Sydney’s Mortuary Station, end of the Line 1869-1938.

When ­Sydney’s cemetery reached capacity in the late 1860s, Mortuary Station was built to provide access to a new site. Image Credit: courtesy of the Australian Railway Heritage Society
Funeral trains no longer steam through Sydney, but Mortuary Station remains a haunting reminder of times past.
19th century, mourners would congregate at Mortuary Station, in central Sydney. Twice a day, the city’s funeral train would rumble in towards the platform, through a series of ornate sandstone arches.
Coffins would be loaded into special hearse carriages, while suit-clad men, and women dressed in dark-coloured clothing boarded the passenger carriages.
The station’s departure bells would sound and steam would begin to billow across the Sydney skyline as the locomotive chugged into action, slowly moving over the track’s hardwood sleepers.
The train’s whistle would shriek as the funeral procession departed, bound for the Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney’s largest cemetery, 17km to the west.
Funeral trains carried mourners from Mortuary to Rookwood for nearly 70 years, from 1869 until 1938.
Today, the ghostly whistle of the locos no longer sounds and the platform at ­Mortuary remains quiet.
Situated on Regent Street, at the southern end of the Sydney CBD, the now-disused ­station is a sombre relic of a long-past era.
The elaborate Gothic-inspired building, which appears today much as it would have when it opened 145 years ago, provides a rare architectural glimpse into Sydney’s past.
Office blocks and apartment buildings have sprouted in nearby streets, but the church-like station house remains, recalling a time when Sydney’s funeral processions were public events.
The architects and artists “spared nothing” during the build of the station, says historian Bill Phippen.
Funeral trains passed through Mortuary for more than 60 years, but today it is only used for the occasional function. (Image: John Pickrell)
Source: End of the line – Australian Geographic

Train running through Frozen Woods.

It’s a rare occurrence when the forest is wearing such enchanting colors, so I jumped at the opportunity and get there to eternalize that.
The forest retained its beauty all day, because of the cold, -5 degrees Celsius.
Only the narrow gauge broke the silence sometimes.

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See more great images via I Spent A Whole Day In The Frozen Woods To Capture This Magnificent Winter View Of The Nearby Hills | Bored Panda

The ‘Puffing Billy’, Dandenong Ranges.

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The discovery of steam power just 200 years ago powered the Industrial Revolution but like all one-time technological breakthroughs, the world long ago shunted most steam trains onto the sidelines of history.
Yet despite cleaner, more efficient and cheaper forms of transport having taken over, in a small corner of rural Australia the sights, sounds and smells of the Industrial Revolution are still alive.
Puffing Billy is Australia’s last full time railway employing steam engines at its main source of power.
Set in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, this narrow gauge experiment was born from dour economic times in the 1890s.
For Puffing Billy driver Steve Holmes, whose life has been immersed in its soot and steel since he was painting carriages as a nine-year-old boy, steam, as much as blood, runs through his veins.
“I grew up at the end of the steam era, I’ve been around the engines all my life,” said Holmes, who became a driver in 2005.

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The short railway – just 18 miles long and built in 16 months – boasted Victoria’s tightest railway curve and the maximum allowable speed was a mere 15 mph.
These days, Puffing Biily still attracts thousands of visitors a year.
via Steel, steam and charm | The Wider Image | Reuters.

A Fine Locomotive, 1928.

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I’ve admired this image for quite some time, finding it in the Library of Congress’ collection of the Historical Section of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) color photographs.
It is anonymous, unfortunately, but since there were really only 23 or so staff photographers for this gigantic undertaking (including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange, and Ben Shahn, ten of which are truly monumental names in the history of 20th century American photography.)
I think that we could guess that it was done by the hands of a master.
It seems as though less than 2% of the 163,000 or so photographs made by this section during its eight-year run (1937-1945) were made in color, and I’m glad that this was one of them.
Read more via JF Ptak Science Books: A Fine Locomotive Schematic, 1928