*Alan Shaw’s Bio*
A quick weekend in Cairns took me to new territory. In between social engagements I had the opportunity to get some views over the fence at Portsmith, Aurizon’s yard serving Cairns. In the foreground can be seen cement tanks for Cement Australia. These are unloaded using compressed air forcing the powder through a pipe into the top of a silo. 26 July 2014.
If all went according to plan in the mid 2000s, an early morning drive from Brisbane on a Saturday would be rewarded with this view of two trains crossing at Glenapp. The northbound will wait here for at least another hour until the Sydney-bound XPT makes an appearance. This was after the loops had been extended, but before RCS signalling was installed, so a cross like this seemed to take forever. 19 August 2006.
Curious to try some night-time high ISO photography, I finally managed to organise some time one Sunday evening. So we went out to try our luck and this is what was found. I thought that even with a slightly less than quarter moon it would be dark enough for good star viewing but not so. Even though it seemed plenty dark obviously the combination of moon and being about halfway between Toowoomba and Brisbane is evident. No trains though: a shutdown on the main line saw to that! I do like how the clouds look in this one. Access granted by the landowner.
There’s no mistaking where this train has come from! The loaded train runs down the hill south of Warwick where it will pause briefly before heading off to Toowoomba and then Brisbane. A real feature of this train of course was the wonderful rich smell it left behind. 1 March 2007. View other apple train photos captured by Alan:
An Aurizon pipe train from the Port of Brisbane climbs the range up to the Darling Downs. These pipe trains operated four times per week over the course of a year, about 260 thousand tonnes worth, all told. The usual traffic on this line, now that general freight travels by road, is coal. There are the occasional grain, cattle and passenger services. Check out the other photos of these trains by Alan: