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John from Brisbane

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westernthunderer75

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Moon over the pier.

Moon over the pier.

Moonrise over Shorncliffe Pier, Brisbane. The super moon rich colours don’t last for long.

Nearly full.

Nearly full.

Nothing better to do, penultimate night before the Super Moon. Don’t know how long I have been trying for this.

Do you get the point?

Do you get the point?

Some form of grass or early stage grass tree in the Botanic Gardens, Brisbane.

Itsy, bitsy spider.

Itsy, bitsy spider.

I was just mucking around, cleaning cameras and generally multi-tasking too when I found this tiny spider (yes, it has eight legs and thanks to Mr. Google) on the laundry floor. So, quick as a flask, just practising with a frustrating macro lens. Hand held taking pot luck, I thought it might run away.

Threatening afternoon (is that a face in the clouds?)

Threatening afternoon (is that a face in the clouds?)

Well, the things you see. We thought our afternoon stroll across the sand at Nudgee Beach might be threatened by a bit of weather. Then as I was posting this shot, I noticed the big cloud in the middle looks like a man with his head blown back in a wind tunnel. I can see chin, lips, nose and eyebrows with a rather long curly hair do streaming out behind! Threatening indeed.

Swordfish.

Swordfish.

Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane. You want to hope you don’t have one of these growing adjacent to your local bicycle path (like we do). Once the leaves start to droop across the path, you are in big trouble.

High vis won’t help.

High vis won’t help.

Just some workmen in the city. Good safety there, ropes and gear and the high visibility clothing will assist with location of the bodies if they fall. Brisbane.

Polished to perfection.

Polished to perfection.

This is the Garrett Steam Engine - it is a Road, traction engine not to be confused with the Garratt type railway steam locomotive. It was built in 1900 in Suffolk, UK and worked in outback Queensland before donation and restoration in 1980. It is now displayed in all its finery at the Redlands Museum in south east Queensland and is in operating condition and steamed from time to time. These bits and pieces are some of the controls sitting on the back of the boiler including the steam pressure gauge, boiler water gauge and steam powered whistle in the foreground. Proud drivers would polish the brass to perfection on any steam engine.

Rainbow rest.

Rainbow rest.

I guess we could call this Happy Bench Monday, not that I am in any group of that name. We found this very colourful bench under a tree at the Hilliard Creek reserve at Ormiston on Brisbane’s south in Redlands.

Rather old railmotor.

Rather old railmotor.

Ex. Queensland Railways RMd 74 railmotor at the Redlands Museum, Cleveland in SE Queensland. RMd 74 was built by QR’s Ipswich Workshops in 1934. It was fitted initially with a 100 hp petrol engine but like most of QR’s railmotor, converted to a 102 hp Gardner Diesel engine in 1942. It’s star rose to fame when it was sent to the isolated, one train a week Normanton-Croydon line in 1964 where it worked until withdrawn and replaced by another fairly old red rail motor in 1982. Following withdrawal it was stored until restored with a 1988 Bi-Centennary grant and donated to the Museum. The railway between these two small Gulf Country towns still exists and is worked to the same one day per week timetable (although extra short runs are scheduled for tourist purposes) and is more well known today as the Gulflander. I guess when I say one day per week, it travels from Normanton to Croydon one day and comes back the next. The whole railway and its precincts are a major tourist drawcard and have been for many years, much of the infrastructure is as it was built in the 19th. century. The railway also still carries regular passengers and one reason for its longevity up to a point was the regular flooding of the road between the two towns, leaving the line as the only lifeline. Various types of red railmotors did work the old Cleveland Line until its closure (it has now been reopened and somewhat foreshortened and electrified) but the donation to the Museum was more one of its availability when requested rather than any tangible connection. I rode the Normanton to Croydon Line with a number of fellow enthusiasts back in 1977 in this railmotor so it was nice to reacquaint myself with it. It is of course in much better condition and modified back to its original state I believe than it was then. It was and still is a fantastic ride, rough as guts on the original track, still laid in the Gulf country dirt on steel sleepers to resist attack by voracious termites. If you get a chance to do the Gulflander or the Savannahlander to Forsayth, take the chance. These are two rail journeys out of history into history, the likes of which are extremely rare today anywhere.

Driver’s position.

Driver’s position.

This is the driver’s seat and controls on RMd 74. If it was as hard getting in and out of your car as it is this seat, you would never drive. Not long before we rode the railmotor, someone reset the points at a siding along the line in which another old railmotor sat as a waiting shed, and RM 74 was diverted to the siding and ploughed into it. The other unit came off second best and was wrecked while 74 sustained significant damage but was rebuilt. It must have been a harrowing experience for driver and passengers. I seem to remember that its front push out windscreen was still clear plastic when we rode it.

Spartan comfort.

Spartan comfort.

This is the interior of RM74d from the mid-section where there is a wall which separates the rear baggage and good compartment. Those seats are fairly hard.....but after about four hours rocking and rolling back and forth on the rugged track, your backside is probably the least of your worries. But who wants to ride in stately luxury when you can try this line once in a lifetime at least. There are plenty of photos of old 74 and it’s brethren working this line on the internet and details of the two continuing North Queensland bush railway services, that despite the tourist appeal and attraction continue to also do an amount of normal business for the isolated communities they serve. Australia indeed.