Captain Zuloo and pe668's Great Steam Train Journey
Canberra - Bungendore October 8, 2009
Ok, so this doesn't involve LEGO bricks in any way, but I thought it could be a good addition to the non-LEGO reference section of Train Tech. Ok, I lied, I just wanted to share some photos of a fantastic train trip I took with pe668, his daughter and his uncle.
The Australian Railway Historical Society runs a Canberra - Bungendore steam train and I was lucky enough to be invited by pe668 to go along for a ride. It was a fantastic day of wind in my face, strange conductors and soot (I'm still shaking it out of my hair) and I will be going again the very next opportunity I get!
We started off as our train pulled in to Canberra Railway Station. The loco (sorry, I forgot the class), number 3016, was built in 1903 but in recent times has only been rail fit for about 2 and a half years.
The train was supposed to be delayed an hour due to another train carrying ballast being too heavy and not being able to get out of our way. But that was done earlier than expected, and we were on out way. We got to Queanbeyan fairly quickly where we sat on a siding waiting for the regular CountryLink Explorer service to fly past before we continued. After passing some interesting landscapes including many farm paddocks full of animals who ran at the sound of the train, we entered a tunnel. We were advised to keep windows shut whilst in the tunnel as the soot would get into the cars. I got enough soot on me from sticking my head out the window outside of the tunnels - inside one would have been a disaster!
We passed two more tunnels and the new Defence base (in the middle of the countryside no less ) before arriving after about an hour and a half in Bungendore.
When most of the passengers had left the train, I went and asked a conductor if I could go down to the rail level to take a few pictures of the locomotive, and I was lucky enough for him to say yes, so long as I make an effort not to get hit by the train.
We went for a walk to a local pie shop (there wasn't much else, Bungendore is a tiny town) and I got myself a mexican pie. Bloody hell, I think there was more steam coming out of me than the train - the chilli flakes were huge!
Then we walked back to the railway station where the locomotive had been shunted to the other end of the train.
There weren't too many people floating around, so I asked if I could have a look in the cab. The guy inside said "sure!", so I climbed in and took a few photos...
...and so did pe668.
When I was in the cab, I noticed a pipe under the train with water pouring - and I mean pouring out of it. I asked the guy in the cab (who turned out to not know a thing about steam engines other than that he had to "train-sit" this one until the driver got back from lunch) if it was supposed to be producing so much water, and he said he had no idea, but it was left like that so it must be right.
We then returned to our carriage and sat down waiting for the train to depart promptly at 20 minutes past 2 o'clock.
We weren't going anywhere, and what a suprise: we got word that the boiler was too low on water to make the trip back to Canberra. The fire brigade had to be called to put more water in the train. But hey, it gave me some more time to take some photos of the locomotive!
And who's this strange fellow attached to the front of the loco?
And pe668 decided to jump out and have a look at the train too.
About 15 minutes into our wait, I overheard that the fire brigade would be there in 45 minutes. Usually that would be fine, but the CountryLink train was stuck in Canberra and couldn't get past until we got back, and it would have been quite costly to the Historical Society were we to make the Canberra - Sydney service late. So the driver made the decision to use what water we had left to try and get back to Canberra. He said that if we didn't make it, at least we would be closer so the fire brigade wouldn't have to go as far.
So we boarded the train for the last time and pulled away from Bungendore railway station.
(Note: That red signal never went green, we just went straight through it!)
pe668's uncle bought himself a hot coffee, and due to the movements of the old cars, he almost wore it as he was in between cars.
We enjoyed some more scenery...
Before we slowly pulled into Canberra railway station, 40 minutes late.
It was a fantastic day, and I hope to take the trip again sometime soon.
You can see these and a few more images in the flickr gallery, I hope you enjoyed my amature photography and maybe you train heads might get something out of the loco.
I plan to MOC it as soon as I can find a Bricklink store with cheap 10194 wheels...