Double Headed Steam: Pichi Richi Railway

So far in this series of posts, we’ve followed the Pichi Richi Railway’s Afghan Express heritage train from Port Augusta up into the Pichi Richi Pass as far as Woolshed Flat in:

Head full of steam

and

Heading for the hills

This third post starts at Woolshed Flat and what attracted me to come up to see the Pichi Richi Railway on this particular weekend is revealed – the rare opportunity to see a steam double-headed train. Waiting at Woolshed Flat for the Ghan Express to arrive was the Pichi Richi Explorer, a second heritage steam service that had come up to Woolshed Flat from the other end of the line at Quorn.

W22, Pichi Richi Railway

The Pichi Richi Explorer

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Heading for the hills: Pichi Richi Railway

NM25, Afghan Express, Pichi Richi Railway

Continuing on from the prior post, we follow the Pichi Richi Railways’ Afghan Express as it heads out of Port Augusta and up into the Flinders Ranges through the Pichi Richi Pass.

If you haven’t taken a look at the earlier post Head full of steam: Pichi Richi Railway I suggest you take a look there before continuing with this post.

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Head full of steam: Pichi Richi Railway

Yep, I’m back to posting about trains again. It’s been a year since the last post dedicated to trains, so that’s not too bad for self discipline!

There are two historical railway societies within South Australia running regularly scheduled tourist railways. One is the Steamranger Heritage Railway operating in the Adelaide Hills and along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula  and which I have previously looked at in several posts. The other society is the Pichi Richi Railway located some 300 kilometres (200 miles) north of Adelaide in the southern Flinders Ranges.

In early October 2013 I took a major detour on the way from Adelaide to a camping weekend along the Murray River to first head to Port Augusta and check out the Pichi Richi operations. Photos from this trip were to have been posted to Photo Morsels but an unexpected visit to the National Railway Museum in suburban Port Adelaide later in October yielded an extensive collection of photos. Those photos rather than the Pichi Richi photos ended up appearing on Photo Morsels in late 2013.

I still intended though that the Pichi Richi photos were to have been a follow-on series published soon thereafter. The ‘soon thereafter’ didn’t eventuate, so with considerable delay, let’s now take a look at the Pichi Richi Railway.

The Pichi Richi Railway is headquartered in the township of Quorn, historically an important railway junction straddling the east/west line across Australia and the railway that headed north to Alice Springs. The heritage railway workshops are in Quorn, but rolling stock is also stored in Port Augusta. This allows heritage services to be operated out of either location.

Joining Port Augusta to Quorn is 39 kilometres (24 miles) of lightly built narrow gauge railway. This section of line was built in 1878 as part of the South Australian Railways’ Port Augusta & Government Gums Railway, and later formed a part of the Commonwealth Railways Central Australian Railway and the east-west Transcontinental line. The original Ghan passenger service operated on the line initially to the remote South Australian community of Oodnadatta and later to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The section of track maintained by the Pichi Richi Railway is the oldest remaining section of this now abandoned and largely removed narrow gauge track. The Ghan still runs, but on standard gauge track built in the late 1970’s on a completely different alignment to the original.

This post looks at the assembly of an Afghan Express heritage service prior to its run from Port Augusta to Quorn and back.

NM25, Pichi Richi Railway

After building up steam, former Commonwealth Railways 4-8-0 locomotive NM25 brings the some of the original Ghan’s wooden railway carriages out of the storage sheds located at the Port Augusta railway station.

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Second Valley – Painted by Light

After finally finishing the Malaysia holiday series of posts, I’ve taken the opportunity this week to catch up on visits to some of the WordPress blogs I follow.

One of these is High Street Photos X100 authored by another Adelaide photographer Andy Kidd. Andy takes most of his photos with a Fuji X100 camera, hence the X100 in his blog title. He has recently published several posts of photos taken in the area around Rapid Bay and Second Valley. Looking at his posts has prompted me to revisit some photos I took at Second Valley about 18 months ago.

Second Valley is 80 kilometres (50 miles) or so south of Adelaide on the coast of Gulf St Vincent. Size-wise, there’s not much there except a handful of holiday houses, a caravan park and a small jetty. The surrounding area is quite attractive: the coastline is backed by steep hills and Second Valley is located where a small creek flows out of the hills into the sea.

I drove down there in the autumn of 2013 to take photos of some geological formations for use in my son’s Year 12 geology assignment. He’d been down that way some time earlier on a school tour but had apparently missed photographing certain formations he now wanted to reference. So dad to the rescue. He chose to stay home to do some maths home work, so armed with my camera and a quick briefing of what I was looking for, off I went.

The day was drizzly rainy with leaden skies, so I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of interesting photos. But I just happened upon some quite dramatic lighting as you will shortly see.

Yankalilla Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

Second Valley is on the road that leads down to Cape Jervois. After passing through Yankalilla and Normanville, the road runs along the coast for a few miles before turning back inland. This is the view looking south at the point where the road turns left to head back into the hills. Second Valley is one of the little coves in the distance while Rapid Bay is just this side of the far headland. Dreary drizzly conditions and the hazy look at top left is the rain falling on the nearby hill tops.

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Room with a view

Here we are, last post from the trip to Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur city view

[Click on the image to see a larger version]

This post contains a selection of photos taken from my hotel room looking out across Kuala Lumpur city centre. In my previous post, I pointed out the location of the hotel room where I was staying and asked readers to remember the location.

As a reminder, in the photo to the right (or possibly above if you are using a mobile device to view this), look for the two identical tall brown buildings in the middle distance. My hotel room was around three quarters the way up the right hand tower. Image taken from the 86th floor observation deck of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Now you know where I was, here’s some of what I could see.

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