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Gauge Line

This is the rather quaint description given to New South Wale's standard gauge connection into Brisbane, or at least the description used by people in Queensland. As someone who has lived in Queensland for over a decade, I feel like I can use this title myself. Anyway, for my purposes I've extended the coverage to include the line from Brisbane itself, and south to Casino.

It's a line that quickly became a favourite for photography, combining a steady procession of freights hauled by magnificent, if aging and increasingly shabby, ALCO powered locomotives, running through some splendid scenery. The fact that the line is easily accessible for most of its length is another plus.

There are many highlights on this line, although it is hard to go past the country from around Glenapp south to Kyogle, traversing as it does the Border Ranges via the tunnel at Richmond Gap and encompassing the spiral at Border Loop. All rather magnificent - indeed, there is still a lookout provided by the local Lions Club which conveniently overlooks the spiral and south down the valley of Gradys Creek. It is thus no surprise to see a lot of photos from this area, and my collection is no exception.

It's not that long ago that a day out on the line could easily see around a dozen trains in daylight without really trying. Of course, this was in the days of ridiculously short crossing loops and archaic signalling arrangements - terrific for photography but hardly the stuff a competitive transport provider needs. Time marches on: loops are much longer and so are the trains, resulting in far fewer daylight moves, although regrettably archaic safe-working arrangements still had to be endured until late 2007. But for me the result of greatly reduced frequency during daylight has dramatically reduced the appeal of this line. But at least the trains are still running!