The International Steam Pages

Case Notes - Steam in Australia
South Maitland Railway Part 2, Neath

Terry Case writes about his travels for steam. Further tales will follow from time to time covering more of Australia, India, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

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Many of the mines in this area had British names with mining connections. .

Neath coal washery was on the site of an old mine, at the time I visited coal was brought in from the nearby Aberdare Colliery and after washing loaded on trains for East Greta. There was a short branch line to be negotiated, before passing the Neath Hotel and re-joining the mainline to East Greta.

On 17th August 1977,number 31 on the branch heads for Neath Junction with a loaded train. 

Fans were able to view branch and mainline action from the Neath Hotel, penny pinchers like myself camped in the nearby bush.

The driver has the staff ready to pass to the signalman who has flags to warn road traffic at the unprotected crossing.

Two days later the same engine is seen at the road crossing with the signalman receiving the token.

Once back on the mainline speed was quickly worked up for the climb to Abermain.

On 17th August 1977, a pair of 10 class battle to the summit before descending to Neath.

Two days later No 18 in action again at the same location.

On 19th August 1977, we chased 27 with loaded unfitted wagons from Neath to Weston where class leader number 10 arrived light engine ex-works. It was attached as pilot and departed for East Greta. It was unusual to see double heading on trains of 4 wheel hoppers but this was to be part of its load test.

This concludes a look at parts of the SMR system before NSWGR diesels took over the operations prior to closure. 

Rob Dickinson