At the moment over on Railpage one of the discussion threads is about the demise of the various classes of Alco powered locomotives that once belonged to the New South Wales Railways. Evidently some people were wondering why the railways had decided to get rid of so many locomotives.
That was a rather sad time for many people because it really was the beginning of the end of a very interesting era. These days can you really imagine a time when the north coast line from Newcastle to South Brisbane was served by a class of 40 of the most decrepit looking locomotives you could ever hope to see?
Could you imagine 44 class diesels as being mundane? 47, 48 and 49 class locos were commonplace; 80 class locos hauled the western superfreighters while 81 and 422 class were all you ever saw on the main south.
And then there were those strange 35 class locos that lurked around Werris Creek and could even to be found at South Brisbane. Yep … those were the days … and they all came to an end with the giant locomotive sale at Cardiff.
All those old locomotives were brought into the railway workshops at Cardiff and sold off. Here’s one of the photos that Brad Peadon took in the workshops on December 6, 1994.
The three locomotives you can see here are 44226, 44213 and 44205. According to Brad’s notes on the back of the photo all three were sold to Morrison Knudson although 44226 was subsequently onsold to Silverton.
Whatever happened to the 44 class loco that John Currey – a train driver from Werris Creek – bought?