New South Wales 36xx class 4-6-0

In January 1965, the mid-day Flyer to Sydney was headed by engine number 3662. The train of air-conditioned coaches with the first coach having a guards compartment, is standing at Platform 1 in Newcastle station. I cannot remember the timetable, but my best guess is the train left withn an half hour of noon. Compared to the previous 36 class photos, 3662 now has a Belpaire firebox, the boiler of all 36s having been rebuilt sometime in the 1950s. I remember thinking at the time is this engine really good enough to keep to the timetable adequately and normally handled by the larger 38 class 4-6-2. I am sure the engine was good enough, and anyway it only had to make Gosford where the train was handed over to a 46 class electric.


3662 heads off toward Broadmeadow and Tickhole tunnel with the mid-day Flyer to Sydney. The picture shows how close to Newcastle station was the level crossing to the freight area. I was 19 at the time of taking this picture, the camera was a Voigtlander 35mm with a folding bellows lens which I purchased second-hand for about £3 10s in a Bundaberg photographic shop while on holidays in August 1962. About 10% of the photos taken were ruined by a flash of light entering the camera from what source I never did find out. The negatives were developed at home in the bathroom, and an enlarger was purchased by my father which created a lot more productivity than doing contact prints. This method using a contact frame with negative against sensitive paper and exposing to a light bulb or sunlight, relied on your counting to 10 or 15 as judged by quality of the negative. With an enlarger you had time to focus and make some minimal adjustments to contrast and positioning before exposing to the sensitive paper.

The Voightlander had the advantage of having variable shutter speeds to 1/250 of a second which was almost mandatory for taking pictures of fast moving trains. But though the Lubitel 2.1/4 sq (6x6cm) format was only able to achieve 1/100 of a second, the advantages of this format (with a 3600 sq mm exposed film surface) over the 35mm film with a surface area of only 875 sq mm is quite demonstrative.

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