The Semi-Retired Foamer has been a railfan since he was around 5 years old, a very young age when one really should avoid being involved with the gunzel community to any great extent.
After a few decades of train chasing one decided to break with protocol and get married, thus leading to a severe cut in railfan activity.
Subsequent dealings with social misfits, loonatics, mental defectives and self appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation.
However things have changed thanks our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learnt to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'.
.Oh the irony that lays behind that term.

Monday, May 22, 2017

BHP 103 

The artist formerly known as 4537

A selection of images showing BHP103 during her period working around the steelworks in Port Kembla.
103 was rebuilt from 4537 by Austrac in Junee. It would later go on to be sold to Patrick Rail, later falling into the clutches of that Pacific National mob.
Somehow she beat the odds and went to Balco. An unusual fate for any historic locomotive that has had the misfortune of becoming part of the Pacific National fleet.
Today, 103 is preserved in Tailem Bend.

BHP Railway Information (Australia and Overseas)

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Random Selection

  The BXLA coal hopper was a privately owned coal hopper owned by the steelworks in Port Kembla.
In their later years they were mostly used to service the coal mines at Wongawilli and in the Kemira Valley.
The last were withdrawn a f\couple of years back, though one survivor was recently noticed in use amongst a rake of other hopper types.

BHP Rail History SIG - Research Group
For anyone with a interest in all aspects of BHP railway history
around Australia and the world.

Pacific National are destroying Illawarra steelworks heritage.
Help us raise awareness of this vandalism.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017


What is her claim to fame?

On Sunday the 29th of August, 1999, 93 became the last tram to
operate in government service.
The Melbourne tramway system subsequently being privatized. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Vehicle Status-Updates-Photos-Operations-Diagrams

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Port Kembla - English Electrics

The Saddest of Sights.

  During the week we received news of the upcoming scrapping of numerous steelworks English Electric locomotives down at Port Kembla.
  It has been a while since I last visited the area, so took the opportunity to travel on down there with Mr Brad Coulter as suss out the current situation with the fleet.
  During the week, one of the PB class hauled D39, D44, D43, D33, D30 and D41 out of the works and into the Cringila Exchange Sidings.
  All are due to be hauled to a siding around Outer Harbour, where they will be scrapped.
  Today, April 15th, we arrived at Cringila and, following some time, we notice D39 had been moved already, with the others remaining in the sidings.
  The remaining ones are expected to follow shortly, however we tracked D39 too the final siding she will ever visit.

  What is particularly upsetting/infuriating about all this, is the fact that some of these locos could have had a new home in a museum. It was not a case of "you cannot preserve everything", these were actually wanted. However, Pacific National, treated the requests with the usual disinterest they show for this sort of thing.
  The locomotives have little mainline use, so are hardly likely to be used in competition to them.
   Pacific National insists that they are unable to sell them due to asbestos. Yet former staff of BHP's rail division will tell you how it was all removed. Bringing this up with PN finds a response of deathly silence.

  So, for now it seems that the future is grim and, in all likelihood, none of this important Illawarra, and steelworks, history will be saved for future generations.
  Surely a huge loss.
  Thank you Pacific National (for nothing)

  D39 was the first to be hauled to the killing grounds, either being moved there late Thursday, or during Good Friday.
  The other five (see photo at bottom) are expected to be moved this week and scrapping to occur soon after.

Death Row at Cringila today.

Saturday, March 18, 2017



  It had been six years since I last step foot in the Philippines, a combination of a few things leading to the break.
Like the last run, it was to be only short. Eight days was my limit and much had to be packed into this time. A 20th anniversary party, catching up with many friends (new and old) and time out photographing the transport.
  Transport wise, not a huge amount has changed over the past six years.
  The national railways (PNR) struggle on with little government funding and the overhead systems struggle to cope with patronage well beyond that which they were designed for.
  Services to Calamba, touted by PNR back in 2011, have still yet to eventuate. As does the return of the Bicol Express.
  LRT1 and MRT3 are still not connected, either direct or through a common station. While a whole fleet of Chinese vehicles mean't for the MRT3, still langish at the north end of the system, awaiting the day they can be laced in service to assist with the ridiculous peak hour crowds.
  Point to Point (P2P) buses have become a popular part of the Philippine transport scene, but they are subject to the same horrid traffic problems as the normal services are.

  I am currently working of a trip report, a link for which will appear here. However, over the coming weeks the Semi-Retired Foamer will be showing many of the shots taken during this momentous event.


  We start with Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport prior to departure.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Whether or not they are NORTH SOUTH or WEST RAILfans.
They will do it to you eventually, no matter how well you treat them.
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