Diesel Sounds - Latest Recordings
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Diesel on the Q150

The Q150 Steam Train was a celebration of the sesquicentenary of the founding of the State of Queensland back in 1859.  Obviously, if it was called a Q150 Steam Train, you'd expect a steam loco to be at the front of it, as did I, but alas, on my first booked trip on it, our trusty steam powered contrivance failed, and substituting for it was another member of QR's heritage fleet, 1620 class diesel, 1620.  Now I'm a bit partial to the sound of an English Electric 4 stroke diesel, but when we were supposed to have steam, and especially since I had travelled specifically to record steam up the Mingela Range, well, I was a little dissappointed.  Still, it was a nice day out in the heritage cars and I got some EE recordings to boot.  We join the train as it chortles along Woldston passing loop, then after trailing through QR's ubiquitous trailable facing points, the loco is wound up to attack the Mingela Range in earnest and we can sit back and listen to the loco working hard upgrade. 2 June 2009


                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 5.5MB 5 min 52 secs) 











Diesels around the Q150

While out collecting lineside recordings of the Q150 Steam Train as it travelled from Townsville to Cairns (see the steam page here) the Sunlander was first behind and then overtook the special as it headed north.  At Ingham, the Q150 train was scheduled to make a lengthy stop, so that official celebrations of the sesquicentenary could be had.  It also gave time for the "mail", or the Sunlander passenger train, to overtake the special.  North of Ingham, at Mt Cudmore, was a reasonable length of 1:50 grade, so I headed there and managed to capture a not half bad recording of the mail roaring northwards with 2387 and 1759D while waiting for the Q150 train.  24 June 2009

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 2.1MB 2 min 18 secs) 











(Click on the image to enlarge)
Timetables of Queensland's passenger trains are not noted for representing "rapid transit" and this was highlighted when, while chasing the Q150 train, I managed to overtake the Sunlander again at Tully, even though I had seen it pass by nearly a full hour in front of the Q150 train I was chasing.  It now was evident that the steam train was catching the mail, and I'm not sure if this meant that the dieseasel driver was aware of this, but whoever was in charge up the front of the passenger train made very short work of the grade out of Djarawong, as can be heard by the speed of the train's passing.  24 June 2009

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 1.0MB 1 min 5 secs) 











(Click on the image to enlarge)
UK Heritage Diesel

As you may have seen on the steam page, I managed to get a couple of weekends off when over in the UK for work, the first of which was spent chasing mainline steam and some preserved railways.  The second weekend was also spent chasing trains with my good friend David Bailey of www.steamsounds.org.au, however this time the main line steam offerings were all down south, so we had to be content with a heritage diesel instead.  Now I wasn't complaining, because the heritage diesel was a Western, a Co-Co diesel hydraulic that was renowned for fast running on the Western region of BR prior to their withdrawal.  I had heard these engines in videos and knew that they sounded quite a bit different to anything we have in Australia (well at least those I have heard!), so thought I should make a recording anyway just so I had a record for myself.  One of the big differences in the UK compared to Australia is the public footpaths, which allow people to walk the length and breadth of the country, usually through a farmer's field.  On this occasion we found a spot just outside of Hunmanby, where the line from Scarborough and Filey heads towards Bridlington and Hull.  After setting up my microphone, a rather inquistive horse decided he needed to check out this human and his three legged fluffy companion (my windshield mounted on a tripod).  The scene opens with the horse walking casually up to see what's going on, with me trying silently to shoo it away as a Class 158 railcar set comes trundling down the hill into Hunmanby.  While I was concentrating on getting the levels right, Mr Horse decides that's a good time to have a closer look (and smell) of said fluffy companion, but then decides its OK for us to be in his paddock and goes back to eating some more grass.  After the service train passes, we can hear a different idling sound now coming from the station, signalling the arrival of the Western.  Once the road is set, the Western moves off, and with a short blast on the horn, succeeds in doing what I couldn't, chasing off the horse and leaving us to listen to the Wizzo (the Western's nickname!) heading out slowly onto the single track and then opening up for the run to Bridlington.  Saturday 5th December 2009.

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 7.7MB 8 min 27 secs)
(Click on the image to enlarge)
NSW Heritage Diesel Action

The weekend before I was due to head to the UK, my family and I had a weekend in Sydney, mostly as a birthday treat for my wife, but we had also (at her suggestion!) booked on what was supposed to be a "Rail and Sail" steam excursion.  The "Sail" part entailed travelling to Wollongong by high speed catamaran, and for the part heading out through Sydney Heads, was truly marvellous, but once out in the ocean heading down, the family succumbed (or nearly so) to sea sickness.  Fortunately, (or not) I didn't, but then I was the one looking after ill children.  On arrival at Wollongong, and with wife and children kissing the ground, we headed to the nearest shop to by some changes of clothes and then up to the station.  There had been firebans put in place over the last few days due to some very high temperatures, so our steam loco was replaced by a diesel.  Now normally I would have been very dissappointed, but I was expecting this to occur, and, if you are going to have a diesel, what could be better than a World Series Alco in the form of NSWGR 44 class No. 4490.  In this recording, we are stopped at Austinmer station to pick up some more passengers before the Alco roars away and up the hill towards Stanwell Park.  Saturday 21st November 2009.

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 10.6MB 11 min 39 secs)                    
A bit later on, we are departing Hurstville for the last part of the run into Sydney.  This was recorded with the built-in microphones on the Sony D50, so were a little more susceptible to wind noise, as you can hear!  I was planning on just sitting back and enjoying the ride, so had packed my other microphone away, but the noise was so good I couldn't help myself and broke out the recorder again...  Saturday 21st November 2009.

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 1.8MB 1 min 52 secs) 
                  
On arrival at Sydney Central, another Alco, this time a NSWGR 442 class No. 44211 was waiting to attach on the other end and drag the consist away.  We hear the loco starting out towards Redfern, with 4490 idling on the rear.  Saturday 21st November 2009.

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 1.6MB 1 min 44 secs) 
                  
While waiting for the 442 to depart, my two lads and I were invited to have a look in the cab of an XPT which was also waiting to depart with empty cars.  On chatting to the driver, I mentioned that I had heard that the XPTs had a two-tone horn, a lot like the English HSTs.  He was a bit confused, but then said, "Oh, you mean the town and country horns".  I asked if he could give a little toot on departure, as I always liked the sound of them, but I think I got a little more than I bargained for!  Saturday 21st November 2009.

                   (Click on the icon to listen 128kbs stereo 2.1MB 2 min 16 secs)