Wild Eel Designs

Trains

This page, along with the accompanying page of ship photographs dates from a website built at a time when computer monitors were smaller. I am still working on them and missing images and header will appear shortly.

My love of trains probably can be traced to my grandfather being Stationmaster at Newport, Monmouthsire, South Wales, which made him an employee of the esteemed Great Western Railway Company.
I spent a few months as a kid living with my grandmother at Upton-on-Severn in Worcestershire, while my parents were visiting North America. My grandmother's place was next door to the cemetery but overlooked the railway, with the end of the line and British Rail (formerly LMS station just up the road.
Three times a day a train consisting of a little ex-LMS 0-6-0 tank engine grunting away with a single red carriage and a goods van would turn up from neighbouring Pershore.
My first model locomotive was a TT-scale Triang replica of this locomotive, although my train had the luxury of two coaches and could go around endlessly in circles.

With my good mate David Atkinson, I pursued Victoria's dwindling stable of iron horses until all that were left were a few kept alive by enthusiasts. The trains and ships of the 20th century were wondrous creations to behold, feel and smell ... today they are mere soul-less computer-generated machines that work well but have little charm or personality.

Victoria, Australia

Victorian Railways ... North Geelong rail yards in the last days of steam, from the overpass in the days when you could park your car there to take a photograph. A K Class pauses beside the signal box which is still there a few coats of paint later. On the right is scene in an engine shed long since gone, the ancient No. 3 Crane Engine at the turntable in North Melbourne Locomotive Depot.

While at school in the mid 1960s I assisted in voluntary track clearing prior to the re-opening of the narrow-gauge railway near Melbourne known affectionately as 'Puffing Billy'. These are 2-6-2 tank locomotives 6A and 7A photographed at Belgrave station, shortly after the re-opening of the first section of the line.

'Puffing Billy' has always been one of Victoria's top tourist attractions as it winds its way through picturesque scenery in the Dandenong Ranges, to the east of Melbourne.

Crossing the grand wooden trestle bridge at Selby, going and coming back.

G42 Gellibrand

At the same time as the Puffing Billy line was being re-opened, Victorian Railways were closing down the narrow-gauge line between Colac and Crowes, winding its way through superb rainforest scenery in the Otways, southwest of Melbourne. An act considered by many, even at the time, to be very foolish, considering the tremendous tourist potential such a line would have today. As well as the little NA Class tank engines similar to those on the Dandenongs line, there were two magnificent Beyer Garratt articulated locomotives, G41 and G42.

The West Coast Railway Company ran the Melbourne-Warrnambool service for several years until sadly running out of puff in 2004. They ran a regular steam service on Saturdays, hauled by British-built Hudson (4-6-4) locomotives. Here is R711 arriving at Colac station and having its driving gear attended to.

The same type of engine in Victorian Railways days in normal operating condition and original all-black-and-rust livery. This is R Class locomotive R707 shunting in the North Melbourne rail yards in 1964.

A2 ..
A2

Two shots of an A2 Class 4-6-0 locomotive, No. 986, on a rail enthusiast special ... who knows where since I have no record of when I took the shots with my brother's (even then) ancient Zeiss Ikon folding 120 camera. Click on the images for a larger view.

Another R Class Hudson, R747, hauling a 'ratbag special' (a train full of rail enthusiasts) run by the Association of Railway Enthusiasts on a photostop at Werribee, Vic, late 1964. On the right is K Class 2-8-0 locomotive K171hauling a goods train at Bowser, Vic on 4 September 1964.

Fyansford ..
Fyansford

Two steamers operated by a concrete company at Fyansford, near Geelong, Vic. On the right is a Garratt articulated locomotive. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Tasmania, Australia

mtlyell1 t mtlyell2 t mtlyell3

While we were preparing the Puffing Billy line to return to service, another narrow gauge line was closing, the magic Mount Lyell Railway between copper-mining town Queenstown and seaport Strahan on the west coast of Tasmania. These pictures were taken just before the line closed in 1963. Aside from the fact that the line traversed spectacular rainforest, it was an engineering feat in itself, employing a Swiss-style Abt rack and pinion system to give its little tank engines extra grip on steep inclines. The line has recently been re-opened to capitalise on the tourist trade.
Click on the images for a larger view.

Tasmanian steam

Two shots of Tasmanian steam engines taken by an unknown photographer. Click on the images for a bigger view.

Tasmnaina steam 2

New South Wales, Australia

New South Wales Government Railways 33 class locomotive 3326 at Cooma, NSW, 1964.

Yorkshire, England

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Yorkshire, 1974: departing Keighley station for Haworth, tank engine in action.

Tank Engine, Keighley  
Evening Star

The tank engine I know insufficient about on the left, but the handsome 2-10-0 machine on the right is 'Evening Star', the last steam locomotive built for British Railways. Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

What was then known as Yugoslavia

Steam locomotives in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1971.

Tank locomotive in Belgrade, left, and passing another locomotive somewhere else in Yugoslavia, 1971.

India

Indian steam, 1974.

Another Indian steamer, 1974.

Early diesels in Victoria

The relic on the left is probably the first diesel locomotive in Australia, operated from the 1930s on a timber tramway and photographed at Alexandra station in 1964. On the right from the early 1950s is double-ended B62, a member of the first class of Victorian Railways' diesel-electric locomotives, one of many GM-based designs built by Clye Engineering in New South Wales.

The S Class were similar to the B Class (above) except with a single cab, built for mainline passenger and freight, hauling such interstate trains as The Southern Aurora, Spirit of Progress and the Intercapital Daylight, all to Albury in NSW, and the Overland express to Adelaide, South Australia.