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.
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.