Tag Archives: South Australia

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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Queen Mary 2

Having got myself started on passenger liner photos in An Evening in the Rocks, I just happened to find the Queen Mary 2 in Adelaide a couple of weeks later.

I own a 5 metre runabout style boat so popped it in the water near Outer Harbor (where Adelaide’s passenger terminal is located) to combine an afternoon’s crabbing with a spin over to see the Queen Mary 2.

But yet again while photographing the Cunard Queens, the lighting was rubbish with thickish middle level cloud producing a dull, cold and contrastless light. That’s three out of three times I’ve struck these conditions photographing the Cunard Queen liners. Grrrrr… And the crabs weren’t very cooperative on the day either. At least the sea was calm.

So, hopefully having not put you off entirely, some images of Queen Mary 2.

Queen Mary 2 , Outer Harbor

Queen Mary 2 towering over Adelaide’s underwhelming passenger terminal.

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A wet and rainy day in Marion Bay

Back in July, in the depths of the South Australian winter, I traveled down to the foot of Yorke Peninsula for a fishing trip with my eldest son and one of his school mates.

First point of call was the small township of Marion Bay. Yorke Peninsula is shaped a lot like Italy and forms a distinct foot shape. Marion Bay is located on the base of the peninsula’s  ‘big toe’ and looks out onto Kangaroo Island and the Southern Ocean beyond.

The area had received a lot of rain over the preceding few days and heavy rain-bearing cumulus clouds were still passing through when we arrived. Unusually though for Marion Bay, it was calm and windless. At ground level anyway – there was must have been some wind a few thousand feet up that was pushing the rain clouds through. We arrived mid-afternoon and were soon down on the beach, and later the town jetty, to wet the lines.

I left this first session of fishing to the boys and instead took the camera. The light was soft and rather special. I hope you enjoy the following images. The first batch of shots were taken using some ‘old’ Pentax glass, a M series 135mm F3.5 telephoto lens that dates from around 1980. The more I use this lens, the more I like the way it renders.

Marion Bay, Yorke Peninsula

One of the small headlands protecting Marion Bay from the Southern Ocean swell. Calm in the bay, but the horizon on the left is rather lumpy. The low line on the horizon is Kangaroo Island.  On the other side of the headland lies one of the many shipwrecks in the area.  Two ships named Marion were shipwrecked along this section of coast. The second was the SS Marion which was wrecked in 1862 just west of Marion Bay.  By the way, the ‘spots’ in the sky are not a load of dust on my sensor, rather a flock of pigeons that resides in the limestone cliffs.

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