by Andrew Coble
West of Sydney, the Blue Mountains have always posed a formidable obstacle for the railway, necessitating steep grades and tight curves, to enable trains to cross them. In the steam-era, conquering the grades meant bank engines from Valley heights and Lithgow, and the spectacle of double and triple headed locos working as hard as possible. In 2008 and 2009 the sights and sounds of the battle against the mountains were recreated on two memorable tours captured for posterity by this production.
On 20th September 2008, 3624 and 3830 headed west from Sydney and 3526 was attached to the front at Valley Heights to provide assistance for a trip to Wallerawang and back. We see the trio at Valley Heights, powering through Faulconbridge, struggling past Lindon, to a stop at Leura and continuing the long climb until the grades ease past Katoomba, with the return also covered.
On 7th November 2009, 3265 made the journey from Sydney. It received assistance at Valley Heights from 3526 and 3642, which joined the consist and second and third engines. Follow the trip from here as we enjoy a more leisurely climb over the mountains through the curves and lush green scenery, again with the return.
Sit back and enjoy Triple-Headers across the Mountains and let the eager crews and their precious engines do all the hard work.
Duration 66 minutes. Filmed in Hi-Fi Digital. PAL
$35.00 each [ incl postage and handling ]