Friday, 20 October 2017

Lineside Liaisons #16 Rotorua

Uniquely New Zealand rail adventures.

Across the ditch in the Land of the Long White Cloud, you'll find one New Zealand's most unique little rail adventures waiting for you just outside the city of Rotorua. When I visited Rotorua's Railcruising park in December 2013, I was treated by park manager Neil Oppatt to a rare ride along the rails on the yet-to-be-opened section of track down through Ngongotaha to Kawaha Point. Neil kindly took this posed photo for me crossing Kawaha Point Stream just outside of Rotorua which featured in my book 30 Years Chasing Trains.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Lineside Liaisons #15 Ardglen

Aurizon coal train banker locomotives at Ardglen.

The Liverpool Ranges north west of the Hunter Valley in NSW Australia, is a notoriously tough climb for loaded coal trains on their way to the port in Newcastle. From Chilcott's Creek both Pacific National and Aurizon attach a pair of 4,350 horsepower locomotives to the rear of an 86 car loaded coal train to help shove it up the range as far as Ardglen. Here, the two rear locos release their couplers from the still moving train, and roll to a stop before descending back to Chilcott's Creek once more. For big Australian railroad action, watching this procession of heavy trains grind their way up Ardglen bank is a helluva sight! In perfect morning light, I captured Aurizon locomotives 5042 and 5043 back in May 2016 as they quietly purred back down the range in my book 30 Years Chasing Trains.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Lineside Liaisons #14 Muswellbrook

Chilly morning at Muswellbrook Railway Station.

Muswellbrook Railway Station in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia is not the place you want to find yourself standing at 5 am on a chilly winter's morning. But that's exactly where I found myself in May 2016 on a return trip from holidays. What makes this photo from my book 30 Years Chasing Trains special, is the fact that I managed to keep my arms from shaking long enough for the exposure to capture this rush of cold wind as another Hunter Valley coal train blasted by the platform on its way to the port of Newcastle.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Lineside Liaisons #13 Quirindi

92 class on a coal train heading north under blue skies at Quirindi.

Moving on to some modern Australian diesels, and this shot of a C44aci Pacific National 92 class locomotive thundering through Quirindi Railway Station in the north west of New South Wales on an empty coal train, was sheer fluke rather than perfect timing. I visited Quirindi in May 2016 to photograph the historic railway station, and when the distant crossing bells sounded I knew something was headed my way. The resulting shot closed out my book 30 Years Chasing Trains, three decades to the week since I first picked up a camera as a 14 year old boy on a BMX bike to take my first train photo. 30 years later, and I have a 100 page full colour 8" x 10" book as a memento of my lifelong hobby.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Lineside Liaisons #12 Kandanga

A bit of colour at Kandanga Railway Station in Queensland, Australia.

Australia has no shortage of quirky and colourful names when it comes to old railway stations, and Kandanga on the Mary Valley line is not only one of them, but has a pretty colourful old cream shed still standing beside the tracks. I took this photo on my iPhone when passing through in February 2017, and the photo and my accompanying poem 'Biding time in Kandanga' is featured inside my book Last Train to Brisbane. The Mary Valley Rattler train that once called at the station last passed through in 2012.