While preparations on future postings continue they are often delayed due to those unnecessary diversions in life, like work. Even more often its because what I laughingly call 'research' ends up being a free-ranging web surf. Still, these sessions do produce plenty of Coonamble branch line related information.
If you want to see what I am rabbiting on about, and see the rustic charm of the Coonamble line, there are a number of websites which carry great vintage photographs of rail workings along the line. I should vouch that I have no association with the owners of these sites - just in awe of their offerings.
One of the best is Weston Langford's website. There are over 25,000 photographs and counting on this site, so its best to use the search function. So, if you want to see some terrific photographs from the early 1960s type words like 'Dubbo', 'Coonamble' and 'Gilgandra' into the search engine, then just sit back and enjoy!
Another good site is New South Wales Steam: The Final Years. With this site, just let it load and then scroll down through the photographs. There are some lovely shots of 6040 wandering around Dubbo yard, and a sublime snap of a streamlined 38 resting alongside the loco depot.
One of my favourite shots is of Dubbo station in 1967 from Lyndsay Bridge's website. It shows a steam tour off the cross country line from Parkes, methinks, over Easter 1967. I love the four wheelers in the dock road.
If you really want to go vintage, there is the National Library's Trove collection which has all sorts of treasures from the John Buckland collection, including this little ripper of Dubbo locomotive depot in December 1939 with a 30T, Baldwin 23 class and 3349 resting.
The NSW State Records Photo Investigator also has lots to chew over, such as this photograph of 1232 leaving Dubbo with the Coonamble Mail. It is not, as captioned heading towards Dubbo. It is doing precisely the opposite!
Of course, its not all about steam engines - well, it is, but I try to diversify in an attempt to attract a wider audience. So, in the interests of a wider view of railway operations, here is a great photograph of the interior of Dubbo's Railway Refreshment Rooms. I particularly like the 'reserved for ladies' sign. Does it suggest that the fairer sex was not getting a decent go at the meat pies and sticky buns?
I'll wrap this post up with a third photograph from the Photo Investigator which shows a very well presented 3306 awaiting duty as part of the royal visit to Dubbo in the 1950s. There is much more to be written about this particular event in the future, but for now just gaze upon the pride in the faces of the crew ready to take their steed and a load of happy loyal citizens back to Nyngan after Her Majesty's visit.
Enjoy your surfing!