Generally speaking, the NYE trip run by the ARHS from Canberra to Sydney is a staple trip for the privateers. All years since the ARHS commenced running this service except for 08/09, where no privateers were present, but 1748 went for a crew van), the privateers have made the effort to travel on this train.
The train generally departs Canberra at 10am on NYE, makes its way through the Southern Highlands and South Sydney with an arrival into Central, Sydney around 4:30ish in the afternoon. The return trip back is on New Year's Day departing Central at 2am with an arrival into Canberra around 10:30am - (This year, 09/10 the ARHS is once again planning on running this trip, http://www.trains.org.au/)
On the 2007/08 New Years Trip, the Privateers had arranged for a side trip to Katoomba in the evening as well as the attached trip to Sydney.
The train operated by the ARHS to Sydney was 17 cars including the two privateers. This trip was the first time that the ARHS had utilised locomotives operated by our supporters at Southern Shorthaul Railroad - the trip to Sydney and the Katoomba side trip was hauled by former NSWGR locomotives 44204 and FL220 (ex 42220) and on the return former Commonwealth Railways locomotive GM10 (built in 1952) and former Victorian Railways locomotive S317.
All photos once again go to the credit of the highly talented Domenik Giemza and his uber-cool photographic equipment.
44204 and 42220 sit on the train (well outside of the platform in Canberra - it was never built for 17 cars) prior to departure.
Enroute between Canberra and Bungendore, this photo shows the length of the NYE special - it was well patronised with 130 odd passengers!
Entering Sydney metropolitan area, its all too exciting to not have a look and see where things are at.
This photo shows the gutted shower and conducter's compartment in BAM1748, which has been made in a well serviced bar - its a hot summer's day after all, refreshing ale anyone?
This photo is a good shot of the removed four sleeping rooms in BAM1741. We can see the polished timber finish and leather lounges.
So guys, where are we? Cant be too far from Sydney... (also a good view of BAM1748 lounge area)
This looks like the alternative to classy travel - Cityrail's finest T-set on an up Waterfall service passing through St Peters vicinity... wonder what the pax on the Cityrail service thought???
Too cool for school in those sunnies, and overtaken by the Waterfall service!... Still were not in any hurry.
Sitting at Central prior to the little side-trip to Katoomba.
Enroute, and engrossed in conversation, New Years Cheers celebrated by all!
We've just arrived at Katoomba on NYE, and its 8:31pm and 14 seconds (not to be precise or anything like that...)
Gotta run around to go back down again - just for the record, 35 degress in Sydney, 21 up at Katoomba - nice and refreshing!
... Well, it is important to keep in contact with friends, especially in making plans for later - but hey, why leave a well stocked bar! (for the record, good photo of the bar area in BAM1741)
Did anyone say hangover... meh, must just be the morning fog of the Southern Highlands - we see environmentally friendly GM10 and S317 taking the train through to Canberra returning our 'all celebrated out' passengers back home to Canberra.
By the time next year comes around, we would have forgetten what happened last year and will be ready to do it again (or maybe lets give it two years!)...