Thornleigh Time Capsule
On Wednesday 11 November, Chris Walters planned to visit Thornleigh station in Sydney’s northern suburbs to photograph the passing of the Golden West Explorer charter train. Then he thought what if, rather than just rocking up to take a fairly stock-standard shot of the special train passing through, he made a little bit of a morning of it, and documented 45 minutes or so of the passing action – all shot heading in the same direction and in exactly the same way to allow comparisons and illustrate railway operations (at least heading in one direction) through a particular location as it was in 2020.
The HCMT (aka the High Capacity Melbourne Train), delivered by the Evolution Rail consortium, a partnership of Downer and Chinese company CRRC, is the latest generation of EMUs to join the Melbourne suburban fleet. The rationale behind the new train was to avoid major spending on infrastructure by developing a highly efficient, high capacity train that could operate anywhere on the network and eventually be capable of replacing the ageing Comeng fleet. With trials well underway and an entry into service for the first of the HCMT sets now imminent, Bruce Payne takes a close look at this ‘new kid on the block’.
The Golden West Rail Tour
It created considerable interest among railfans when Vintage Rail Journeys conducted their inaugural ‘Golden West Rail Tour 11-15 November 2020’, using eight THNSW ex-Southern Aurora/Gold Coast Motorail carriages, and eight of their own ex-Southern Aurora carriages. The tour represented the culmination of over three years of planning, and was a co-operative effort by Vintage Rail Journeys, Lachlan Valley Railway Society and Transport Heritage NSW. We take a look at the story behind the event.