As a railfan, many of my memories revolve around endings. Naomi and I started to travel on steam train excursions when we were in our teens in the 1970s. Regular steam train services had finished and it was a time when many country railway lines were being closed and torn up. We went on many “Last Train To…” trips.
We used the Refreshment Rooms at places like Riverton and Bowman’s just one more time, We visited the towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo during the Kernewek Lowender, the Cornish Festival. We went to Loxton and Renmark and various little places that were little more than a platform and a sign. We had wonderful times. All those lines are closed now.
We also saw the end of various suburban branch lines, the line to Penfield with its loop, the line to the Holden factory, even the factory is gone now. It hit us hard when the passenger service to Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills ended. We used that one a lot and when the line from Glanville to Semaphore closed in 1978 that seemed even worse.
David worked in the old Adelaide rail yard for several years and eventually, we saw the building he worked in demolished to make way for an updated depot where Naomi and I worked a few years later. Now that too has gone, replaced by Adelaide’s new hospital.
The old Adelaide Yard by David Jensen
Adelaide Yard circa mid 70s photo by David Jensen.
Looking back towards Adelaide from the yard. circa 1987-90
My memories of rail in South Australia are both happy and sad.
*Note:Some of the photos I’ve used here are not mine but I needed them to tell the story. The others were taken by David when he worked in the old Adelaide Yard and on some trips. I can’t always remember who took what from those days as we were both photographing the same things although usually from different points of view. Generally speaking, if it has people in the foreground it will probably be mine and if it is in black and white more than likely his. These pictures were all scanned from photos so the quality is not great.
It’s no secret that I love photographing public transport especially ferries, trams, and trains. I tried to find some that I had not used before, or at least not recently.
The Manly Fast Ferry. This is a private service I think and crosses Sydney Harbour in much less time than the larger ferries.
Still in Sydney a picture I have used before but this time with a yellow filter.
I took this one at Kings Cross Station in Sydney. I am very familiar with this station having stayed in King’s Cross on various visits to Sydney in the past.
I didn’t want to leave the buses out. I took this one outside Bellerive oval just before the end of a cricket match. The buses were lined up to take everyone home after the match.
This bus ran hop on hop off tours around Hobart and tours to the Cadbury Factory a few years ago. I think it is still in service in the summer time but for another company.
Finally, a very old photo, taken in 1987 soon after David and I got our first car. We took a trip north to the Flinders Ranges. We saw this coal train somewhere near Leigh Creek SA so strictly speaking not public transport but this type of diesel was used for passenger trains too.
I found some very old photos recently while sorting out some of my old stuff. I am a real hoarder and my place looks nearly as bad as the ones on those terrible reality TV shows. The thing is I love to collect old stuff and I hate wastage and throwing away things that are vintage in particular. I love old stuff and when I found I still had these old photos taken years ago I was amazed and thrilled. I had taken the diesel photos in 1976 while showing a friend around SA from WA. He asked me to take the photos with his spare camera so he would have more pictures. I told him I had no idea how to use such a complex camera. I only had a Kodak Instamatic. He said you can’t be that bad and thrust the camera into my reluctant hands. I took these B&W shots of two different diesel hauled trains. One was a passenger train going to Victor Harbour a branch line off the main line to Melbourne. The other one a freight was probably on the main line. It’s years ago now and I never recorded the information. The other pictures of the railway workshops are in Launceston and were only taken a few years ago. The workshops are now a museum and I was lucky enough to mostly have the place to myself when I took the photos that I had to change to black and white.
Of course I have lots of pictures of trains, hundreds in fact, but most of them were taken when we used film cameras, some are even on slide film. I’ll try to find some on the computer that I haven’t shared before or at least not too often. I have again used Adobe Photo Elements 2018 to edit these and played with some different effects.
This is a rerun. I have used it at least once before but I like it. It was taken in the Adelaide Railcar Depot where we used to work. It is a 300 Class diesel railcar probably built in the late 1950s. They had no air conditioning and in summer got very hot, especially when they had been sitting in the yard for hours. They were like ovens and we had to clean them.
Another picture I’ve probably used before but with a different effect. Museum Station in Sydney. Museum is one of our favourites because of its old-time decor so it perfectly suits the vintage look and I even added some scratches.
Tracks can also be for trams. Here is one at the Tram Museum at Loftus outside Sydney.
A V Line locomotive at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne 2014. I shot this through a glass window and was unable to get rid of the reflections but if you look closely you can see a tram reflected in the middle of the picture.
Then of course there are model railways. This one was at a show in Sunbury, Victoria 2014.
This last one is very old, taken on a trip to Alice Springs in the 1980s, one of the few I have of this class of locomotive. At the time this was taken you had to go to Port Pirie or Port Augusta, South Australia to see one as they were on standard gauge and the main line to Adelaide was still broad gauge so seeing the standard gauge diesels was exciting.
Two grand old ladies, MV Cartela built in 1912 and Preana built in 1896. Cartela is currently undergoing restoration to be returned to steam power and Preana is restored and available for charter trips.
The West Coast Wilderness Railway runs between Queenstown and Strahan. Its three locomotives are the original ones used by the Mt Lyell Railway Company to service the mines. All were built inbetween 1896-98
How could I resist joining in this challenge? The only local public transport we have around here is the bus but as a non driver I’ve used plenty of public transport while living in Adelaide and of course public transport is usually the easiest way to get around when you are visiting a large city.Here are some ways of getting around in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart.