Wednesday 5 June 2024

A quick arvo on the 4th of June at FMG.

A bit over an hour was spent at my usual hack spot for FMG, between the 5 km curve and the entrance to their port yard, on the afternoon of June 4, 2024 and four trains were observed with a fifth, an empty departing as I was arriving, which happens to me a lot!

This was the first time out for some months due to a number of issues, the car went to Perth to have the roof replaced and some other rust repairs, this was deemed cheaper than a replacement vehicle. I also managed to damage my primary everyday lens, the Canon 28-300 L, and broke the GPS unit on my camera setup. The Canon 5DIII body seems to have survived coming off the car at 60 km/h on Ballast Road at Hampton, Kalgoorlie, but I have noticed some strange exposures when using my other lenes, so a new camera may have to be planned for, testing is continuing. I have only just ordered a new replacement 28-300 mm L series Canon lens, and it seems these may have also now been discontinued by Canon...

However, I digress, back to the rail action, so, four trains were seen in a couple of hours out, two empty departures from the port and two loaded arrivals, one with a quad loco combination which is usually the bank engines being returned for servicing.

Port yard pilot locomotive was aging GE 9-44CW unit 004 shunting the compressor cars from the empty tracks to the rear of the loaded rakes.

The first empty train was SD70ACe-P6 units 729 leading SD70ACe/LCi unit 717 in the standard locomotive pairing that is in use on FMG with 119 waggon pairs for 238 waggons which departed the port at 1529 hrs.

Then at 1538 hrs a loaded train rolled under the Great Northern Highway overpass and into the Port behind the pairing of SD70ACe/LCi unit 713 leading the class leader of the AC44C6M rebuild model locomotives 101. This train also had 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.

A second loaded followed the first some twenty minutes later at 1608 hrs but this time it had quad locomotive power on the front. This is usually due to mine bank engines being returned to town for servicing requirements and happens on a regular basis.

AC44C6M locomotive 111 led SD70ACe/LCi unit 704 with AC44C6M pair 114 and 103 rounding out the quaddie with yet again 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons. It is nice to see FMG sticking to consistent train lengths as in the past I have counted quite a variance in the number of waggon pairs per service.

The final train for the afternoon was an empty departing at 1634 hrs behind AC44C6M unit 117 leading SD70ACe/LCi locomotive 706 and the now standard 
119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.


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