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    12th LINDBÄCK, Antonio 9 2 6 8 25
    13th RICHARDSON, Lee 8 4 0 5 17
    14th IVERSEN, Niels-Kristian 2 6 4 5 17
    15th PROTASIEWICZ, Piotr 1 3 3 3 10
    16th LINDGREN, Fredrik - - 7 - 7
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    Sunday, August 27, 2006


    I've been waiting for Ranger Tom to get himself settled into his new digs before posting on this topic.
    Seeing as how Tom is something of a railway tragic, I thought that I would give this little excursion a post of its own. Whilst on tour with the lovely lady, we did the touristy bit in Lithgow and went for a ride on the Zig-zag Railway.
    You can tell from the first photo why it is called the zig-zag railway. Traveling west to east trains would descend these three levels on the way to Sidderney. The main railway line is on the bottom and is the one used today after the development of tunnels through the mountains.

    Speaking of tunnels, there is a tunnel on the descent to this bridge which takes ninety seconds to traverse. Ninety point one seconds after entering the tunnel, the lovely lady and I were busted sucking face. (A romantic expression if I've ever heard one.) In that little valley thingy below this viaduct is a barbecue area where upon request, the railway dudes will stop the train to drop you off and pick you up later in the day.

    As we went mid-week, the steam trains were parked up, instead we rode up and down in this railcar of Queensland origin. The only time I can remember seeing one of these was the old Gulflander that used to run though the gulf country (Funnily enough.) Not as romantic-y as a steam train, but it'll do. Incidentally, to get to the zig-zag from Lithgow, you have to travel up the very best (read: windiest) section of Bell's Line of Road. Coming out of Lithgow we were following a queue of about a dozen cars. I slowed right down to let them get about four hundred metres ahead. Three or four kilometres after the start of Bell's I pulled over to wait for all the cars to catch up. The lovely lady was first. It was uphill and the little red car just didn't have the grunt to take advantage of all the gaps.
    Paying attention to the sign on the right is probably a good idea. This is where the zig turns into a zag. Way back when, the zig-to-zag conversion was done in another spot. There was a mishap which resulted in a spectacular "Only in the movies"- style railway engine hanging over the abyss style photograph (which I can't find online).

    Funnily enough, contrary to popular opinion, not everybody who works on the railways sweats it out every day. This is the balcony on a signalman's box. The entire edifice has been relocated and painstakingly restored, with every worn or damaged piece repaired or replaced. Except for the window ledge, which acquired its present shape by dint of one hundred years of signalmen resting their fat arses on it waiting for something to do.

    This is an engine used in underground mining. These days it is used to pull a firefighting tanker. The cab isn't original, being from a different engine.

    I showed that photo only to provide a reference to this photo, which shows the injector pump on the engine of the engine. Odd looking thing, isn't it? I've never seen an injector pump with this style of tandem construction. Nor have I seen one with these individual bleeder levers on every injector line. Must be a bugger of a system to bleed to need those. I arst the guide dude, but he didn't know anything about it except to say that they haven't had to lay a spanner on the engine since it has been in their possession.

    On occasion they do a Harry Potter style weekend. This is the engine they use for the trip. J.K. Rowling, who is totally a philanthropic lover of children who writes solely for the joy she can bring to the masses probably hasn't ok'd these events as the nameplate reads 'Wizards Express' rather than 'Hogwart's Express'. Of course, my tenuous grip on the details of the Harry Potter series may also be more tenuous than I realised.

    As well as Harry Potter, they also rip off pay tribute to Thomas the Tank Engine. Guess who this is.


    Anonymous og said...

    Nicely done. I'm a huge sucker for trains.

    American diesels of a certain vintage had similar bleeders, and if I'm not horribly mistaken, they were used often because of the irregular nature of the diesel available at the time.

    I like the picture of the streamlined stainless car, looks awesome.

    8/27/2006 09:38:00 am  
    Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

    Forget the trains. Is the woman you met the blonde lady looking at the yellow train? If she is, then I'm sorry to say that she's too good for you mate!

    8/28/2006 06:33:00 am  
    Blogger Ranger Tom said...

    What a great post! You know I'm a sucker for trains. This trip is now officially on my list of "To Do's" when I get to Oz.

    And Lithgow? Isn't that where the arsenal is too? I had a really sweet 1916 Lithgow Arsenal SMLE MkIII .303 for a while. I'd like to get another one.

    9/03/2006 11:42:00 pm  

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