#784. Old habits…

#784. Old habits…

Imagine having two passions that deliver entirely different types of satisfaction, both equally satisfying; one is tangible, requires most of the senses, including smell. The other is the ability to revel in memories – a pastime increasingly difficult as one ages, without repeated diagnoses of dementia and worse.

 

Ceres Rails' class 19D no. 3321 negotiates Mitchell’s Pass en route to Wolseley in December 2015

Ceres Rails’ class 19D no. 3321 negotiates Mitchell’s Pass en route to Wolseley in December 2015

 

Sod it. Too many words, asking for a TL:DR. I had all sorts of ideas for this post, but really, it’s just about photographing steam trains.

 

This post has been hanging around for a couple of months – it’s not time specific, has no urgency and has just been waiting for a gap in the DearSusan schedule. That’s now allowed me to update it with two more shots from just a few days ago (27th October).

 

End of text. If you’ve an interest or want to know more, make a comment here and I’ll happily reply.

 

Otherwise, here’s some lineside fun shot with either the Fuji X-Pro 2, or the X-H1 body, 16-55 zoom, 100-400 zoom and 35mm f1.4 prime. I also used my Nikon D800e and 24-70 zoom on some of the original images shot at Ceres.

 

Class 19B no. 1412 departs Wellington, August 2018

Class 19B no. 1412 departs Wellington, August 2018

 

Class 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

Class 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

 

Class 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

Class 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

 

Seen through the heat haze, Class 19B no. 1412 approaches Tulbagh, August 2018

Seen through the heat haze, Class 19B no. 1412 approaches Tulbagh, August 2018

 

Class 19B no. 1412 approaching Hermon, August 2018

Class 19B no. 1412 approaching Hermon, August 2018

 

Class 19B no. 1412 rolls into Wellington en route to Worcester and Robertson, August 2018

Class 19B no. 1412 rolls into Wellington en route to Worcester and Robertson, August 2018

 

October and Ceres Rail's two 19th class are back on an excursion to Elgin, led by coal burning 1412, "Bailey" and followed by 3322, the oil burner as can be seen from its exhaust.

October and Ceres Rail’s two 19th class are back on an excursion to Elgin, led by coal burning 1412, “Bailey” and followed by 3322, the oil burner as can be seen from its exhaust.

 

19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 arrive at Elgin, August 2018

19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 arrive at Elgin, August 2018

 

CRC's 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the 1:39 Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

CRC’s 19B no. 1412 and 19D no. 3321 pass Knorhoek on the 1:39 Sir Lowry’s incline to Elgin, August 2018

 

Oily reflection

Oily reflection

 

Oily reflection

Oily reflection

 

Rounding the curve into the sharp Knorrhoek horseshoe, Ceres Rail's two 19th class are back on an excursion to Elgin, about halfway up the 14km long 1:39 climb to Sir Lowry's Pass and Steenbras. Note the fireman on top of the tender on the lead locomotive, moving coal forward.

Rounding the curve into the sharp Knorrhoek horseshoe, Ceres Rail’s two 19th class are back on an excursion to Elgin, about halfway up the 14km long 1:39 climb to Sir Lowry’s Pass and Steenbras. Note the fireman on top of the tender on the lead locomotive, moving coal forward.

 

CRC's second class 19D no. 3322 at Cape Town docks in June 2017

CRC’s second class 19D no. 3322 at Cape Town docks in June 2017

 

In the rain; class 19D no. 3321 arrives at Wolseley in December 2015

In the rain; class 19D no. 3321 arrives at Wolseley in December 2015

 

Class 19D no. 3321 at Ceres, December 2015

Class 19D no. 3321 at Ceres, December 2015

 


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12 Comments

  1. Avatar
    pascaljappy November 10, 2018

    OK, I’ll start. Great pics !

    But why is the locomotive on the wrong way round? Is that a Southern hemisphere thing? To compensate for the Coriolis effect spinning the other way? Is it a rear-wheel drive on a slippery surface turned around for better traction? Is it just being moody and facetious? Is the combined effect of cold beer and hot sun responsible in any way?

    Or am I just making my gricing virginity plain obvious by even asking the question?

    • Avatar
      paulperton November 10, 2018

      A bit of it all Pascal, but mainly since the passing of steam, very, very few places and/or turntables to turn them around.

    • Avatar
      jean pierre (pete) guaron November 11, 2018

      I don’t know if this was true in other parts of the world – but in the heyday of steam locomotives, it wasn’t uncommon for engines to be seen travelling back-to-front. Perhaps more common with tank engines than tender engines – but nevertheless not something anyone would be surprised to see.
      Of course turntables and turning triangles would make a difference!

  2. Avatar
    philberphoto November 10, 2018

    Whew! I remember my early days, when I still travelled one of those trains. That says how old I am. I loved leaning out the window, until a bit of soot would get stuck in my eye. I loved the sounds, the smell, the shake, the power of it all. Those trains were alive in a ways electric or diesel ones aren’t and never will be. Thanks for bringing all this back!
    Great pics, too!

  3. Avatar
    Steve Mallett November 10, 2018

    Gricer’s paradise! What’s not to love about steam engines? Some great pics; I particularly love “Into the rain”, it’s so Southern Africa I can almost smell it.

    • Avatar
      paulperton November 10, 2018

      Thanks Steve. Do I sense a whiff of homesickness?

  4. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron November 10, 2018

    For all the wrong reasons, I love this one best – “Seen through the heat haze, Class 19B no. 1412 approaches Tulbagh, August 2018”. It was the patterns in the overhead wires that grabbed me. Of course they have nothing to do with steam trains! You could scarcely use electricity to fire the boilers! 🙂 (It reminded me of the furore over my photo of a train which everyone else screamed that I had taken from the wrong end of the thing – LOL)
    Happy memories of when I was tagging along behind steam train enthusiasts – breathing in the smoke and the atmosphere – a fascinating thing to photograph, and nowhere near as easy as some folk might imagine! 🙂
    Paul, I didn’t know you had gum trees – you do know, don’t you, that Australia, Antarctica, the Indian sub-continent, Africa and South America were originally all part of one huge super-continent called Pang something or other? Not surprising you have proteas, we have waratahs – both apparently have gum trees – lord know was else we have in common!

  5. Avatar
    Kristian Wannebo November 10, 2018

    Alas, Sweden electrified railways early. Some of our steam engines were sold to Denmark. There were still some in use when I was a child, and they were fascinating to watch. Then the beauty of visible technology vanished. The last regular use was in 1963, on a few private lined another 15 years. But my memories of how they look comes mostly from perusing model railway catalogues.
    – – –

    Great photos!
    …obviously by an aficionado.
    Not to mention how the smoke adds the feeling of power and movement – and so the dimension of time…

  6. Avatar
    Cliff Whittaker November 11, 2018

    I Love Steam Engines!! When I was a child my family lived in one of the coal camps and worked at the mines. Steam engines pulled the coal trains from the mines, through our mountains, and out to the world markets. The tracks from the mines ran a short distance behind our row of company houses and the coal trains rattled through all day long.
    On a clear night I could stand on the back porch with my Granddad and listen to the steam engines chugging miles away pulling the long trains of coal cars.
    The nearest town was built in a small valley between a creek and the steep mountains on each side. The switch yard for the trains was behind the row of stores and I remember the smell, the chugging engines puffing great billows of black coal smoke, and the slam of the couplers as the coal trains were assembled. At times when the wind was right the whole town would fill up with the coal smoke and it was hard to breath until it cleared away.
    Everything was always covered with soot and it was impossible to keep things clean, indoors or out.
    Then, when I was eight years old, we moved to a town 15 miles away from the coal camp. We lived on the outskirts of the corporate limits where everything was quiet and peaceful and clean and there were actually birds. This was also my first experience with indoor plumbing and I loved living there.
    The nearest switchyard was a mile away, but it didn’t matter for soon after we moved there in 1950 the transition from steam engines to diesel began. I never did like diesel. Just couldn’t develop any feel for them.
    I still love steam engines and the sound of one of the whistles and hearing the bells can bring tears to my eyes. But I don’t miss the black grime and dirty, gritty air, and I surely wouldn’t want to go back to the days of the outdoor toilet. :))

  7. Avatar
    Adam Bonn November 17, 2018

    I’m not really a train guy… I think maybe I need to be more of a train guy…

    I’m trying to think if I’ve ever been on a steam engine… maybe as a child.

    Lovely images Paul

  8. Avatar
    Bjorn F December 13, 2018

    “oily reflection” is absolutely brilliant

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