Sunday 19 August 2018


Since my last Blog post, I have been travelling.  A trip to Europe so Tracy could attend the World Dog show in Amsterdam on August 9-12, has meant an enforced break away from doing any actual modelling.  But, the trip was good, to recharge the batteries, as well as allowing me some great times exploring railway, and tramway systems on the other side of the planet. Now to get over the jet lag, and a cold

Griffith bound train leaves Junee, and onto the Narrandera branch, just prior to the XPTs arriving (Saturday 29th July 2018)
Getting to Sydney was the first stage, and we travelled there via XPT from Junee on Saturday July 28th.  This was my first XPT trip since the NSW government replaced the Canberra XPT service in the 1980s.  
The first thing I noticed on Saturday, was the Griffith explorer train pulled into Junee just prior to the arrival of the Melbourne bound XPT service.  A number of passengers alighted at Junee, and then the Explorer trundled off onto the Narranderra branch towards Griffith.  The Melbourne bound XPT arrived on time, and then departed.  The Sydney XPT then arrived 30 minutes later (again on time), and we left Junee.  But I have an observation – any of the  passengers on the XPT from Melbourne wanting to travel to Griffith by train cannot, as the Griffith train had left 40 minutes earlier.  I fail to understand the logic?   Back in the days that I am modelling, the branchline railmotor service was timed to meet the long distance trains, and then return to collect passengers after the long distance train had departed.   If you are going to run a train, surely, you would want passengers on seats (or is this an accounting trick to make the service unprofitable?)
It was not possible to alight from the XPT train, although I had a camera at the ready.  At Harden I found the livestock ramps and gates had not been demolished, and a picture may provide a good future reference.    Then at Mittagong, we got a report that a freight train had failed ahead of us, and we had 30 minutes to stretch the legs.  Whilst now dark, getting some pictures of the station master signs seemed a good use of the time.

Sheep loading ramps at Harden. In a poor state of preservation. Note the upper and lower chutes, as the sheep van's accomodation in the vans were on 2 decks. 

Cattle loading ramp at Harden. These 2 pictures taken through the XPT windows into the sun. I will have to get back to Harden and get some better shots, although these are insurance in case they are removed in the meantime

Station signs at Mittagong

Return back to Junee was on Wednesday morning.  Whilst waiting for the XPT departures, I did a bit of a wander around central.   An enjoyable wait.

Clock at Central

Intercity train approached Central.

Platforms 1 to 5 at Central, with 5 XPTs.  The Casino XPT Platform 1, Melbourne XPT Platform 2, and the 4 car Dubbo XPT on platform 5. The 2 XPTs on platform 3 and 4 had just arrived, and were not taking passengers.  

I should get back to modelling shortly.  In the meantime, some pictures from my european trip. 

Kehl Bahnhoff bound tram crosses the Rhein River into Germany. This Tram and footbridge was finished in 2017, and is part of the Strasbourg (France) tramways. 

Swiss interurban train at Weidikon station Zurich

Zurich tram 

Dutch intercity train near Amsterdam. There is certainly some similarity with the Sydney intercity trains, with their internal seating and stair arrangements, and the Dutch use of high level  platforms.  These trains were very frequent

I took an historical tram tour of Amsterdam, in this old 4 wheel Amsterdam tram.  For 5 Euro, brilliant value
Kohn tramways feature multiple unit action

Amsterdam trams are fairly modern, although this one was built 18 years ago.  An all-day fare was 7 euro, services frequent, and the trams well patronised.  The 2 cars behind the tram are taxis, as the tramway is reserved for Trams,  buses, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Car congestion is uncommon thoughout Amsterdam city, as the majority of the population either used the trams, Metros, or bicycles - the latter on wide bicycle only cycleways

An DB ICE train leaves Mannheim.