Johnny's Pages
Old S.A.R. Shunter's Memories
      



Last edited:  21 December 2013


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Pictures by
Wayne Morris



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TRAINING  TRIP  UP  NORTH  & WHYALLA

PART - 1


29th March 2009

“A Training Day with Gobiau”


Early departure following the rendezvous at Dry Creek South.…

A mandatory breakfast stop was made at the Caltex – Bolivia (Bolivar) service station.
First stop was near Warnertown waiting for 7GP1 to arrive on this double track section, Gobiau has the video camera set up trackside on the tripod and sits back in the car.



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I wandered over to near the crossing to see a fast downhill approaching SCT010 and 015 on 7GP1  up front. I shout out, “Train”…..No time for my passenger to get the video going or to get his camera into action. I managed a couple of quick shots with my back up camera of the passing train.


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As Gobiau knows the territory we head for Port Germein (road-bridge) to enable him to obtain his “First rail photos of the day”.  SCT010 / SCT015 on 7GP1


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Someone makes the correct decision as we head into Stirling North and come across a few damaged written off NSW coal hoppers sitting off the side of the tracks. Travelling further along the dirt/sand track adjacent to the line we start passing the end of what we hope may be the coal trains many hoppers.

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Eventually come across the three locos up front V544 / XRB562 / 8202 a few photos taken at this location.  A short time later the train departs, meanwhile the driver had suggested there may be reasonable photos of the train from the first road crossing about 5 km north. –  with 169 hoppers and another wagon on the end….


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Back into Port Augusta for a quick lunch stop then out to Yorkeys Crossing
 to catch SCT010 now with SCT001 on 7GP1 rounding the curves.



Across to Whyalla passing the Whyalla Yards can see GM40 wandering around and the Steel train is being made up shortly before its departure. “At GWA /One Steel operations found the imminent departure of T/No WD4 (Iron Duke) from Whyalla with CK5 / 1302.”


Railfan watches as the train passes.
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This is none other than my offsider (Gobiau).


We followed this train out to its cross with 1301 / 904 on T/N DW3 about 20 km from Whyalla.


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At Right One of the new type (in sets of 2) hoppers manufactured in China, now changed colour from yellow to this well weathered colour. Overhead spraying of the empty hoppers on the way out and again when loaded on the return would assist in the discolouration process……… 
Everything in the rail environment has a liberal coating of iron ore dust and other fallout which adds a slightly purple discolouration to everything.


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Following the cross watched driver “Steve” drive his train of 1301 / 904 past himself using the ‘Remote’ control unit and reverse it back again. 

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The Remote Control Unit.

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Steve with unit

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Photo taken from the road-bridge
 about 3km from Whyalla



Into Whyalla One Steel to photograph some of the operations within the complex
  under close scrutiny of a member of the GWA staff. 


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904 & 1301 which came off the loaded train above and have now run back into the yard and backed back towards the shed(s), I assumed for refuelling?

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1303 and 847 leaving the yard going out to collect
the loaded hoppers from the incoming train


847 and 1303 pushing the loaded hoppers down the grade to the unloading area at a speed of around 35-40 kph


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Supervisor “Mitch" and loco CK3 waiting in the yard. 

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Leaving the complex travelled the short distance to the Whyalla yards, no train activity going on and photographed South Spur Rails’1874 /RL307 sitting in the yard.


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To Stirling North and saw blue NR56 on 1AD8 (The Ghan).

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North of Mambray Creek photographed NR29 /NR48 on 7SP5.



Travelled around 900 km for the day and enjoyed every minute of this particular outing. Good company, trains and friendly rail staff, what more could you ask for?


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ANOTHER  TRIP  UP  NORTH  & WHYALLA

PART - 2

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Dwarf signal is in Port Pirie on the silo side of the main road crossing
before hitting the wharf area 


Wednesday April 29th 2009 until Friday May 1st 2009

Even though a ‘Training Trip’ had been made up north to Port Augusta the previous week, it was necessary to go to Whyalla for a slightly more comprehensive look at GWA’s / One Steel Iron Ore operations on the NG whilst I was still away from work on holidays.



A leisurely drive was had in the initial stages finding time to stop and take a few non-rail pics of the cloud formations off in the distance over Yorke Peninsular.

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I made a short detour to Bowmans via Port Wakefield. No trains, so back on the road again taking the alternate roads to Nantawarra via Balaklava. The main road crossing at Nantawarra has in recent times had a wig wag crossing installed, I watch in amusement as a few local truck drivers still do the right thing and stop at the stop sign which is no longer there.


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NANTAWARRA

A short wait here and at 0922 the Port Pirie grain comes into view with CLP14 – 2216 – 2214 & 705 in charge, I take a few passing shots of the cross with the track machine TS1 with the new rail crossing lights included.



In the car and off again, a little quicker this time, as I am unsure of any decent spots along the track between Nantawarra and Crystal Brook. I am trying to avoid the same angle type of shots of the trains where possible and have the idea I need variation for the shots.


SNOWTOWN area:  Before Snowtown, I see a road named Wirreanda Road off to the right and see it is a Dry Weather Road Only.. Due to recent rains the track lives up to it’s claim of being a dry weather road, as I slide on the slippery surface. I make it to the ‘track crossing’ and manage a few shots of the approaching and passing train

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Into Crystal Brook and onto another dirt track converted into a mud bath, the car slides along, the tyres clog up with the clay and I believe I am going to have a difficult time getting back out.  There is nowhere to do a turn here


CRYSTAL BROOK:  Once out of the car, I can hear the train whistling for a road crossing out of town and figure it is no more than five minutes away. 
At 1035 the train rolls through Crystal Brook, I take my pictures, then hurriedly reverse backwards the 1 km to the entry point. Back on the tar, the car is not handling too well and the ride is uneven as I speed up in an effort to clear the tyres of the sticky clay /mud. A couple of locals look on in amusement as the mud is thrown from the car as I pass them.

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Decision time approaches, as I try to catch the train for a picture out near Warnertown, my hopes are dashed when an elderly person drives out from a side road into my path and drives along at 75 kph without looking in his mirror. I watch the train approaching on my left then parallel to me and go past as I realise I have missed the Warnertown planned picture.


Click HERE for larger picture PORT PIRIE:  Into Port Pirie, I park the car and wait for the train. I position myself on the road-bridge and have a good view of the slow approaching grain train as it makes it way through what remains of the yards


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PORT PIRIE :  I next see the train slowly running through the yards and photograph it as it passes Port Pirie RWS, then again when it comes face to face with the ‘neglected Commonwealth Railways’ painted GM22 (GM28) standing on the station track


PORT PIRIE SILOS:  Had a walk around outside the silos and watched as the train arrives and pushes back into the silos for loading, by now the clouds are building up and good cloud effects are seen and photographed in the area

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The drive into Port Augusta was uneventful; I did see the last few wagons of what I surmised had been the steel train going south as I was passing Port Germein.


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LAKE KNOCKOUT : Into Port Augusta and I manage a couple of pictures of 2PM5 as it crosses Lake Knockout at about 13:55, with a filthy NR60 with no cabside number visible, with NR93.


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Across the top of the Gulf.....would have been a nice pic - however had missed the train coming from Port Augusta by not too much so I have been told....a good recce run though to a good position...the track is very sandy and more suited to off road vehicles than normal cars... 

Seems like lotsa trail bikes go that way..I was only there for a short time when two fellas on trail bikes (disobeyed the AN signs!!!!!!) and crossed the bridge on their bikes.


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Whyalla Railway Station... has seen better days.

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Got the gen of the area from local head honcho.


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WHYALLA :  Into Whyalla and out to the road bridge at/near One Steel (once BHP) the 3K post Freyers Cutting, 903 in the siding, CK4 and 902 bring in a loaded train. As daylight fades, I manage a few pictures of 1303 and 904 as they pass under the road bridge with another train of empties destined for Iron Duke. 



Thursday 30th April 2009

The next morning a leisurely departure from the motel at 0715, out onto the Iron Knob Road parallel to the track, looking at possible suitable locations along the way. 


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Come across a loaded train heading back into Whyalla headed by 902 and CK4, managed a few good shots along the way at the pre-selected spots less than 45 minutes before. (left photo)  
Followed the train to Fryers Cutting (right photo) and into the siding at the 3K post.

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Click HERE for larger picture I photograph the train as it stands in the siding at the 3K post between Arthur Glennie Drive and Lincoln Highway with Mt Laura in the right side background. 


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One picture is taken of the One Steel Plant



I make another trip out along the Iron Knob Road until I come to the rail 21K (Middleback Junction), where the line to Iron Duke veers off to go across country out to Iron Baron and finally reaching its destination at Iron Duke.

I follow a track and notice that the K posts on this track commence around the 101K mark and not 22K or 23K as I had expected.


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I reach the 103 K post on the Iron Baron/Iron Duke line and decide this would be a good place to catch a morning loaded train returning to Whyalla, the sun is shining, what more would you want... ‘A train would help’  

From my elevated position I see I have taken a dirt track and not a made up road. I want to find a way to get to the other side of the line onto the proper made road which heads out towards Iron Baron. 
I follow the dirt track I am on for some kilometres passing some culverts, before realising that the track is getting worse and going nowhere fast. I stop and reverse back 1.5 k, and find one of the culverts near the 104 K post, is high enough to pass under with the car. I am now on the main metal road heading in the direction of Iron Baron, I haven't gone too far and see the headlight of an approaching loaded train in the distance. I make a quick u-turn, race along the road turn the car under the same culvert and return to the 103K post. I am rewarded with the arrival of 904 and 1303 a short time later which crest the bank with relative ease.


One of my personal favourite shots for the trip for some reason is of 904 and 1303 passing through the Middleback Junction at the 21 K post Click HERE for larger picture



At this time I did not know this dirt /metal road runs direct to Iron Baron less than 20 kilometres away or 20 minutes of driving from where I was.  I return to Whyalla, head out the Lincoln Highway until I reach the Kimba turnoff, run down there searching for what I am told is Sinclair’s Gap a good spot to photograph the trains…. I take a wrong turn and end up who knows where, then double back to reach the main road. I eventually reach Iron Baron, surprise there is a rail crossing here.  Not much else only the scars on the nearby ranges show that there was mining activity here sometime ago


Click HERE for larger picture I check out the surrounding scenery and settle down on a track just out off the main rail-line crossing in Iron Baron (123K post) to wait for a train, I am close to the 122K post and have time for a lunch stop and a few photos of some of the items you require for these ‘Training Trips”


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A train en route to Iron Duke for loading comes into view at about 1328 hours, I manage a few good pics of CK4 and 902 again as they climb the grade towards Iron Baron, this location gave enough open ground to be able to take a wider angle shot of the side of the train, then walk some distance towards the track and obtain a tighter angled shot too.


I believe that this train is going to go straight through Iron Baron and onto Iron Duke.  As I head off onto the main road expecting to head back towards the Lincoln Highway, I am surprised to see that this train has come to a halt.  A u-turn takes me back to Iron Baron, where I find the driver using the remote control to put his train away into what now acts as an impromptu siding for the necessary cross with the loaded train

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Within 10 minutes I am into position on the other side of the tracks via a culvert waiting for the inevitable cross to take place. 1302 and 903 pass by within 5 minutes with the loaded train.



Friday May 1st 2009

I decide today will be a recce run for any future trips to Whyalla and venture out to the 21K post on Iron Knob Road (Middleback Junction), there are no trains seen on this leg of the journey. From here I take the Middleback Range Road and go to Iron Baron, this time on the dirt/metal road and come across varied wildlife on and about the road. From Iron Baron the long drive is made over to Iron Duke, I thought Iron Duke was a town and would have roads leading into to the place where I may have a chance of being able to photograph the ore trains there. 
Wrong, the only road I found was the main road into the Iron Duke Mine complex. I spoke with some of the friendly staff members there, who advised of the protocols in place.


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IRON DUKE looking like an oil painting


Back into Whyalla, I decide to leave the City via McDouall Road (close to Mt Laura) as I approach the rail crossing near Iron Knob Road T junction, I see a train running out of Whyalla with wait for it – CK4 and 902 in charge (again). Never one to miss an opportunity, I wait for the train to pass and follow it out to the 21K post…I drive the 1 km beyond the rail junction there and turn onto Middleback Range Road and see a headlight in the distance and see a loaded train waiting for CK4 and 902 to go onto the old mainline to Iron Knob for the cross to take place. 

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I now know the track I need to take to get near the 102 K post, where the loaded train will be waiting. I reverse the car along the track and stop short of the train and manage more good photos from this point. As I am leaving Whyalla, I follow the loaded train back towards the One Steel complex 23 kilometres away, with 904 and 1303 in charge. 



Nearing Whyalla, I locate a track which appears to partly climb the side of Mt Laura (adjacent the rail 7K post). 


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I reverse the car until it is unable to climb anymore.

I get out of the car and jog with the camera a further 150 metres up the steep slope.

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and photograph below the train passing a short time later.

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The only other train photographed on the return to Adelaide was of NR36 & NR20 heading north about 4 kilometres north of Lakeview at about 1510 hours.



I managed 1408 kilometres for this trip

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Okay these not trains, just a few
ODD shots taken along the way.


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Kanga roosters

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Emu's are bloody quick


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The ranges (nice coloured dirt/sand) and hills is out of Port Augusta on the way to Whyalla.


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Middleback Ranges

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HMAS Whyalla at Whyalla


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Last shot for the training trip to Whyalla, taken near Semaphore Road, was hard to comprehend how nice the weather had been up north during the day, this is what welcomed me back into the city. I don't mind the rain, it helped a bit to wash some of the mud and other accumulated crap off the car by the time I arrived home..


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TRAINING  TRIP  PT  AUGUSTA  & WHYALLA

PART - 3


21-23 November 2009

Another planned ‘this time’ training trip up north to Port Augusta and Whyalla
with two night’s accommodation pre-booked at Port Augusta.

Due to some adverse weather conditions encountered during the first day of this trip, 
the major change to plans was for me to stay on the tar where possible 
and not to do any cross country track work

DAY 1 INTRODUCTION


Leaving a wet Adelaide this time, did the usual rounds of the local training spots at Port Flat, the MPC and found some time to go and take a few pictures in the rain of the progress being made at the new Trans Adelaide (Bombardier) facility at Dry Creek expected to open in May 2010. 
An uneventful journey north and made good time reaching Snowtown around 11:00 a.m. was hoping to take a few pictures of the returning Balco train with GL108 leading through this infamous location. This was not to be as an urgent forced unplanned necessity of nature stop was required. Returning to the main road some minutes later I see GL108 and Co heading south at a good pace. With plenty of time to spare I head south along the main road hoping to get ahead of the train and get the elusive shot of this particular loco, I eventually reach Bumbunga near Lochiel managing to miss the train easily. 



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Bumbunga Salt Lakes Sign 21-11-2009

<< The most interesting subject to photograph here was the BUMBUNGA SALT LAKES sign which conjures up thoughts of Salt Mines and Siberia.  Then back in the real world of course to understand that once broad gauge trains ran to the nearby saltworks terminus at Lochiel situated on the shores of Bumbunga Lake.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a copy of (Train Hobby Publications production Country Branch Lines South Australia 
THE BROAD GAUGE
), A photographic Profile Compiled by Andrew & David Hennell, the Editor being John Sargent will see a picture of loco 963 shunting at the saltworks in 1972 on Page 55.


Now suffering from train withdrawal symptoms, I make for the Crystal Brook main road overpass/bridge, parking the car on a nearby dirt track and hurry up the embankment carrying the faithful umbrella in case it rained again.
Was pre warned of approaching trains to this location by another rail enthusiast who was coincidentally himself heading north on a family trip?  Unfortunately he was unable to stop and enjoy the rail activity from the bridge as continued on his journey, he waved as he passed me standing on the bridge holding my umbrella and wearing the safety vest. >>

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SCT011, SCT, Crystal Brook 21-11-2009


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NR34, NR6, Crystal Brook 21-11-2009

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NR34, NR6, Crystal Brook 21-11-2009

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CLP11, G534, Nectar Brook dips

<< With the passing of the trains, it was back in the car and head of north, the next spot selected was in the dips just out of Nectar Brook where upon arrival it was raining steadily to capture CLP11 and G534 on 7AP1.
Ventured into the Port Augusta PowerStation area and took some photos of the coal hoppers there. The three locos V544, XRB562 and 8202 were standing nearby.

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Port Augusta power station and hoppers



DAY 2 - Sunday morning 22nd November 2009.

Dawned cool and overcast with a few light showers as I venture out to greet the new day with a 
thumping headache, not the best for rail photography but someone has to do it (whatever that is)

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FQ02, CLP17, Spencer Junction

<< Passing Spencer Junction I saw 6DA2 was waiting to depart from the yard with FQ02  and CLP17 in charge, found a spot on the top of the Highway One Bridge to take a series of pictures as is the norm of the passing train at about 8:00 a.m. (Why I take so many shots at each location is beyond me – I think nothing of taking 8-10 photos of each approaching train.)
A short time later I arrive at this location near the Port Augusta Arid Lands area, to photograph the empty steel train on its way to Whyalla led by NR84+NR+ and NR2 at around 8:50 a.m. >>

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NR84, NR, NR2, to Whyalla


An uneventful drive to Whyalla where I found plenty of time to take more photographs of varied subjects other than rail along the way, the colours of the landscape are quite amazing following recent rains.
Arriving in Whyalla there is not too much happening in the standard gauge yard, the crew are busy taking a loco off the last train into the place. 


The real reason for the trip to Whyalla is to see further rail action on the Whyalla to Iron Duke Ore line

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1301, CK4, One Steel Whyalla

<< Ventured down to the GWA / One Steel plant area off McBryde Terrace, saw 1301 and CK4 alongside the perimeter fence, using the step ladder carried for just this type of shot was able to take the accompanying photo of the train preparing for departure. 


It is time to go and find the returning loaded train from Iron Duke. I take the road to Iron Knob Rd turning off at Middleback Junction onto the dirt road leading out to Iron Baron, within 15 minutes meeting locos 1907, 847 and CK3 (green) with the loaded train. I return the short distance to Middleback Jct (21K post) expecting this train to stop there to pass the empty train on its way out to Iron Duke, as I cross the tracks I can see that the train has not stopped at the junction but has gone straight through and is powering up the grade.

About 4 kilometres from Middleback Junction pull off the main road and wait for the approaching train. >>

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1907, 846, and CK3



Around the 9KM post (area) I find a place to pull off the road and take what I consider to be some good pictures as
 it climbs a relatively steep grade in the proximity of Mt Laura, of course it rained, thank goodness for the umbrella.


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1907, 846, CK3, at 9k post nearing Whyalla

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1907, 846, CK3, at 9k post nearing Whyalla


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1907, 846, CK3, nearing 3k Whyalla

<< A further shot or ten are taken as it slows on its approach to the siding at the 3KM post from Whyalla (One Steel) where it pulls off into the siding (loop).  
The empty train headed by 1301, CK4 is on the main line awaiting departure.  In no time it is time to get moving again as the empty train to Iron Duke departs. 
With very little traffic on the roads I have been able to pull ahead of the train easily and pull off the side of the road to take this shot as the train passes by.  1301, CK4, near 6k Whyalla. >>

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1301, CK4, at 13k Whyalla very wet.

<< I follow the empties train out of Whyalla, however by the time I reach the 13K post it become obvious as I watched a band of rain heading in my direction that the shots taken here would be my last for the trip at Whyalla. The gale force winds had the rain coming in at about a 30 degree angle straight at me as I started clicking away. The balancing act with the umbrella and the camera goes well for the first couple of shots until I loosen my grip (underarm) on the umbrella and away it goes heading for the main road. I leave the train here and return to the car saturated of course and start the drive back into Port Augusta for my second night away from home.



DAY 3 - Monday 23rd November 2009

The new day, Monday 23rd November 2009 proved to be a lot better weather wise as I leave Port Augusta and wait near Stirling North for this train. >>

The Pichi Richi narrow gauge track is seen just on the right hand side of the picture. 

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G534, CLF6, 6001 Stirling North on PA1

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G534, CLF6, 6001 near Winninowie

<< I follow the train hoping it has to cross another train somewhere along the way before it reaches the dual track from Coonamia and catch up to it as it slows for a cross with a northbound freight at Winninowie.
By the time I pull off the road and cross the tracks the northbound train is vanishing in the distance, I have time here to take a few pics before it is time for the train to continue on its journey south.>>

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G534, CLF6, 6001, Winninowie

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Winninowie parting shot

<< The last pic is this wide angle shot at Winninowie shows the train in the desolate looking landscape.

The last shot is taken passing Baroota. >>

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G534, CLF6, 6001, near Baroota



Arriving home later that evening following a leisurely drive
back to Adelaide and having covered 1200 km this trip.

“Looking forward to the next Training Trip wherever it may lead me”


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TRAINING  TRIP  TO  WHYALLA

PART - 4


29th June 2011

An ill-fated trip to Whyalla on 29th June 2011.

I/we were fortunate to have had three of the ugly ducklings on the two trains before the car met its end with hole in sump and that was waiting for a returning loaded train with the green CK5 up front.  You could say I/we missed out on that one 'this trip'.




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Whyalla_902+1303 29-06-2011.

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Whyalla 902+1303 Fryers Cutting. 29-06-2011.


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Whyalla Facility.  29-06-2011.

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Whyalla loco 1302.  29-06-2011.


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Locos 904 and 902.  29-06-2011.

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Locos 847 and 845.  29-06-2011.


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Whyalla  Fryers Cutting.  29-06-2011.

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Whyalla 4km 11301, 1304.  29-06-2011.


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WHYALLA  STATION  2012


(Barry Simmons)

15th November 2012
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Whyalla Railway Station platform. 
Looking South.

15th November 2012
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Only cement floor of former Whyalla Railway
Station Building left.  Looking North.


15th November 2012
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Whyalla Railway Station Platform with NR 117
passing by. Looking North.

15th November 2012
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Whyalla RWS platform with NR 117 passing with former
station building floor in background.  Looking South.


Whyalla Railway Station 2009... had seen better days.
Now 2012 gone.

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29th April 2009      (Wayne Morris)


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