With the slated closure of the Captains Flat branch imminent, the enthusiasts were out in force to capture the last workings on offer. In just a couple of weeks the mainline will be truncated back at a town on the Sydney side of Fish River station and the once busy junction ( Fish River), the Captain's Flat branch and all downstream stations on the main, beyond Fish River... to the imaginary terminus, will be no more
It is a sad indictment of the layout's relatively short lifespan, that the mythical location of Fish River, it's reason for being and it's location within the NSW network was never really explained. Yes the actual place names that were used and or planned were real...but the context in which I used these names had no bearing on the prototype or location at all and due to the fact that the layout was "just evolving" meant that the relationships of all these locales and associated workings really had not been decided upon.
In the finest traditions of the NSWGR, passenger workings on the Captain's Flat branch were abruptly halted last Sunday, with little notice or regard for the travelling public...much less the staff assigned to the branch workings!. For the record...the last regular passenger movement, returned to "town" at a little before 6:00pm with 4910 doing the honours and the usually single CCA ( normally more than adequate for the loading) supplemented with and FS car to cope with the expected influx of enthusiasts keen to take in the last opportunity to experience the branch.
The final nail for the branch occurred at around 3:00pm this afternoon, with the last freight working arriving back into town with 4425 in charge. The outward movement was scheduled to leave town before dawn this morning and spend the day clearing all locations and sidings of rollingstock...with the main task of returning stored concentrate wagons from the now closed Captains Flat loader.
With the closure of Fish River scheduled for later this week...all locos, rollingstock, infrastructure both in use and stored...will be offered up for disposal via tender ( in this context it will be by EBAY). and another chapter of government mismanagement and apathy will come to a close.
While the demise of the layout is sad in some respects...it is largely unavoidable (as explained in a previous post) and has certainly given me the opportunity to plan my next (albeit a tad smaller) journey into this great hobby. My structure building will now quite possibly speed up and of course there are still posts to be written regarding the dismantling of the existing layout... and while the track and all "above track" infrastructure is to go...the control panels and electrics will be largely recycled and while not wanting to spill the beans just yet on my next project....I will leave you all with just one question...is it possible to DCCise a OO9 layout?
I can hear my ever obliging and patient wife muttering these now famous or (infamous) words.....Oh The Humanity!
|Not far to go now for the last passenger train on the branch!|
|With the Fish River bridge now crossed....4910 is shut off and begins to drift towards the junction...|
|The very last train arrives back off the branch towards the junction in the very capable hands of 4425|