I spent an enjoyable weekend at Mt Victoria with friends John and Chuin Nee and their two sons Jasper and Sebastian. We were there to see and hear steam locomotives. It was a weekend celebrating 150 years of railways at Mt Victoria.
A huge crowd had gathered at Mt Victoria for the weekend. Some had come up by Intercity Train, some by car, and some in vintage carriages hauled up by an old steam locomotive. Much of the activity was in the park – with many stalls and events. And a lot more nearby at the station.
Bands were playing, cosplay people were wandering around in old style clothes, a traction engine was around somewhere. And there was off course a gentlemen riding a Penny Farthing.
The main focus was at the station. When we arrived there was a vintage rail motor – this was taking people between Mt Victoria and Katoomba and back. Then the steam train pulled in – it had earlier taken people up the mountains from Central, and was now on runs between Mt Victoria and Lithgow.
The steam engine itself was very interesting. It was number 6029 and has its own web page. – it was made up of three parts – an articulated design by Garratt. The central part is the cabin and drivers cabin. In front and behind that are the power producing sections – each with two cylinders. The last one also contained the coal hopper. The configuration is 4-8-4-4-8-4. The sets of 8 wheels are the driving wheels and having a lot of them spread out over a fair distance provides plenty of traction and the articulation allow it to negotiate tight bends. It was built in 1953 – one of the last steam Locomotive made for the NSW Railways.
We watched the train leave on its next trip to Lithgow. It certainly made lot of noise when the power was applied.
At the other end of the train was a diesel locomotive. Perhaps this is a safety requirement for running steam trains these days in case the steam locomotive breaks down? The diesel locomotive could certainly pull the whole train back up the hill from Lithgow without requiring the steam locomotive to shunt to the other end of the train each half trip. But having this second locomotive did reduce the authenticity a lot I feel.
We later went to Blackheath for dinner and met up with other friends. We then camped at Mt York. Some of us got up early in the morning for the sunrise.
We then headed back to Mt Victoria for breakfast and then to the station again.
We next headed towards Dargan and the tunnels. We wanted to get photos of the steam locomotive emerging from a tunnel. It took us a while but we eventually found a suitable tunnel.