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, lunatics, mental defectives and self-appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation.
However things have changed thanks to our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learned to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'.
.Oh the irony that lays behind that group name and the person who set it up..
We occasionally publish information on the locomotives, and rollingstock, from railways in Australia and the Philippines.
All are available for

Friday, March 23, 2018

Let's Go Sliding.

The late 80s saw me go on a journey down the path of slide photography.
Recently I came across a huge pile of the collection, most of the stuff I have completely forgotten.
Join me in coming months as we explore what is amongst it all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

1962 - Launched for NZ Government.
1985 - Sold as a diving and charter boat.
1997 - Totally refitted and upgraded in Auckland.
2004 - Purchased by a group of enthusiasts to use on tour around Fiordland.

Remains in this use in 2018.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two recent requests have seen me pulling out the dusty old slide boxes from the 'Semi-Retired Foamer' archive. The slide collection, while quite large, has always been the lesser cousin of the massive print one.
As such, it has probably been some 2-3 decades since I really had a look at them.
With most shots taken in the glory years that formed the 80s, I really just can't remember what is amongst them. So, I can honestly say that what appears in this 'occasional' series, will likely be as much of a surprise to me as it will be for you.
Also of surprise will be the distinct lousy quality of most of what appears. I was only trialling slides for a few years and, well, it was my early years of transport photography.
I am sure you shall find a way to endure it.

I was never only a train fan, I have always had an interest in transport away from railways. It is just that most of my public involvement was in the rail arena. Something that I guess I sort of regret at times.
It did give me some tremendous lifetime friends who do make up for the butt pipes.

  Returning from Melbourne, while on one of many 80s trips, we decided to stop in at Wagga Wagga for a look at the former 'Urban Transit Authority'  Leylands (no rail reason to stop in back then) that Fearnes were using at the time.
  Above are two Mk1 Leopards and just a small part of an Atlantean (see future posts).

Be hard pressed finding one of these on QANTAS Drive nowadays.
While the bus, and livery, are now long gone, Murrays Coaches still exist.

 Obviously we thought long walks were a great idea back in the 80s.On this day we caught a train to Lidcombe, then walked to the former Pippita station, before risking our lives entering the railway corridor to survey the old line to the Abattoirs. Ooooh, todays railfan nazi's would have been impressed.
Despite being caught in an upturned Brickworks signalbox, the day was an educational and fun one. Many shots were taken and will appear in due course.

The livery is now gone.
The 48 class has been decimated in number.
The fuel tankers are likely all scrapped.
The siding is ripped out.
The terminal is gone.
The Sandown line is mothballed.
Safe to say we ain't going to see this ever again.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Semi Retired Foamer videos of the final weeks of this fascinating, and once very busy, Newcastle branch line. The first video shows a day's worth of operations, a month from closure. The second video is the last night, including the 
historic last run.

660/760 a month out from closure.
Trackside - Cab Ride - Passenger Views

The last night of the Toronto train.
A party type atmosphere fills the air, as people steadily become more crazy, one chap even being arrested.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Coming Together - Todays Quiz

This photo was a last minute thought, taken seconds before 
leaving the museum for Mong Kok.
It represents three of my main railway interests (Australia/Philippines/Hong Kong), 
all in the one place.
Locomotive 51 was an Australian built locomotive for the Kowloon Canton Railway. While most of her sisters have returned to Australia as our TL class, 
51 was retained for display in this small museum.
In the background is one of two kettles that were built for the narrow gauge Fanlin - Sha Tau Kok branch line, where it would work from 1924 till the line closed in 1928.
It would then go to the Philippines to send the bulk of its 
life hauling sugarcane on Negros Island.
One of three times that Australian built locomotives have come together with locos that have operated in the Philippines.

I will leave it to everyone else to guess the other two times.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Welcome to another thrilling instalment of our 90s Victorian joyride.
This one concentrates more on the box type locos, however, we are making our way towards the more firm faves in railfan circles.
Now before sitting down to your typewriter and sending me letters full of grief, I do fully understand that these shots are not all taken in Victoria. The concept is more to show Victorian locos/trains, some of which ran in other states at the time.

No long a junction by this time, Yass Junction was the former junction for the line to Yass Town.
The branch closed at the end of the 80s, the main traffic by then being fuel for the CALTEX depot just beyond the terminal station.

Friday nights and Saturday mornings would usually find us at Menangle.
Alas, finding a life put an end to that.

A somewhat overpowered train :-)

The Intercapital Daylight Express between Sydney and Melbourne was always guaranteed to provide some entertainment on an otherwise quiet Cootamundra afternoon. By this time, the 81 and G class were the norm for this service, this remaining the case until the XPT took over the run.

Stay tuned for next months enthralling instalment.