Rail enthusiasts and weirdos

This is an post from the olden days – read more about them here.

I caught the train to Melbourne yesterday. But not any old train. An old one. And not just any old old train.

T357 and T320 departing Geelong

The Seymour Rail Heritage Centre ran a special train from Seymour to Geelong, then to Melbourne, back to Geelong, and finally back to Seymour. There was a group of people from the Railpage forums who had travelled on the train from Seymour, so I met them at Geelong station.

All of the carriages bar one had opening windows, so you can stick your head out, get the wind in your hair, and take photos of the train.

Train heading to Melbourne, at Newport

The locos were T320 (which is over 50 years old) and T357 (in the lead) – I have a model of one of T357s classmates at home as well.

T357 and T320 at Southern Cross

50 years is old for a piece of operating machinery. The other loco in the pic below is merely 25 years old…

N474 alongside T357 at Southern Cross

State Car No. 4 and the "Yarra" Parlor Car were at opposite ends of the train. These carriages have open balconies at the ends.

State Car No. 4 has a full bathroom and kitchen on board, as well as a bedroom and lounge. It was used when the Queen visited Victoria and Prince Charles and Princess Dianna also travelled in it. We just sat around on the same chairs, and debated who should be kicked off the Railpage forums.

And the "Yarra" Parlor Car is 100 years old, and was a "Premium" First Class carriage on the Sydney – Melbourne express until the 1930’s. The back half of the carriage is full of comfy couches. The back platform come in useful to wave at fellow railfans (or train drivers who have to wait at signals as you pass by…)

'Yarra' parlor car at the rear of the train at North Shore, headed towards Geelong

There was also a bar on board (and it was pretty cheap as well) but I needed to drive home.

An advantage of the opening windows is yelling abuse at (innocent?) bystanders… At Werribee we were travelling alongside the road, and there were two blokes in a ute driving along side us, so we started yelling about the fact we were going faster than them. We did the same when passing through stations. A group of guys at Yarraville appeared to be abusing us. It’s lucky no-one at Footscray Station had a gun.

In all, plenty of fun.

The old downside is the weirdo aspect of the rail enthusiast community. The ones who have an one track mind (and on that track – only trains run!) The ones who argues crap and won’t admit they are wrong. You know, that kind of person. You want to run away as fast as you can, but luckily none came up to me.

And a final tip – don’t swear too much when little kids are in the nearby compartments – the parents don’t like it too much…


Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *