March 2020 RD Blurb
The last train to Carlingford
Saturday 4 January 2020 was a day where Penrith in western Sydney was officially recorded as the hottest place on Earth and the dire bush fire crisis threatening the south eastern states of Australia became a global conversation. Buried well down in the day’s news cycle was another, somewhat less dramatic turn of history for this was also the last full day of heavy rail passenger operation on the seven-kilometre Carlingford branch line. A large crowd, including Chris Walters, turned out to farewell the branch ahead of its conversion and absorption into the under-construction Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail route from Westmead to Carlingford.
Western NSW infrastructure update
Since the last update covering the $300 million reconstruction of the Parkes to Narromine line to form part of the New South Wales section of the Melbourne – Brisbane Inland Railway, the major development has been the commencement of track laying northwards from Goonumbla, 19 kilometres north of Parkes, working towards a point near Narwonah, south of Narromine where the Inland Rail alignment will diverge to bypass Narromine. Although this project currently dominates the regional NSW rail infrastructure scene, smaller projects, funded under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail program, are also underway. One such project, the provision of a multi-user siding at Hermidale, 666 kilometres from Sydney on the Nyngan – Cobar line, is starting to deliver benefits to rail operators and customers. John Hoyle reports.
Albany revisited and other travels! Part two
In Part one, in the February issue, Phil Melling travelled from Geraldton down to Cuballing in the Upper Great Southern, and on to Albany on Western Australia’s south coast. In Part two, he visits Mount Kokeby, north of Cuballing, then head west to Bunbury, via the coal mining town of Collie, to check out the current operations on the west coast as he heads back to Geraldton via Mandurah and Perth.