Saturday, 13 August 2011

Steam train joy

Steam Rail Victoria, a group of volunteer steam train enthusiasts, brought a couple of trains up to Ballarat again this weekend.

I love steam trains, and am fascinated by the rapidly vanishing industrial history of Ballarat, so I had the best trip today, travelling out of Ballarat station to Sulky and back - and travelling a little way into the past.

Look at this beauty, made over 130 years ago, when trains for the vast network of state railways were made in  Ballarat's Phoenix Foundry, right behind the town hall.
I was ecstatic to be riding behind this engine!

While she was being filled up with water,

the carriages were shunted up to the station by the engine with real muscle.

This is the train that the blokes all admired - you can see why.

It is a great old engine, made about thirty years later when the state railways had started to make their own trains.

The Steam Rail blokes got properly grimy and coal dusty.

We were travelling in the old wooden Victorian Railways country carriages.

I'd forgotten how much the old trains rock along. It was hard to get things in focus.

In these old, wood panelled carriages I had the ultimate luxury - not available on modern trains trams and buses - I could open the windows to the cold air!

I could taste and smell the coal smoke - lovely!

Unlike cars and buses, trains go by people's backyards. 

backyards tend to be unfussed and informal.

If you want to play around in a treasure trove of railway photos - bridges, crashes, railway footy teams, rope workshops - and all for free, try this link to the Public Record Office Victoria


Kittie France said...

Great images...

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i used to travel by train from Ann Arbor Michigan USA to Chicago USA
and what i loved was going through the backyards of here, clotheslines, how people really spend their evenings...i was i feel here,
traveling with you
Thank You!

Suzanna said...

What a wonderful trip...those old carriages look so's good they've preserved them. So often on my train trips I wish to open the window, but no. Perhaps someday the thinking on that will change...

Elizabeth said...

Why do engineers or designers forget the real pleasures of life? I hate the stuffiness of airconditioned vehicles!

do you mind if i knit said...

Railway enthusiasts are an interesting bunch of people aren't they................ I always think that enthusiasts who are passionate about a subject are a thing of interest in themselves! But railway enthusiasts are particularly wonderful because they put a lot of work into maintaining these old engines, if it wasn't for them, they wouldn't exist. I love going on these old steam trains when we come across them. Wonderful pictures, I felt like I was there with you! Vanessa xxx

Elizabeth said...

Yes everyone involved in keeping these engines on the rails was so happy - it spread among us all!