Surprise!

One of the advantages to platform photography is the indicator boards - when a train appears on approach to a platform that is not listed in the daily timetable, the boards default to "special", be it an empty car movement, a charter train, or in this case, a freight train.

 

We had arrived at Banksia long after the "traditional" path of 8938N loaded flour train from Manildra to Bomaderry, so we had assumed we had missed it. While waiting for a northbound train (that never eventuated), we saw the boards change over to "Special", and soon the distinctive chatter of EMD's could be heard climbing the nearby hill at Arncliffe.

 

The Manildra flour train is traditionally a triple 81 Class roster due to the weight of the train, although when additional motive power is required, it is normally in the form of a smaller unit, either an 80 or X Class. Sure enough, 8005 had been placed behind 8119, 8173 and 8172, the distinctive chug of the ALCo easily drowned out by its EMD cousins.

 

Sadly, as can be seen from the photo - the light was very much against us. Combined with a lack of preparation time...

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Taken on April 14, 2012