away than it normally would be.

The final night in Australia was December 30th, which was spent in Goulburn.  In the days of steam, this was quite the hub of activity, with a small loco depot, freight yard and a decently sized station.  Nowadays, CFCLA has a presence in town, but as far as railways are concerned, it really is the proverbial “shadow of its former glory”.  With my Dad being as much of a railfan as myself, we trundled off down to the station for some evening time exposures.

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An Australian Tehachapi

The Main Southern line between Sydney and Melbourne offers a few places that could be compared to the world renowned railroad landmark that is the Tehachapi area of southern California.  It lacks in the sheer majesty of the area, but there are definite comparisons.

For example, it has a loop area where the track curves over itself in a spiral at Bethungra, it has some reasonably steep grades along the Cullerin Range and near Demondrille, the overall aridity and topography is similar.  I haven’t had a chance to go railfanning on “The Desert Mountain”, as Steve Schmollinger put it, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the southern part of New South Wales, and it’s a blast every time.


A pair of Pacific National NR’s drop down Jindalee, which reminds me a bit of Caliente.


4404 approaching the loop at Bethungra

C502 climbing Jindalee with a loaded ore train.

One day I’m hoping to get to the real Tehachapi to do some railfanning.  In the meantime, I have the photos of others to look at, and my memories of the NSW Main South.

Earlier this morning I was going through some of my photographic back catalog and I came across this shot:

Absolute GARBAGE… HOPELESSLY backlit, flat.  However, play with it a little in Photoshop, change it to black & white, burn the sky in, and we come up with this:

Loaded Grain, Ethridge MT

Infinitely more interesting

The funny thing is that I didn’t add clouds or anything like that.  The strange thing is that I don’t remember them being there either.

Finally made the decision last night that I will most definitely be heading up to D.C. on the 27th to go see Fight The Lion play a gig (amazing band btw, will post the link to their site at the bottom of this blog.)  As such, I will be taking my first Amtrak trip, and riding on the train for the first time since 2009 when I traveled into Sydney from Goulburn on my way back home from Australia.  Needless to say, as a railfan I’m excited, but I’m also a little stoked about the trip from the perspective of someone who likes to travel.

Renee took the trip up there last weekend, and I managed to grab a few photos of the Northeastern Regional as it arrived and left the station at Charlottesville.

Now, as far as Fight the Lion is concerned, I would seriously recommend checking them out.
http://www.fightthelion.com/home

At the urging of a good friend, I’m going to try starting a blog again.  We’ll see how long I can keep this one going for.  Previous attempts have lasted about two posts.  Maybe if I keep things simple I might be more inclined to keep it going.

Basically this blog will be a outlet for my random thoughts (and boy oh boy are my thoughts random).  Most of the time it will be about photography or Microsoft Train Simulator, but the occasional rant may appear too.  Feel free to read, browse, or just chuckle a little (with me or at me, take your pick).