Puffing Billy Race 2015

It’s becoming an annual thing for me now, to photograph the Puffing Billy Race in May, here in Selby close to home. Last year I went to the Menzies Creek crossing and had to handle an umbrella while taking shots too, but this time round the weather was just perfect with a slight breeze and blue skies and fluffy clouds. So my husband, a colleague and I set up near the Trestle Bridge to watch the runners and the trains (two of them) pass by at the start of the race. Over 3,000 runners in this year’s event and the winner, Steve Kelly, beat the train, coming in at 42:47 mins. I believe the train was around 52 mins.  Always great to watch those who get involved.  Here are just a few shots from the race.

The first pack to come through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

The first train comes through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

Great to see the runners enjoying themselves.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

The second train after all the runners had passed through.
Puffing Billy Race 2015

More images can be seen here.

In the likeness of Ansel Adams

Some of you may know that I’ve been doing a diploma course in photography.  I’ve been learning about all sorts of genres and it has taken me out of my comfort zone, but that was to be expected. Some of it I’ve enjoyed more than other parts but, all the same, I’m getting through the course and learning a great deal.

Recently we had to pick our favourite B&W photographer and have a go at doing photography like them. We were given a list of names and I chose Ansel Adams. I’ve come across his work in the past when doing research on photography and I like his work. So I was quite pleased with the results of this part of the course.  We had to choose a location we liked and the subject was a ‘Sense of Place’. I chose the Trestle Bridge near home which the Puffing Billy travels on.  We had to do landscape, portrait and close up.

A study of the Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge

A study of the Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge

A study of the Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge

If you’ve been thinking about the Steve Parish Nature Photography Workshop being held in Belgrave Heights next month, don’t leave it much longer. Bookings will be closing very soon.

The Puffing Billy

Some of you will know that I live not far from the Puffing Billy line. I love to go watch the train. My husband is a steam train enthusiast and while he admires their engineering and structure, and even the smell, I get to enjoy the visual from the rising steam and the train in action. We can enjoy the very same thing but for different reasons.

We’ve been enjoying particularly lovely sunny days here lately, although very, very cold. I knew that I should get some good views of the train and had never ventured to the top of the Trestle Bridge before to take shots, so went down there last weekend for that very reason.

Because the sun was so bright I was unable to view the images on my LCD screen properly and had to wait till I got home to view them on the computer. I am reasonably happy with what I got.  Might try again another day, at a different time of the day.

Puffing Billy on the trestle bridge

Puffing Billy in the midday sun

This last one is at the crossing near home. It has new gates, lights, and fencing which makes it more difficult to get the shots I used to get here, but they’re still reasonable.

Puffing Billy at Selby Crossing

Travelling the Puffing Billy

As I mentioned recently, my husband and I had guests from interstate and we spent a day with them on the Puffing Billy train. The train leaves from Belgrave and travels to Emerald Lake Park and then moves on to Gembrook. We chose to go as far as Emerald Lake Park, have lunch and wander around and then catch the train back to Belgrave.  That, in itself, was a pretty full day.  There were a lot of carriages on the train when we caught it and two engines pulling them but once we got to Menzies Creek many of the tourists got off to get on buses and the extra carriages taken off and we were put back to one engine only.  In reverse, the second engine was added back on when we got back to Menzies Creek.

On the Puffing Billy

It was a long train and yes, people do sit hanging their legs out of the windows.

Coupling up the engine

Coupling back up after removing one of the engines.

The flagman

All aboard!  Leaving Emerald Lake Park station.

On the trestle bridge

Returning back to Belgrave.  The two engines pull the carriages across the historic Trestle Bridge.

The trestle bridge

I had queried something I’d seen on the trestle bridge in one of my photos recently and was told that the rail bridge has an annual inspection and then an independently structural integrity inspection every 5 years.  They also inspect for pest infestation.  Some of the bridge uprights date back to 1920 and are still in perfect condition which speaks a lot for what the early pioneer railway men knew in those days.  I was thanked for my concern and I appreciated being given the above information.

This is a span of the trestle bridge in Belgrave.

Puffing Billy Train, Selby