Following the publication of our acclaimed volumes “Northern Exposures” and “Lenses South”, there was one more division…. The West!
While the south survived with steam until 1969 and the north eventually lost its steam in 1973, the West main line was effectively finished by July 1967. As producers of the first two books, we had to look far and wide to get the coverage we wanted for the Western Division.
Fortunately, due to the quality of our work, the community responded and we have produced what we expect will be a landmark publication celebrating steam West of Sydney. At 156 pages it is the same size as “Northern Exposures”, and incorporates the lessons we learned and the feedback we received from the first two volumes. In other words, we believe you will be proud to have it as part of your collection.
The West was different. The lines meandered over hills and around sharp curves. For the most part 30T’s, and 32’s were’used on the many branch lines, and standard goods abounded, slowly hauling heavy freight up and down the steep grades.
The heavy Mail trains and Express passengers rarely travelled above 60 mph, except for the section just before Orange. They tended to stop a lot more than on the other divisions, with much of the track single line, and antiquated signalling. It did mean 36’s hauled many of these until the end, and quite often double headers were required to mount Tumulla and Raglan banks.
The new book in the series includes detailed locomotive allotments for the various depots, some great stories of riding and chasing trains in the division, plenty of historical data, and, of course, superb colour photos to back it all up. As with the other volumes, no expense has been spared to ensure the photos are reproduced to the highest standard.