Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Australia Day !

Hope you are all having a wonderful day of celebration, despite the weather.
We spent our morning on a trip from Swanbank to Bundamba and back, courtesy of the
We left from the Swanbank branch line heritage station, and though the weather was rainy, it was
better than being stiflingly hot (as it has been for the last couple of weeks). Rail travel of yore 
must have been very uncomfortable in Summer!
Pulling our train was a PB15 class locomotive, Number 448, built by Walkers of Maryborough in 
1908 and fully restored by volunteers. Our driver was 77 years old, and the fireman (the guy feeding
the coal into the fire) was 84. Talk about a vintage railway alright!
The carriages were all built in the early 1900's, with fantastic detail. 
The kids were just amazed at the opening windows, as they have only ever been on 
air conditioned electric trains!
They also thought that being able to stand out on the 'balcony' while the train was 
moving was pretty cool (as did I).
Even though the trip only took a bit over an hour, we got to see some pretty scenery 
and plenty of interesting railway-related operations like manual track switching and engine coupling.
Once the trip was over, we stopped in the picnic area (luckily there were shelters over the tables)
 for an Australian-themed morning tea. As well as fruit and dip'n'bikkies, I also included Cheezels, mini lamingtons and Wagon Wheels (which my kids had never had!). These were all washed down with the customary thermos of hot milky tea. 
Of course, when we got home and had lunch (we had to scupper the BBQ idea, 'cause it was raining
too hard by then) we made lamb-burgers! 
Now I am kicking back with a cuppa and listening to the Hottest 100 countdown on Triple J while
 the rain comes down.
Hope you did something beaut and suitably patriotic today, and that your celebration was as
dry as a bone and as bonza as possible.

Cheers Bigears!

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