A Travellerspoint blog

July 2014

The Cockatoo Run to Robertson

Day 13 - Thursday 10 July 2014

When Jan suggested we do a train trip on the Cockatoo Run operated by 3801 Limited from Sydney to Moss Vale we naively imagined a steam train hauled by the famous NSW Railways steam engine No 3801. For steam buffs 3801 is up there with the Flying Scotsman, the Mallard, and the Orient Express. Engine 3801 was built in 1943 and hauled the Newcastle Flyer and the Melbourne Express. In 1964 engine 3801 made a non-stop run from Sydney to Newcastle that just failed to break the 2 hour barrier, however the time remains the fastest rail trip from Sydney to Newcastle.

3801 with Newcastle Flyer

3801 with Newcastle Flyer

Our trip today - the Cockatoo Run by the Illawarra Tree Top Flier was from Sydney Central Station to Moss Vale. We had arranged to leave the train at Robertson to give us time to have lunch at the Robertson Inn. The Illawarra Line from Sydney to Newcastle was commenced in 1884 and completed in 1888, but it was not until 1932 that a connection was provided between the Illawarra Line and the Main Southern Line at Moss Vale. The line includes a 17 km continuous grade of 1 in 30 from Unanderra to Summit Tank. In the days of steam two additional steam engines were used to push the trains up the grade, where they were re-watered for the trip back down to assist the next train.

Our train today comprised a diesel engine and three carriages - a First Class carriage, a Second Class carriage and a Buffet Car. Apparently three carriages is the limit for a single diesel engine on the 1 to 30 grade, and a second diesel would be required for a 4th carriage. The line from Sydney to Moss vale was a significant engineering feet with a large number of tunnels, deep cuttings, snow sheds and steep grades. The Coal Cliff Tunnel is 999 metres in length.

Our train stopped at Summit Tank to take in the views from the lookout before continuing on to Robertson where we disembarked for lunch. We had about two and a half hours before the train returned from Moss Vale to pick us up for the return trip to Sydney. The Robertson Inn was about 1 km from the station and provided us with an excellent lunch. Most of the return journey was done in fading light and darkness. We left Sydney at 9:12 am and arrived back at about 6:30 pm.

The Illawarra Tree Top Flyer

The Illawarra Tree Top Flyer

Engine 4198

Engine 4198

Shunting the engine to the front of the train

Shunting the engine to the front of the train

Jan waiting for the train to leave

Jan waiting for the train to leave

3801 Limited with Gas Heating and Fan Air Conditioning

3801 Limited with Gas Heating and Fan Air Conditioning

Quarantine site for Horses brought to the Sydney Olympics

Quarantine site for Horses brought to the Sydney Olympics

Stanwell Park

Stanwell Park

Surf's up at Stanwell Park

Surf's up at Stanwell Park

Coal Cliff

Coal Cliff

Greek Orthodox Church not completed after 10 years

Greek Orthodox Church not completed after 10 years

Diesel engine working hard as we climb to Summit Tank

Diesel engine working hard as we climb to Summit Tank

Kids racing the train on trail bikes

Kids racing the train on trail bikes

Waterfall beside the track

Waterfall beside the track

Summit Tank

Summit Tank

Port Kembla from the Summit

Port Kembla from the Summit

Our first class carriage

Our first class carriage

Robertson Station

Robertson Station

Andy heading for the Robertson Inn for lunch

Andy heading for the Robertson Inn for lunch

A snooze on the way back to Sydney

A snooze on the way back to Sydney

Back at Central Station

Back at Central Station

Posted by TwoAces 04:23 Comments (0)

Shopping in Sydney and a Visit to the Mitchell Library

Day 12 - Wednesday 9 July 2014

The plan for today is for Di and Jan to go shopping in the city while David makes a visit to the NSW State Library. Di has had a David Jones gift card burning a hole in her pocket for some time, so a visit to DJ's, Myers and a few boutiques is in order. David has been chasing family history information for Samuel Rodman Chace, born about 1814, perhaps in Sydney, and is planning a trip to the NSW Library to search archival records.

Di and Jan spend a few hours in the shops and they both make a few purchases. Meanwhile David starts in the NSW Library, and is directed to the Mitchell Library where he spends several hours on a microfilm reader looking at Sydney birth records between 1808 and 1825. No luck however, and it seems that either the birth occurred in Sydney and was not registered, or the birth occurred overseas perhaps in America.

By way of explanation David's ancestor Samuel Rodman Chace, and American seaman born at Rhode Island in the USA arrived in Sydney in 1798 and married Marianne Letitia Collins in 1806. She was the daughter of David Collins and Anne Yates who both arrived in Sydney with the First Fleet in 1788. Samuel and Marianne had six children between 1807 and 1820, two girls whose births were registered in Sydney, and four boys, including Samuel Rodman Chace junior, whose births are not recorded in Sydney. As S R Chace senior spent most of his time on sailing ships moving between Australia, NZ, England and America, there is the possibility that the family travelled with him and the boys were born overseas. The search continues.

Mitchell Library

Mitchell Library

Public Reading Room at the Mitchell Library

Public Reading Room at the Mitchell Library

Back at Artarmon Di and Jan decided that after a tiring day shopping in the City that we should go up to Chatswood for Dinner. After trying one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Chatswood without luck we ended up at the Peking Duck. We decided that seeing that we were at the Peking Duck we should try the specialty of the house, which was carved at the table. We had an excellent meal!

Carving the Peking Duck

Carving the Peking Duck

Posted by TwoAces 04:52 Comments (0)

At home with the Granddaughters

Day 11 - Tuesday 8 July 2014

Jan and Andy's son Matt brought his three girls Coco, Willow, and Goldie over for their Tuesday MaMa and Grandy day. MaMa and Auntie MaMa took them to Chatswood for Baby Chinos for morning tea, then went shopping for material to make skirts for the girls.

Coco, Goldie and Willow ready to go shopping at Chatswood

Coco, Goldie and Willow ready to go shopping at Chatswood

Posted by TwoAces 02:52 Comments (0)

River Cruise to Parramatta

Day 10 - Monday 7 July 2014

Another nice day in Sydney today so we decided to catch the train into the City take the ferry to Parramatta. On the way up the river the ferry called at all stops to pick up passengers, but on the way back it missed a few stops before we got back to Circular Quay.

On the way up the Parramatta River we passed the Homebush Olympic venue before moving into the restricted upper reaches where recreational boating is not allowed and movement is limited to commercial ferries.

When we got to Parramatta we walked through the CBD on the way to Parramatta Park - but you guessed it, being Monday Old Government House was closed as was the Gatehouse Café. We walked back through the CBD and found lunch at the Sicilian Restaurant - the specials were Pizzas and a glass of wine for three and Haloumi Salad with wine for one - an excellent lunch.

Parramatta was an old stamping ground for Andy, having worked at Westpac in Parramatta, and having been involved as a player and an Administrator for the Parramatta Rugby Union Club, before moving on to various roles at the Australian Rugby Union. After our walk around Parramatta we returned to the jetty and waited for the ferry back to Circular Quay. A Police boat was waiting near the jetty having sent the junior constable ashore to get afternoon tea.

Parramatta ferry reversing out of Circular Quay

Parramatta ferry reversing out of Circular Quay

Manly Ferry leaving Circular Quay

Manly Ferry leaving Circular Quay

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Narrabeen waiting to enter Circular Quay

Narrabeen waiting to enter Circular Quay

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Extensions to the Sydney Cruise Ship Terminal

Extensions to the Sydney Cruise Ship Terminal

Sydney Cruise Ship Terminal

Sydney Cruise Ship Terminal

Tug waiting under Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tug waiting under Sydney Harbour Bridge

Luna Park

Luna Park

Sebel Pier One at Dawes Point

Sebel Pier One at Dawes Point

Sydney water taxi plying its trade

Sydney water taxi plying its trade

Waterside apartments

Waterside apartments

Balmain from Darling Harbour

Balmain from Darling Harbour

Bangaroo development from Darling Harbour

Bangaroo development from Darling Harbour

Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour

Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour

James Craig at Darling Harbour

James Craig at Darling Harbour

Harbour-side mansions

Harbour-side mansions

Cockatoo Island Ferry Wharf

Cockatoo Island Ferry Wharf

School camp at Cockatoo Island

School camp at Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island Dockyard

Cockatoo Island Dockyard

Gladesville Bridge

Gladesville Bridge

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Abbotsford Point Boat Shed

Abbotsford Point Boat Shed

Sydney Rowing Club

Sydney Rowing Club

Vela Dining and Bar at D'albora Marina Cabarita

Vela Dining and Bar at D'albora Marina Cabarita

Rivendell School

Rivendell School

There it is - Ryde Bridge in the background

There it is - Ryde Bridge in the background

John Whitton Bridge

John Whitton Bridge

New apartments at Homebush

New apartments at Homebush

Sydney Olympic Stadium in the distance

Sydney Olympic Stadium in the distance

Garbage truck emptying the bins

Garbage truck emptying the bins

Shell's Clyde Refinery at Parramatta closed in 2012

Shell's Clyde Refinery at Parramatta closed in 2012

7 Knot speed limit on the upper reaches of the Parramatta River

7 Knot speed limit on the upper reaches of the Parramatta River

Parramatta CBD from the River

Parramatta CBD from the River

Parramatta Jetty

Parramatta Jetty

Weir and Footbridge on the Parramatta River

Weir and Footbridge on the Parramatta River

Gasworks Bridge

Gasworks Bridge

University of Western Sydney

University of Western Sydney

Parramatta Roxy Theatre

Parramatta Roxy Theatre

Parramatta Court Precinct

Parramatta Court Precinct

Nyman Gibson and Stewart - 1800 Not Guilty

Nyman Gibson and Stewart - 1800 Not Guilty

Heritage Building

Heritage Building

Garfield Barwick Court Building

Garfield Barwick Court Building

Tudor Gatehouse at Parramatta Park

Tudor Gatehouse at Parramatta Park

Lady Fitzroy's Memorial

Lady Fitzroy's Memorial

Old Government House at Parramatta

Old Government House at Parramatta

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Gatehouse Tearooms at Parramatta Park

Gatehouse Tearooms at Parramatta Park

Parramatta Riverside Gardens

Parramatta Riverside Gardens

Rowing across the river?

Rowing across the river?

Police boat waiting at Parramatta Jetty

Police boat waiting at Parramatta Jetty

Here is your afternoon tea

Here is your afternoon tea

Our ferry home - the Shane Gould

Our ferry home - the Shane Gould

Posted by TwoAces 00:43 Comments (0)

Sydney Fish Markets

Day 9 - Sunday 6 July 2014

After breakfast we went into the Sydney Fish Markets to buy some fish for dinner and have a coffee. As it was mid morning at the Fish Markets parking was fairly easy - by the time we left parking was at a premium. We wandered in and out of all the shops selling fish before settling on some Orange Roughy and Pink Ling. Henry decided he needed some morning tea, so he and Andy went looking for something to eat while Di and Jan lined up for the coffees. We sat outside for our morning tea and watched the action on the water.

Sydney Fish Markets

Sydney Fish Markets

Sydney's Anzac Bridge

Sydney's Anzac Bridge

Fishing fleet at the Sydney Fish Markets

Fishing fleet at the Sydney Fish Markets

MaMa and Auntie MaMa at the Fish Markets

MaMa and Auntie MaMa at the Fish Markets

Just a small one Grandy

Just a small one Grandy

OK Henry - here's some money

OK Henry - here's some money

You call that a small one Henry?

You call that a small one Henry?

Well he was hungry!

Well he was hungry!

Lone yacht at the jetty

Lone yacht at the jetty

Its hard to get good foredeck crew

Its hard to get good foredeck crew

After morning tea we drove around Piermont looking at the sights before stopping at Darling Island to look at progress on the Barangaroo development. Lots of cranes with some progress being made on the new casino development for James Packer.

Doyles at the Sydney Fish Market

Doyles at the Sydney Fish Market

Barangaroo development from Darling Island

Barangaroo development from Darling Island

New Barangaroo Casino development

New Barangaroo Casino development

More development at Barangaroo

More development at Barangaroo

Sydney Harbour Bridge behind the Barangaroo development

Sydney Harbour Bridge behind the Barangaroo development

Luxury yacht Sovereign

Luxury yacht Sovereign

Entrance to Darling Harbour

Entrance to Darling Harbour

Those MaMas again

Those MaMas again

Fisherman trying his luck at Darling Island

Fisherman trying his luck at Darling Island

Captain Cook Cruise boat

Captain Cook Cruise boat

Observatory Hotel soon to be dwarfed by the Barangaroo development

Observatory Hotel soon to be dwarfed by the Barangaroo development

Heading back to Artarmon over the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Heading back to Artarmon over the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Posted by TwoAces 02:50 Comments (0)

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