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Thread: RAIL TALES Thread, tell your rail stories here

  1. #1
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    RAIL TALES Thread, tell your rail stories here

    I thought I would start a thread dedicated to any stories about rail workings and rail trips people have had.

    I’ll start the thread with a trip I did in 2007 to the South Island of New Zealand and our TransAlpine train trip.

    We had booked about 3 months in advance to make sure we got the trip while we were there and all was fine until 3 weeks before we were to go, we get an E-mail informing us that, owing to track work, we would be travelling by train to Arthur’s Pass and then by bus to Greymouth.

    To put it in an understatement, I WAS NOT HAPPY JAN!!!!!!

    I was ready to cancel the whole trip.

    When we roll up to the station in Christchurch on the day, as our luggage was put in a separate carriage, I asked the corridor attendant what we were to to about our luggage when to transfer to the buses at Arthur’s Pass.

    To my delight, he informs us “As the weather is so bad up at the Pass, the rail work had been cancelled and the train was going all the way to Greymouth.

    Needless to say, I got heaps from my wife and daughter for all the whinging I had done.

    Such is life!

    Anyway her are some pictures from our trip, including the beginnings of a blizzard at Arthur’s Pass.

    This is Christchurch and one spectacular rail yard backdrop!



    Springfield and another great backdrop.



    This is Arthur’s Pass in the beginnings of a blizzard.

  2. #2
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    Alex's first ride on a steam train was on the rattler,

    when they had her on the turntable he was watching intently and asking questions about things and trying to name bits.

    the engineer caught up and asked if we wanted to ride back on the fire plate...

    he fell asleep about half way back but had a ball and tried really hard to keep awake but theres just something about the heat from a working boiler and the noise of a train on old tracks.
    Dave

    "In a Landrover the other vehicle is your crumple zone."

    For spelling call Rogets, for mechanicing call me.

    Fozzy, 2.25D SIII Ex DCA Ute
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    If you've benefited from one or more of my posts please remember, your taxes paid for my skill sets, I'm just trying to make sure you get your monies worth.
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  3. #3
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    My first day working for Qld Rail I got taught the motto, "Every day, in every way, we try to do less than yesterday" ;p

  4. #4
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    Great idea Drivesafe. Looking forward to hearing other member experiences. Your report on your NZ trip was very good. Beautiful country. Would a trip report behind a miniature train count??
    Regards
    Robbo

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbotd5 View Post
    Would a trip report behind a miniature train count??
    Anything to do with any form of rail enjoyment!

  6. #6
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    My only recent train journey of any note, was on the preserved narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway, in west Wales.

    It's only about an hour each way, but during that time you do get thrown back to a bygone era.

    Talyllyn Railway | The World's First Preserved Railway

  7. #7
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    I had had a great time driving trains but my greatest enjoyment was driving suburbans in Sydney.

    The drivers cab was your office and you were your own boss and worked the job as your saw fit to.

    For example, I was working a run back from Bondi Junction late one Sunday night and as I stopped at Kings Cross there was a knock at the platform side door.

    I got up and looked through the window and saw a well dressed older gent so I opened the door.

    In an American accent, he asks if I could give him directions to the QEII.

    I told him to get on this train and change at Town Hall Station for a Circular Quay train.

    I noticed there were just two couples, so I invited the 4 of them to ride up front. That made their day.

    Anyway, I get the bell from the guard and drive off.

    Kings Cross is an underground station but the line comes out on to a viaduct just after you leave the station.

    As soon as we emerged from the tunnel, there was Sydney’s sky scrape all lite up.

    One the visitors scrambled to get a camera.

    I told him not to hurry as I brought the train to a stand and he and the others took all the photos the wanted and away we went again.

    Not only made their day again, but waved the flag for Australia at the same time.

    Not too many offices offer that sort of international hospitality!

  8. #8
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    About 15 years ago I was single and very much into flying gyrocopters and though of nothing of driving long distances across NSW to get to a local fly in or meet with like minded fliers.
    I remember driving my 130 defender towing a trailer with my gyrocopter on the back( trailer), it was night time and late.
    I had been driving many long hours .
    It was tall dry grass country and I pulled off to the side of the road and drove though the grass a bit to get away from the road and any traffic noise and so I could do a poo etc.
    I used to have my sleeping bag set up in the HCPU body of the defender and just crawl in and in this case it was summer and still hot, so I was nakkied.
    I fell fast asleep.............until.
    I don't know what time, but all hell broke loose, the ground shook badly and one hell of a noise.
    I woke up and scrambled over the tailgate and onto my feet and then a mighty air horn blast.
    I had the pleasure of looking back at the passengers of a local train with nothing on .
    In the dark of the night I had failed to pick up the fact I had parked the Defender on the side of a railway track and the train only had a few feet of clearance to get pass.
    I now check out my overnight stops a bit more carefully.
    Ron

  9. #9
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    Another thing I have experienced with the flying of my little trail bike of the skies....the gyrocopter is a about 15 years ago now old steam trains from Thirlmere would from time to time do a run to Bomaderry on the south coast line.
    Gyrocopters are very able and safe to fly low and slow and from the air the smoke of a steam train sticks out like a sure thumb.
    All this happen on weekends and I would follow the steam trains and the rail line runs pass the local air strip I was operating from.
    It was great fun following or flying along side and above the trains.
    The passengers would wave to me and I would wave back.
    Flying though the smoke and smelling the oily steam and coal and some times throttling off my gyrocopter and pull back my head phones for a short period of time so I could hear the loco working.
    Two of the best memories is flying directly over the tender of the loco and watch the boiler doors open and shut and seeing the red glow of the fire.
    The other was catching a steam loco going though the tunnels between Kiama and Gerringong and looking at it in the air out to sea with the train, tunnels cuttings , rock shelfs and cliffs as the setting.
    The diesels just don't have the same look or feel about them
    Ron

  10. #10
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    Good one Ron and much embarrassment or what.

    I had the reverse situation happen.

    Back in the 70s, I was on loan to Lithgow and on one job, I had crewed a goods train to to George's Plain, south west of Bathurst.

    It was about 2 am and there was some form of stuff up and trains were delayed everywhere.

    Our train was in the loop at the station and we were in the SMs office when the Indian Pacific came to a stand on the platform.

    The ASM came in and told us to have a look at the train.

    Just down from the office, in an unlit section of the platform, here is this solder and his girlfriend and well I will leave it to your imagination but the reason we knew he was a solder was because all he had on was his dog tags.

    We withdrew quietly and left it at that, but I wonder if they ever realised they ever realised they were on a platform!

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