Road trip to New South Wales

Back in October 2022 I took two weeks off work for a road trip up to New South Wales and back, and took so many photos I needed a whole other holiday to go through them all! Here are the results.

Rainbow over Byrnes Road, Bomen

Heading up to Albury

I followed the Hume Highway up at Albury, and stopped in at Seymour, where I found the Travellers Aid ‘Connection Assistance’ service transporting passengers through the railway station underpass.

Travellers Aid volunteers transport passengers between the coach stop and the platform at Seymour station

And saw the northbound Melbourne-Sydney train speed past me.

Northbound XPT led by XP2008 and XP2015 passes the former junction at Mangalore

At Violet Town I visited the Southern Aurora Memorial Garden, which commemorates the crash of the Southern Aurora passenger train in February 1969.

Entrance to the Southern Aurora Memorial Garden at Violet Town

Closer to Albury, the near new VLocity trains were actually running a service that day.

VLocity VS97 leads VS94 out of Wodonga towards the SCT terminal at Barnawartha

And on the other side of town, I found V/Line’s retired fleet of carriages stored in some sidings, covered in graffiti.

ACN48 at the south end of nine retired standard gauge N type carriages in storage at Ettamogah pending allocation to rail heritage groups

Taking the back roads

Along the way I found country pubs.

Railway Hotel at Mangalore on the old Hume Highway

Overgrown cemeteries.

Overgrown graves at the Chiltern Old Cemetery

Quiet railway stations.

Looking up the line at Bungendore station

And abandoned ones.

Main double storey station building on the down platform at Bowning

Repeater huts for the Sydney–Melbourne co-axial cable

PMG repeater hut beside the Barton Highway at Wallaroo, NSW

The Headlie Taylor Header Museum.

Headlie Taylor header and blacksmith shop museum on the main street

The Rock Regional Observatory

The Rock Regional Observatory

And field after field of canola.

Canola fields outside Harefield

Junee, a railway town

I stopped in at the railway town of Junee.

Railcars 631/731 stabled alongside CF4404 and CF4412 at Junee

Going for a wander around the Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum.

Steam locomotive 2413 on display in the roundhouse

And took a drive out to the Bethungra Spiral.

QL008 leads QL001 and QL004 on a northbound steel train into the first Bethungra Spiral tunnel

Where northbound trains loop around the hill via a tunnel.

Northbound steel train heads into the second Bethungra Spiral tunnel

And then cross back over themselves, as they climb the grade towards Sydney.

QL008 leads QL001 and QL004 lead a northbound steel train on the upper level of the Bethungra Spiral

Random industries along the way

At Benalla I found the largest precast concrete facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

Precast concrete yard for the West Gate Tunnel project at Benalla

Churning out concrete tunnel lining segments for the West Gate Tunnel project.

A-double semi trailer departs the Benalla precast facility with four concrete tunnel lining segments for the West Gate Tunnel

At Ettamogah I went past the former Norske Skog paper mill.

Visy paper mill at Ettamogah

At the Wodonga Logistics Precinct the state government had just paid $5.5 million for a new natural gas connection.

Gas Gate to deliver high pressure natural gas to industry at the Wodonga Logistics Precinct

And in the paddocks outside Uranquinty I found a gas fired power station.

Two out of the four gas turbines at Uranquinty Power Station

Outside Wagga Wagga was industry galore – the Austrak plant was churning out concrete railway sleepers.

Stockpile of concrete sleepers at the Austrak plant

Enirgi Power Storage had a lead acid battery recycling facility.

Rainbow over the Enirgi Power Storage lead acid battery recycling facility at Bomen

And Southern Oil Refining had a lube oil recycling plant.

Southern Oil Refining lube oil recycling plant at Bomen

At Berrima I found the Boral cement works.

Looking over to the Boral cement works at Berrima from the road to Moss Vale

Maldon had the Allied Mills flour mill.

Allied Mills flour mill at Maldon, beside the Main South line

Outside Marulan I had to stop for an off-road dump truck crossing my path.

Haul truck crosses the access road to Marulan South, after dumping overburden from the Peppertree Quarry

And finally, on the Hum Highway I breezed by the Marulan heavy vehicle inspection station.

Approaching the northbound truck inspection station on the Hume Highway at Marulan

Photographing freight trains

Of course I’m not going to drive all the way up to New South Wales and not photograph freight trains!

Yet I managed to find the same steel train that goes past my house every day.

Coil steel loading on a southbound steel train passes the Bethungra Spiral

Grain trains were the big thing this time of the year.

QL004 leads QL012 and QL006 on a southbound steel train past stabled grain wagons at Cootamundra

Trains run by multiple operators.

CLF1 leads S303, T357 and C501 towards Cootamundra West with a loaded grain for Melbourne

Moving the harvest in conventional hopper wagons.

8167, 8130 and 8163 lead a southbound loaded grain slowly up the grade into Demondrille

As well as specialised containers.

1107 leads RL309 on a down Qube containerised grain through Marulan

Something different was a train transporting containerised ore to Port Kembla.

8166 leads 8132 towards Cootamundra West on an up containerised ore train from Goonumbla to Port Kembla

Port rail shuttles at Port Botany.

Linx liveried G534 with GL107 at the Patrick 'Sydney AutoStrad' terminal at Port Botany

Triple headed intrastate container trains to regional terminals.

FIE002 leads FIE001 and FIE002 on the down Fletcher train out of Botany Yard

And the garbage train which transports Sydney’s waste to a giant landfill outside Canberra.

8209 leads 8150 towards Picton with an up Cripps Creek garbage train

Rail in, rail out

At the Berrima cement works I found the whole supply chain moving by rail.

Boral cement works at Berrima

Lime from Marulan South.
8159 and 8123 load their train at the Marulan South lime works

And aggregate from the Lynwood quarry.

TT102 stabled with TT104 on a push-pull aggregate train at the Lynwood quarry

And finished cement despatched by rail.

8133 leads 8129 and 8175 on an up cement train from Berrima to Clyde at Mittagong

Along with clinker for further processing.

8255 outside Picton leads a rake of NPEF covered clinker hoppers from Berrima to Maldon

Coal, coal, coal

Coal is big business up in New South Wales.

New and old coal loaders at the South32 operated Dendrobium Mine

And I saw train hauling it everywhere.

8202 arrives back at BlueScope Port Kembla with a loaded coal train from the Dendrobium mine on the Kemira Valley line

Snaking through suburban railway stations.

QHAH hoppers make up the coal train snaking through Coniston station bound for Inner Harbour

And through the hills.

6005 leads an up empty Aurizon push-pull coal train through Coalcliff, headed from Inner Harbour to Metropolitan Colliery

Bound for the export terminal at Port Kembla.

TT116 leads TT118 and TT124 on TM74 coal from Tahmoor through Coniston bound for Inner Harbour

A weekend of heritage trains

The October long weekend in NSW was of rail heritage events – the first being Streamliners 2022 at the Goulburn Roundhouse Railway Museum.

42105, 4201, 4204, S311, GM19, GM10, S303, P22, T357 and T387 displayed around the turntable at Goulburn Roundhouse

With fireworks closing out the event.

Time for the shiny fireworks

The Lachlan Valley Railway was also running train trips from Goulburn to Tarago.

4473 arrives into the platform at Tarago for the return trip to Goulburn

I also visited the Goulburn Crookwell Heritage Railway.

Gangers trolleys ready for the first passengers of the day at the Goulburn Crookwell Heritage Railway

Going for a ride on their gangers trolleys.

Going for a ride on the gangers trolleys along the station yard at Crookwell

Meanwhile Sydney had their annual Transport Heritage Expo.

3801 departs Sydney Central on another Transport Heritage Expo shuttle to Hurstville

Steam trains running trips throughout the weekend.

Garratt 6029 heads a down shuttle bound for Hurstville through Erskineville station

Along with Sydney’s early single-deck electric trains.

Heritage electric set F1 passes through Sydenham station bound for Central

Country railcars.

Rail Motor Society CPH railcars 1, 3 and 7 on the down leg of the goods line tour at St Peters

And heritage double decker buses.

Leyland Titan OPD2/1 double decker buses #2186 and #2087 with Leyland Atlantean PDR1A/1 #1224 at Sydney Central station

Trams in Sydney

I finally got to see the completed CBD and South East Light Rail.

Coupled Citadis trams #37 and #38 on a L3 Circular Quay service pass classmate #02 on L1 to Dulwich Hill at Hay and George Street

Which uses as wire free power supply down to Circular Quay.

Citadis #57 heads along on route L2 Circular Quay

I also paid a visit to the Sydney Tramway Museum.

Sydney P class tram 1497 alongside Melbourne tram Y1.611 at the Sydney Tramway Museum

Where I ended up on a *Melbourne* tram. 😂

Changing over the poles of Melbourne tram Y1.611 on arrival at the Royal National Park terminus

And ferries

I couldn’t go to Sydney without photographing a few ferries, including the new Emerald class.

Emerald-class ferry 'Bungaree' arrives at Circular Quay

And River class.

River-class ferry 'Ruby Langford Ginibi' departs Circular Quay

But I’m a fan of the older First Fleet class.

First Fleet-class ferries 'Borrowdale' and 'Charlotte' waiting off Circular Quay

And the classic double ended Manly ferries.

Manly ferry 'Collaroy' passes the Sydney Opera House

Along the Illawarra

I headed down towards Wollongong despite some horrible weather.

Premier Charters bus m/o 8528 crosses the Sea Cliff Bridge with a route 2 service to Wollongong

Finding trains winding their way down the escarpment.

Oscar set H9 trailing out of the Bald Hill Tunnel with a down Kiama service

Along a curving railway.

Oscar set H21 departs Otford station on the up

Following the coast.

Tangara set T9 heads onto the single track towards Coalcliff Tunnel at Coalcliff station

Until they finally ended up at the tiny stations of the Port Kembla branch line.

Oscar set H23 pauses at Port Kembla North station on the up

Shipping steel at Port Kembla

I couldn’t miss visiting the Bluescope Port Kembla steelworks.

Port Kembla Steelworks beside Tom Thumb Lagoon

Iron ore comes in by ship.

Bulk carrier 'Happiness Frontier' (IMO 9598074) at the iron ore wharf

Finished steel is shunted around the complex for processing.

Watco shunter PB7 brings a rake of loaded coil steel wagons to the Cringila exchange sidings

And then despatched by rail.

CF4408, QL003 and QL011 arrive on 3MW7 steel train at the Cringila exchange sidings

Down the South Coast

I headed down to Kiama, where electric trains terminate.

Oscar set H32 arrives into Kiama to connect with a diesel service to Bomaderry

Passengers switching to a diesel railcar for the last few stops to Bomaderry.

Endeavour 2851 ready to depart Kiama on another run to Bomaderry

There I found a long grain train headed in the same direction.

8142, 8139, 8210 and 8245 pass through Bombo on a down grain train bound for the Manildra plant at Bomaderry

Bound for the Shoalhaven Starches plant at Bomaderry, which will turn the grain into wheat starch, gluten and ethanol.

Grain train arrives into the Manildra plant at Bomaderry

And up into the hills

I took the back roads from Bomaderry back towards the Southern Highlands, driving over the heritage listed Hampden Bridge – one of the few suspension bridges in Australia.

Cars queued to cross the Hampden Bridge, with three cars headed the other way

Headed up towards Moreton National Park.

Looking out from Mannings lookout down towards Kangaroo Valley

And found Fitzroy Falls.

Looking over to the Fitzroy Falls from the west rim lookout

This scary looking spillway at Pejar Dam.

Uncontrolled spillway at Pejar Dam

And what looked like a canal blasted through solid rock.

Fitzroy Canal hewn through rock beneath Nowra Road at Fitzroy Falls

Which I later discovered was part of the Shoalhaven Scheme – a pumped-storage hydroelectricity facility.

The rain finally clears

After days of rain the sky finally cleared, but the roads were still closed due to flooding.

Narambulla Creek has spilled over the floodway on Carrick Road in Carrick

Looks like I won’t be driving this way!

'Road closed at Wollondilly River - detour via Hume Highway' sign on Mills Road at Towrang

But at least on one spot along my route, a new high level bridge had opened just in time, taking the road clear of the floodwaters.

High level bridge carriages Towrang Road over a flooded Wollondilly River

Off to Canberra

I decided I’d make a detour via Canberra.

Looking across Lake Burley Griffin towards Parliament House

Checking out what passes for the rail service between Sydney and Canberra.

Xplorer 2524 awaiting departure time from Canberra station

I found a V/Line coach leaving Canberra on the long drive to Bairnsdale.

PTV liveried Dysons coach #971 BS02JO on a Bairnsdale service passes ACTION bus #470 on route R5 at City Interchange, Canberra

And the well used first stage of the Canberra Light Rail.

Passengers exit LRV #013 at the Alinga Street terminus

About to be extended south to Woden.

ACT Government 'Building light rail to Woden' signage at Alinga Street

I also made the trip out to the back blocks of Canberra to find their tram depot.

#013 arrives out of service at the Canberra Metro depot

Found one of ACTION’s old orange high floor buses.

ACTION high floor bus #953 between runs at The Valley Avenue, Gungahlin

A bus with a bike loaded on the front rack.

Transport Canberra articulated bus #678 on route R4 at Westfield Belconnen

And dozens of the classic Canberra concrete bus shelters.

Concrete 'bunker' bus shelter on Clancy Street, Evatt

And homeward bound

At Albury I found a familiar face – a VLocity train awaiting awaiting departure time for Melbourne.

VLocity VS96 awaiting departure time from Albury, VS97 stabled alongside

I decided to head over to Shepparton to capture the end of locomotive hauled trains on that line.

N453 and carriage set SSH31 stabled in the platform at Shepparton, N472 in the yard with VN14

Shunter at work coupling the locomotive up to the carriages.

N472 shunts back onto carriage set VN14 in the platform at Shepparton

By the time I got to Murchison East, I was drenched.

N472 with carriage set VN14 departs Murchison East on the up

My next stop – Bendigo.

Bendigo tram #9 stabled outside the depot

My target – Comeng trains awaiting scrapping.

EDI Comeng carriages 517M, 1117T and 439M among those awaiting scrapping at the Bendigo Rail Workshops

But the weather wasn’t on my side, flood waters rising.

Back Creek full of flood water alongside the depot

So I high tailed it home, narrowly beating the waters that flooded central Victorian towns like Colbinabbin.

Rising flood waters on the main street of Colbinabbin

That ended two weeks on the road, followed by two months editing the resulting photos.

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3 Responses to “Road trip to New South Wales”

  1. Andrew P says:

    “It’s Headlie, not Heady!”

  2. M says:

    Fantastic photos and narration. Looks like a tremendously fun trip! Happy New Year 😀

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