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Topic Summary
Posted by: Les_Shepherd Posted on: Aug 24th, 2014, 4:13am
Yesterday, saturday, there was an interesting tour targeted at railfans. The locomotive used was a Baldwin built 2-8-2 in the private ownership of a railfan preservation group. The carriages were also privately owned by another railfan preservation group. The tour crossed the Blue Mountains west of Sydney requiring a climb of over 3,400ft. No assistance was given. Steam only all the way there and back.
The train started in the southern highlands and worked through the western suburbs of Sydney before commencing the ascent of the Blue Mountains. Grades are as steep a 3% for long lengths.
Enjoy the attached video link and the sound of a north american whistle amongst the gum trees. Please remember that it is winter here and it shows with the steam in the cold air.
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Aug 24th, 2014, 9:29pm
Very nice. Since that was on an active mainline, I don't think that would have been allowed without a modern diesel hooked up as a helper here, which isn't generally necessary (and caused 844 some problems recently).
Posted by: CHESSIEMIKE Posted on: Aug 24th, 2014, 9:44pm
Yes, nice video. Thanks for sharing the link.
Posted by: Les_Shepherd Posted on: Aug 28th, 2014, 1:48am
Thank you for your kind comments.
The link is to a view of the train coming off of the Menangle Bridge south of Sydney.
It was taken from a privately owned drone.
Posted by: CHESSIEMIKE Posted on: Aug 28th, 2014, 6:27am
Very nice Les. Would you be willing to share about your drone experience?
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Aug 28th, 2014, 7:07pm
Really nice shot, and doubtless a lot cheaper (and quite possibly more practical) than hiring a chopper...
Posted by: Les_Shepherd Posted on: Aug 29th, 2014, 1:17am
The drone is not mine. It belongs to the fellow who chartered the train.
The following is from a local railfan website. They apparently nearly lost the drone when used on a previous occasion.
We had a few dramas with it on that trip. It is programmed to prevent it from taking off until it has established its current position after it has been switched on. You can imagine our surprise when the thing suddenly decided to lift off when it was switched it on at Brewongle. It would not respond to the remote control and instead took off to the east. We tried to follow it but the last signal we got from it showed that it was 15000 feet away! We just could not see it, let alone find it. What it had actually done was for some reason it decided to return to its last known position, which was at Locksley. It did not occur to us that that was what might have happened. Luckily there was another photographer who had stayed at Locksley and he saw it land. He had not been near the spot it had been launched from and had not seen us, so he had no idea where it had come from. That night he described what he had seen in an email to a few friends and the word eventually got around. We got the story at around 3.00 pm so Ross rushed back out to Locksley and luckily it was still sitting in exactly the same spot from which it was launched the day before. I guess we were lucky that it was only Locksley that it decided to go back to. The last time it was used prior to that location was in the Moombi Ranges! After a complete software reload it now seems to be behaving itself.
Obviously the camera on it has limitations and you can't expect the results that a high quality digital SLR camera delivers, but at around a total cost of $1200 its a great "toy" to experiment with and opens up a whole new range of photo opportunities.

The locations quoted are surviving hamlets on the main western line between Lithgow & Bathurst. They are popular sites with local railfans. The Moonbi Ranges are hundreds of miles to the north and part of the New England Plateau.
Here is the link to the website postings staring  at page 2.
There are additional videos, photos and comments.
Posted by: ClydeDET Posted on: Aug 29th, 2014, 6:33pm
Ah Lithgow. My 1941-dated No.1 Mark III* was born there, as is the Pattern 1907 bayonet which is same date (talk about luck - if only they'd been 1943...). Wish the pug-nosed old girl could talk.