915am: Just as the day before, and on the same schedule, the P&OTA T280 trip train throttles up as it charges eastward out of Enfield, again with the 4477 and KL81 for power. . .
Wednesday, April 22: After a busy and long previous day, we were right back after it the next morning. This day was going to be even longer: another morning photographing freight trains on the Goods Line, then the obligatory "tourist look-see" on Sydney Harbour, and in the afternoon hooking up with Bob Stack for a tour of the CityRail operations and a trip out to his place in the north suburbs for dinner. A long day, indeed--this day will be split up into three posts.
Our morning vantage point for the procession of freight wasn't too far from the luxury of our Formulae One motel--actually, less than a mile away, on the Burwood Road overpass at the south (east) end of the large Enfield/Chullora yard complex. The Metropolitian Goods Line is a freight-only rail line between Flemington/Sefton on the north and Sydenham on the east. From Campsie, just east of our overpass, to Sydenham, the Goods Line parallels the Cabramatta-Marrickville "Bankstown Passenger Line" (it all makes more sense when you look at a map of the area). It serves as a bypass for freight traffic off the busy passenger rail lines in Sydney, and served as the connection to Sydney's original harbour rail port at Darling Harbour and Rozelle unitl Darling Harbour's freight yards closed in the 1980s and container export traffic expanded through Port Botany, east of Sydenham.
932am: Here comes the Pacific National Manildra-Bombaderry flour train, hauling processed grains from Manildra, near Parkes in the west, down to a Manildra Flour processing plant at Bombaderry, south of Wollongong on the coast. Power is the usual set of twin-81 Class.
1015am: After a bit of a lull, and empty container flat train (we'd call 'em "baretables" in the states) with a PacNational 81 Class, likely bound for Port Botany. . .
1022am: Coming off the South Coast and bound for coal mines north of Lithgow, east of the Blue Mountains is an empty led by an 82 Class and a pair of BL double-ended boxcab EMD's. . .
1033am: Next up, a return IRA service from Port Botany with Helga 1440 on the head end. . .
. . and 1437 on the rear. Skirting the south side of Enfield, this train is likely bound for Minto and will rejoin the Bankstown line at Sefton, proceeding to Cabramatta where it will continue south on the mainline from Granville to Campbelltown to the MIST terminal for unloading.
1035am: T250, IRA's Minto-Botany service, heads east behind HVRT-owned 4461 and. . .
. . .on the rear, LVR 4703 in push-pull.
1040am: Westbound out of Campsie comes this container train ex-Port Botany with matched PacNational 81 class 8151/8157. Could this be the same PatrickPortlink trip train we saw the day before with matched DL's?
1043am: We'd hoped for matched GM's again on the Southern Shorthaul trip train T182 from Sandown, but GM27 apparently crapped out and was replaced by CFCLA EL-class EL58.
It was now getting towards lunchtime, and Lance had a special little out-of-the-way place he wanted to show me in The Rocks on the north side of downtown. Lunchour traffic can be horrible, so with threatening skies above, we headed out to be tourists for the next couple of hours. . .