I spent 12 hours of Sunday on trains.
Me and some other people from the Railpage forums decided to have a meetup, and so I headed up to Melbourne.
I started with and hour trip up to Melbourne, meeting up with some people at Flinders Street, followed by a two and a bit hour trip out to Hurstbridge and back. We then took an hour trip out to Frankston, and two return trips to Stony Point, meeting more people taking 45 minutes each way and almost 4 hours in all. Then I had to get back to the CBD (another hour) to catch a train back to Geelong (another hour…)
We ended up with 20 or so of us at various points in the day.
Highlights included Siemens725M describing why the XTrapolis (aka XCrapolis or XTrampoline) trains are so crap. In short – they have no proper suspension, their cheap steel is already rusting through after only 3 years, their frames are warping in the hot sun as they were not designed for Australian conditions, and expensive microprocessor traction control equipment was replaced with plain circuit boards (in effect turning the accelerator into an on/off only control!)
Fast01 had stories of how his uncle drove a train home! The loco was the RTL (Road Transferable Locomotive) that look like a truck buck can travel on both road or rail. On road it was so heavy it cuts up roads – after driving it home there was marks in the road up to his driveway. Another story involved a cow catcher on a freight loco doing as the name suggests – splat…
And finally: some train pics from Stony Point!