Monday, February 8, 2016

New South Wales - November 2015

Canberra Railway Station. 19/11/2015.

After finishing up some work in Canberra I was able to take a few days off before heading back to NZ. I started my rail fan holiday at the Canberra Railway Station. After checking in I was able to have a wander around the platform. 

Canberra station fueling point.

The Canberra station yard is pretty basic with only three tracks and a fueling point for he diesel multiple units that use this station. 

The Explorer DMU waiting for its 06:50 am departure to Sydney. 19/11/2015.

I also grabbed a few photos of the Explorer diesel multiple unit that was my ride to Goulburn. The unit was looking a little worn on the inside but was clean and comfortable and the staff were really helpful and friendly. 

The run from Canberra to Goulburn was a great trip with plenty to see. What really surprised me was how well the remaining stations on the line were maintained and the amount of old rail infrastructure remains. In NZ any old infrastructure seems to disappear pretty quickly but travelling through the ACT and into NSW there was a lot to keep a foamer interested.

It didn't seem to take too long before we arrived in Goulburn and I left the Explorer to continue its trip to Sydney. 

Sydney bound Pacific National intermodal freight with two NR locomotives at the business end. 19/11/2016.

Not long after the Explorer departed Goulburn a Pacific National intermodal freight made its way through the station. With time on my hands I was able to explore the Goulburn station and have a good look around.

Goulburn Railway Station

Goulburn railway station information board.

Goulburn is a well known railway town in Australia and you can really feel the history of the place. I would have loved to have visited this place in the 1970's and 80's to see class 422, 44 and 48 diesel locomotives at work.

With a communications fault at Moss Vale my ride to Melbourne was delayed an hour. The station staff at Goulburn were great and kept everybody waiting for the XPT updated. In fact I take my hat of the all the NSW trains staff. The stations looked great and the staff were friendly and helpful. Good work!

We were informed the XPT was not far away and I was able to set up on the pedestrian over bridge to grab a shot of the train as it approached Goulburn station.

The XPT arriving at Goulburn. 19/11/2015.

Racing down the over bridge I was able to clamber on and find my seat. Shortly the XPT was winding up, passing the workshop at Goulburn and the junction with the line to Canberra. 

As we headed south to Melbourne I was surprised by the Main South Line. I was expecting a fairly flat run but there were plenty of curves and grades. The XPT, a cousin of the British Rail HST seemed to take it in its stride. We passed through a number of stations. Gunning, Yass Junction, Harden, Cootamundra, Junee and Wagga Wagga, The Rock and Albury. All interesting in their own right.

Shortly after leaving Albury we crossed the border into Victoria. 

As we made our way through the outer suburbs of Melbourne there was a bang and we quickly ground to a halt. Train staff were walking up and down the train. We were soon informed that some young children had placed something on the tracks. Once the all clear was given we continued our run through the Melbourne suburbs. 

We were soon approaching Southern Cross station, the end of the XPT's run from Sydney to Melbourne. After hopping off and collecting my bag I was making my way through Southern Cross and seeing for the first time N class and P class diesels. Locomotives I've read about, seen pictures of and you tubed were here in the flesh. I wanted to stick around but I was absolutely knackered and it was time to find my hotel.

And that's about it. The Victoria part of my break away will be coming shortly.

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