Trainspotting on a flying visit to Sydney

A few weeks I made a flying visit to Sydney, as I made my way home to Melbourne from Cairns. I might have only spent an hour at Sydney Airport while I waited for my connecting flight, but I did manage to see a few trains along the way.

Looking down Sydney's runway 07/25

My flight from Cairns approached Sydney from the north, so the Hawkesbury River bridge on the mainline to Newcastle was the first piece of railway infrastructure I spotted.

Looking down on the Hawkesbury River railway bridge

We then descended over the North Shore and crossed Sydney Harbour, where I spotted a tram on the Inner West Light Rail through Lilyfield, heading over the Wentworth Park viaduct. Can you see it?

Can you see the tram crossing the Wentworth Park viaduct in Lilyfield?

A few moments later the plane was over the suburbs, and I was looking down on the mainline between Central and Parramatta. Six tracks running side by side, but unfortunately there were no trains to be seen.

Looking down on the six track mainline through Stanmore, but no trains!

We continued to descend, and finally I spotted a train – Pacific National locomotive 8173 shunting container wagons at Cooks River Yard. Thankfully the big numbers on the side made it easy to identify the unit!

8173 shunting container wagons at Cooks River yard

And a moment after that, I found two more locomotives stabled in the siding next door – I had to look very closely to see ‘MZ1446’ on the side of the silver unit.

Independent Railways of Australia locomotives MZ1446 and 4498 stored in James Siding, next door to Cooks River yard

My plane then touched down on runway 16R – the main north-south runway – and taxied to the gate. With no more trains to see, it was then time for some planespotting until boarding commenced for my connecting flight.

Qantas 737-800 taxis past the terminal


The tram photo was a bit of a Where’s Wally game, in part due to the red and white Transport for NSW livery. Here is a closer look if you couldn’t see it first time around.

Urbos 2 LRV in the Transport for NSW livery, crossing the Wentworth Park viaduct in Lilyfield

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4 Responses to “Trainspotting on a flying visit to Sydney”

  1. Ross says:

    Great pics, Marcus!

  2. mich says:

    Pacific National loco 8173.

    I knew there was a reason they painted those numbers so damn big.

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