Location: Manning Valley
Date: October 2011

October 29, 2011. I cheated again! I spotted this series of pics on a newsgroup this morning and thought they were worth posting. It's not often you see a 1918 Chevrolet like this in original condition. Hey, it's not often you see a 1918 Chevrolet period! We're talking about the end of WWI here! I assume CONN on the license plate stands for Connecticut, which is on the east coast. That surprised me because the car has no rust (apart from surface rust). At first I thought it might have come from the mid west or somewhere dry, far from salt air. Anyway, check it out. Automobiles have come a long way since this old girl hit the road. Click here for the photo album.

October 16, 2011. Join the Rail Motor Society’s 620 Class Rail Motor for our tour to the fabulous Coffs Harbour Markets. This is the ideal opportunity to do a spot of Christmas shopping, while enjoying the scenic rail trip up the coast to Coffs Harbour. The train will depart Taree at approximately 6:00 am and will return around 4:30 pm. Pickups will also be made at Kendall and Wauchope.

Yeah, right. The train arrived a bit after 6pm. By then the sun was beginning to set which made photography a bit difficult. Also, the train was in a hurry to get back to Newcastle so it was only at the station long enough for passengers to disembark, and for me to get a few shots. Nice looking train, though. For more pics and info, visit the Rail Motor Society's web site.

I first arrived at about 4pm and took a shot of an old diesel loco at a siding. Before long, the driver arrived, raised the front blinds, and ambled down the track a bit to hook up with 2 other locos (as I discovered later when 3 locos pulled a very long freight train past the station, heading north). The railways department obviously doesn't worry too much about keeping those old workhorses clean, while designers are not too fussed about aerodynamics.

Then the XPT arrived, heading south. I think XPT stands for fast passenger train. I went to the front of the thing and photographed what I thought was the driver hosing the windscreen. But it turned out the woman was the driver. So I waited for a while and filled the time by taking a few shots of the station. At about 4:45, after the Tin Hare hadn't arrived, I went to the stationmaster's office and asked about it. The bloke phoned a mate up the line a bit and asked if the Tin Hare had been through yet. That's when the stationmaster referred to it as the "Red Rabbit". Turned out the train was delayed - it needed to give way to other traffic because the north/south line is only a single track. Traffic heading in opposite directions needs to pull into a siding (placed at various intervals) to allow other trains to pass. The Yanks offered to lay a second parallel track during WWII but the government rejected the offer saying it would be too expensive to maintain. Silly buggers. So I went home and returned to the station at 5:30, after telling L&S that dinner would be late.

It was 6:15 by the time the Rabbit arrived, but I'd passed the time talking to a bloke who virtually told me his entire life story, from riding steam trains as a kid, through to SLR cameras and his recent bust up with the love of his life who apparently took him for a devastating financial ride. He said he would love to share the rest of his life with someone special but is now too nervous about falling into the same trap again. Anyway, I heard someone say the train was in a hurry to get back to its depot, so I whizzed up to the ass end and asked someone if I could get a shot of the interior. "You'd better be quick unless you want to end up in Newcastle!" So that was it. A bit anti-climactic but better than nothing. Oh, and there was a young shirtless and barefoot teen there, in boardshorts - the last thing I expected to see on a railway platform. Click here for the photo album.


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